Bike racing is a tough sport for kids to get started in. A lot of parents worry about the startup cost and the risk of injury. Fortunately, the fastest-growing race category in the US is also the most kid-friendly: cyclocross!
Most kids’ bikes are not well-suited to road or mountain bike racing, but a cyclocross racer can use just about anything–as evidenced by these fellas trying to negotiate the sand pit.
The Ohio Valley Cyclocross Series has put a strong emphasis on encouraging kids’ participation. They frequently get junior-aged fields of 30 or more. Many of the stronger junior riders compete in the senior categories and put a hurt on them (myself included)!
Josh’s bike handling skills are second to. . . well, many, but they’re still pretty good.
Cyclocross races are generally much friendlier to kids or other inexperienced racers. There are no high-speed packs of riders to negotiate. The consequences of a fall are generally much less than in a road race or on a rock-strewn mountain bike descent. And you get to do lots of different fun, playful things on your bike–like trying to leap back onto the seat after running up a hill!
BGI has several riders who participate in cyclocross races in Indianapolis and surrounding cities. This picture is of Josh Prater, assistant service manager, en route to winning the Category 3 state championship in 2008.
You can also get cyclocross advice from some of our other riders: the South store has Shane Meadows, Daniel Bartholomew, and Bob Locke; the North store has Mark Trousdale, Josh, and yours truly.
The cross season is over for this year, but keep an eye on www.ovcx.com next year as the summer winds down–there’ll be plenty more muddy, sandy, snowy, awesome action to be had. – See more at: http://blog.bgindy.com/blog/the-road-to-bgi/kids-racing#sthash.2DYCjweg.dpuf