I have some real basic questions regarding road bike racing.
Although relatively new to cycling on a road bike, I was looking to do a road race sometime this summer in the Chicagoloand/greater Illinois area. The problem is that the more and more I look for an appropriate race, I realize that there's hardly any out there. I have found a bunch of "rides" (tours?) that are of varying distances, but it looks like you can register and start at different times which really doesn't seem like a race to me. I come from a running background, so I kind of just assumed that just like there's a 5k, 10k, or half marathon almost every weekend in the summer, that there would correspondingly be some bike races as well.
So my question for you guys is: are there just not a lot of (amateur) races for road bikers?
I went to the USACycling website where I read about road (circuit) races but the explanation of these races seemed to indicate you have to be on some kind of team do be able to do these. Is this true?
Also, are there any helpful websites that list all the biking road races for a region similar to how one would go to Active.com or RunnersWorld.com to find a list of running races? (The only website I found was BikeRide.com and it listed a whopping 2 races for the whole state of Illinois.)
I seem to feel that there might be amateur road races out there for newbies like myself but that I'm just missing the boat here. Thanks in advance for any advice/info.