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.
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