Coaching the next generation

At Steel Town Cycles we’re much more than a workshop……… without the next generation taking an interest, the sport loses its next stars or perhaps its next coaches.

I believe it’s especially important at grassroots level to encourage that passion and see it grow.  Without the coaches, parents, many volunteers and race/event organisers giving their time freely and happily there is no future, whatever the sport.

I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to give a small amount of time on the last two Saturdays to show these great kids what I’ve learned from 15 years of “on and off” racing.  Experience of what works and what doesn’t.  We learn together and most importantly it must be fun.  Some need the stress of competition and enjoy the buzz it gives them.  Others just enjoy the simplicity of riding in the open air.

The kids are all racing in the North East Cyclocross League.  Here’s a handy definition;

Cyclo-cross (sometimes cyclocross, CX, cyclo-X or ‘cross) is a form of bicycle racing. Races typically take place in the autumn and winter (the international or “World Cup” season is October–February), and consist of many laps of a short (2.5–3.5 km or 1.5–2 mile) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount.

The kids race is a little more simplified- not as long a lap.  The guys have done two events now and really enjoyed it.  For the spectator as the laps are relatively short there are plenty of opportunities to see and cheer the competitors.  These events usually only take up 3 or so hours for all the races.  Cyclocross is increasing in popularity in the UK, with folks of all abilities and fitness levels giving it a go.  All you need is a suitable off-road bike (Cyclocross or MTB) and of course a cycle helmet.

If you’re looking for something to do next Saturday afternoon have a look at the links below.

http://neccl.co.uk/

they also have a Facebook page @NECCL – North East Cyclocross League

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