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Cyclocross for Kids! | Bike building for the Boulder Valley School District

Yet another reason why I live in Boulder. I got together with a phenomenal group of volunteers at Boulder Cycle Sport Monday night to assemble a fleet of Redline cyclocross bikes for the Boulder Valley School District. I was able to communicate with Mike Eubank, one of the principal organizers of this fantastic efforts. I asked him to describe the program in the hope that others may be able to spur similar events in your ‘hoods.

Mike Eubank:

These bikes were purchased using mostly BVSD Safe Routes to School Funds and a few other donations.  This new bike fleet will be used for two critical junior cycling programs…

The first is the “BLAST” program for elementary aged youth. “Bike Lesson And Safety Training” (BLAST)
This program is a basic walk-bike safety class for students to gain an understanding of how to safely operate a bicycle in a variety of situations.  It covers topics such as learning how to perform a bicycle safety check, fixing a flat, rules of the road, and on-bike skills practice.   Riding predictably and being visible are the mains themes towards gaining knowledge of riding safely and legally.

The second is “Middle Cross” Program for 6th - 8th graders

Our goal is to expand junior cycling as a sport for fun and fitness with new and existing Bike Club Development at area Middle Schools with the option to participate in Cyclocross races at schools as well as local series.

About 5-7 BVSD middle schools (and possibly a couple private schools) with bike clubs will offer club rides once a week after school.  These programs are casual and encourage all to participate at any skill level.

We will also offer free Cyclocross clinics for each school through Ben Turner and his highly accredited Boulder Based TIAA-Cref/Clif Bar cross team.  After each clinic, we will work on matching up an actual Cyclocross mentor for each club so that they can continue developing skills.  Clubs will also add teacher and parent volunteers to help with weekly rides.

We will also offer a few open scrimmages at some schools, including full race courses set up at on school grounds for fun and skill development.  This ‘Fun’ competition will be open to all skill levels. The new Bike Fleet will be available at the clinics as well as the scrimmages so that anyone can participate, ,regardless if the have a bike or not.   Each of the schools will have a bike shop sponsor and we are trying to provide tee shirts to the club riders to help promote the program at school.  Riders will also wear the tee at the events to show support for their school club.

For young riders interested in trying local racing, we will direct them to a number of local races that are free for Junior categories while also offering onsite support and coaching.

    - Boulder Racing Series

    - Boulder Cup

    - Junior State Championships

Thanks Mike!!!!

Reader Comments (5)

hey greg any plans or thoughts about BCS team getting involved with the program(s) at all? that would be so fun to be mentors to a new generation!

July 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjasper9

Way to go guys.

July 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichel

Hey all,

I have helped out with the Casey Middle School version of this for the last year or so. Catherine Powers is working hard to get a group of kids together at Casey Middle School who will ride each week. She helped put on (with Mike Eubank) two very well done races in the last year. The races had prizes, announcers, a real cross course with tape and barriers, etc. The group rides after school 1X/week, and they hope to do some more races. When I hear from her again as school starts up, I will pass the information along to the club.

One way, and probably the easiest way, that the club can get involved is to just show up at the rides and offer to be a ride leader/follower. Catherine is always looking for people to help with the rides, mainly to herd the kids in the general direction. Also, if you have any small bikes, kid-sized, that would work for bike path and trail riding, you can donate them to the school. A cross bike or basic MTB is perfect, so if you have anything sitting around at home, contact me and I can let Catherine know. Also, any of the bike programs would probably appreciate donated bikes, as many of the kids don't have a bike to ride, so you can probably contact Mike and see who might be interested.


July 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Greg, et al:
This is FANTASTIC! At Summit Middle School (home to several good cyclsts - #1 and #8 13-14 state crit riders!), I think we're quite interested in partcipating. Last spring I had asked Coach Harris what he thought about supporting it and he was very much on board - esp. since we're right by Tantra park and (don't know about access issues) CU southeast campus. I will contact Mike and/or Catherine to follow up on this, but if anyone else has thoughts let me know.

Second, does this include a team/club/? that would participate in almost-local events like BrecktoberCross, CultCross, etc? I know a few kids (from last year's top 13-14 BCT) that would like to sign up for that. Or is this ClifBar cross (I don't know much about them :( )

Thanks for doing all this!
Cheers, Mark

July 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMark C

That's Rad

July 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRSTEVE

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