Igniting a Child’s Love for Cycling

Igniting a child’s love for cycling

Mario Bartel

 

If participating in the New West Kids Prix has alighted your child’s enthusiasm for racing their bicycle, there are lots of great ways to further develop their passion for cycling.

 

Ben Chaddock, Cycling BC’sprovincial coordinator for the iRide program for young cyclists, and who also raced professionally for four years himself, said it’s important for kids to learn skills and gain confidence on the bike in a safe environment.

“Our alignment is to create healthy human beings,” Chaddock said. “It’s not about medals and it’s not about turning yourself inside out when you’re 10 years old.”

That measured pace is achieved by exposing young cyclists to different types of riding that will keep them safe while they’re developing their skills and fitness; the youngest will start on a BMX track, then progress to mountain or cyclocross bikes on park trails and then to the enclosed oval of the velodrome track at the Harry Jerome Sports Centre in North Burnaby before they ever get a chance to ride on the road.

Chaddock said the progression also gives parents some assurance their child is excited and passionate about their chosen sport.

“It lets them figure out how skilled their child is.”

iRide has several programs to help develop those skills, from its in-school sessions over three days for students in grades four to six, to the community-based Sprockids, to five-day camps for kids aged 10-14 that expose kids to cycling’s various disciplines, like mountain bike, BMX, track and longer riding for fitness. After that, youth development programs are available at some local cycling clubs, like Escape Velocity’s DEVO program that teaches kids 11-and -up how to train and compete while refining their skills.

A new camp being offered by iRide this year will be a Super Camp at Simon Fraser University that gives participants a chance to improve their skills for half a day and then go to the various races that comprise BC Superweek to watch the pros at work up close, possibly even meet them.

That kind of exposure can light a fire in young cyclists.

 

new-west-kids-prix

The kids races that precede the New West Grand Prix are more about fun that competition.

 

A new camp being offered by iRide this year will be a Super Camp at Simon Fraser University that gives participants a chance to improve their skills for half a day and then go to the various races that comprise BC Superweek to watch the pros at work up close, possibly even meet them.

That kind of exposure can light a fire in young cyclists.

 

Cycling BC’s Ben Chaddock says it’s important for young cyclists to develop a passion for the sport and develop their skills and confidence.

 

“It shows them it’s a real sport to meet friends, to push your boundaries,” Chaddock said.

Kids can also get a taste of what it’s like to race like one of the pros in the New West Kids Prix which takes place before the New West Grand Prix on July 10, 2018. The race is open to kids aged 12 and under with four different age group categories. It’s free to register and include a new Garneau bike for each age group. For more information and to register, visit newwestgrandprix.com/kidsprix.

 

Club-based youth development programs like Escape Velocity’s DEVO take on the task of teaching young cyclists the fundamentals of racing and tactics.

 

For more information about Cycling BC’s iRide programs go to https://cyclingbc.net/iride/

BC Superweek is Canada’s biggest professional road cycling series and features more than $140,000 in prize money with nine races over ten days. BC Superweek runs from July 6 – 15 and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 6 – 8), New West Grand Prix (July 10), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 11), Giro di Burnaby presented by Appia Development (July 12), PoCo Grand Prix presented by Dominion Lending Centres (July 13), and Tour de White Rock (July 14 – 15).​

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