Entries in boulder junior cycling (4)
(Yes that is one sick climb out from the Green River)
This was year two of this trip, yet bigger this time! 21 people, parents and their Boulder Junior Cycling kids, spent their first days of summer vacation on a completely self supported tour of Moab's famous White Rim. This was our 2nd year as a group taking on this challenge, one which is focused purely on family and teammate bonding. What an incredible thing for these grommets to experience.
So what's the White Rim tour? It's a classic in the annals of US mountain-biking-dom. The ride is essentially 103 miles of non-technical 4x4 road trails which we chunked into 4 ~25mile days. You can see Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4 here on my Strava profile.
(Photo by Sally Keefe)
There really is nothing to it....not technical, but it is long, very hot and extremely remote. No cell service and virtually zero exposure to people....especially Park Rangers which in two years we've never seen out on the trails (only near the entrances).
Logistically you are on your own. Reservations for camp spots are required about a year out for the best ones. There's a crapper, but no utilities and no fire burning which is a bummer...and mystifies us as there's nothing to burn up in the desert.
We bring in everything - fresh water, food, supplies, equipment and this year had two sag 4 x 4's. The kids and all parents but 2 travel ahead of the trucks and ride while the 4 x 4s slowly make their way behind. In some cases, the floods of 2013 were a bit problematic still yet our truck selection made these traverses no problem:
Our oldest Junior was 16, and our youngest 8 and they ate it all up. Our mission is simply to bond...give kids jobs at night (setting up camp, cleaning, etc) and pair them with kids they don't know that well. They played into the night surrounded by clear views of the Milky Way. Epic.
The riding was super fun. Lots of sun screen and hydration and we rode always together in a group. The strongest would go for it on the climbs, then go back and help pace-up the younger kids...
(Photo by Sally Keefe)
We're on to our normal summers now but the great memories will still be fresh by the time the kids don their skinsuits for cross season. It's adventure like this together which is why our Boulder Junior team is so special.
On to more experiences!
Have a look at this great video to learn more and get your stoke on for the kids at Nationals. If you are on the fence about this being the year to bring your kid to a national-level event, THIS IS THE YEAR! We're pouring as much as we can community-wise into making teh event most especially awesome for the kids. The sport is growing by leaps and bounds with their participation. They deserve to be supported with extra care and stoke in January. C'MON AND HUP UP PARENTS AND KIDS!!!
More information and registration info can be found here on the USA Cycling Nationals Event Page.
The family that bikes together...well, has FUN together! It's that time in our kids lives when we want to start looping them in to our passion...riding in the woods on fat tires. Problem is, the state of (really) small mountain bikes is a difficult one. It's not a very big market and rightfully the manufacturers mitigate their risk by not producing a ton of options. Buying off the shelf bikes for kids who are 'tweeners' (too big and advanced for off the shelf bikes and too small for 'adult' sized bikes) is really difficult but we were determined to get it done right for them. I want to ensure my kids could really 'feel' and control the bikes...so that meant careful choosing of frame and parts alike. WIth the help of Boulder Cycle Sport and some of my great friends and long-time industry honches, we were able to source and build up the following for the youngsters:
- Kinesis 'label-less' frames - 14" for 26" wheels
- Carver ridged carbon fiber front forks
- WTB wheels (tubeless)
- Shimano SLX group set
- 60mm stems & flat bars
- Old seat posts lying around
- Kenda rubber
- ESI grips ('suspension'...yes, these boys will learn tire pressure before suspension use)
- Cane Creek headset
Bikes came in about 17lbs and I can still move into lighter territory, but that will be the fun part. Some porn...
It's time to begin to switch over the engine....both mind and body....to ride long, think hard and put in the time to re-charge. Rides with friends, rides solo...it doesn't matter. Just long and epic.
We started this past weekend...the "RTD' or Ride to Denver. Pete Webber has a phenomenal way to get to and from the 'big city', sending us on a Colorado Road Ride which is mainly dirt road and trail like you see above.
We trekked our way along this route, on our way to visit the NAHMBS which came to visit the Mile High City this year. Tons of eye candy which I'm sure you've seen by now all over the webs.
Most importantly, along with all these long rides, this time of year signifies reflection. And one of those reflections was the Boulder Junior Cycling 'CX Celebration' night where we honor the kids and their amazing season. It never ceases to impress me what they do each fall and winter. They're not like other kids...frankly like other adults! I mean, who in their right mind would intentionally choose to pedal their bike in 20 degree weather with ice and sleet raining down. Well, these kids do. With a smile.
It also deeply re-enforces to me how kids feel success and the role we play in helping them. It's never about the results...only about their personal progress. Did they make mistakes? Was each lap smoother? Did they bobble? Were they able to bridge to another faster group? Progress. It's like a little microcosm of life they're learning and all the coaches are so proud to be a part of that.
On to the spring.