Our goal is to have fun riding bikes while building skills, fitness, and confidence. We strive to help each athlete achieve their personal goals. Some kids want to be state champions. We know how to help them and we have had several kids with individual state titles. Some kids just want to ride with the team and have fun. That's perfectly fine. We will help them get as proficient as they want. It's up to the individual as to how competitive they want to be. Either way, they are team members.
Generally speaking, the season kicks off at Mike Miller Park. In that setting we can easily evaluate each child and make sure they have the necessary skills for trail riding. If they don't then it's an easy place to help them develop the necessary skills. As the team progresses we move to the Bo Beckett Memorial Trail (BBMT) at Kentucky Dam State Park. After we feel everyone is up to speed we will tackle the Canal Loop in LBL and maybe throw in some of the Livingston County Trail System i(LCTS) n Grand Rivers. Practices are Tuesday night, Thursday night and Saturday mornings. Weekday practices are generally two hours and Saturday practices usually last for three hours.
Race weekends are a Saturday/Sunday event. We travel to the venue on Saturday for a pre-ride. A pre-ride is where we take the team slowly around the race course and talk race strategy, scout obstacles, get familiar with the course as a whole. After the pre-ride we go back to the hotel, clean up, then meet for a team meal and race meeting. Sunday is race day and races start early. Everyone cheers everyone on no matter what team they are on. Starting line up, feed zones, rules and such are better discussed in person. It's really very simple but it's too much to put here! Please ask a coach or an existing team member. Races are almost always over and awards ceremony finished by 3:00. Everyone, riders, coaches, and parents help take the course down before we leave.
That is a great question! What you need depends greatly on how experienced you are and how competitive you want to be. The two most important things are that the bike be in proper working order and it fit you. Any bike will do if you are just checking it out and seeing if you want to be a team member. If you decide to become a regular team member and attend the practices you will quickly see that Wall Mart bikes simply won't take the abuse and the miles. Coaches are more than happy to advise you so please ask us. The team also has a limited number of loaner bikes. If you are a team member then you are a NICA rider and several bike manufacturers offer significant discounts to you. Wood N Wave in Grand Rivers works closely with the team and they are familiar with the Trek, Niner, and Pivot discounts for student riders. Expect to pay about $1,500 after discount for an entry level race bike. Used bikes can usually be found for half or less of that.
You must have a properly fitting helmet. No exceptions. Beginner riders usually start on "flats" which are regular pedals. As kids become more advanced they will usually move to "clipless" pedals which are a special kind of pedal that work with a special shoe to allow the rider to not only push down on the pedals but also pull up. We race in a team "kit" which is our race uniform. These kits are special order and the head coach can set you up. Most kids will also ride with gloves and some ride with eye protection. Riders are required to have a spare tube, tire tools, and a bike pump or CO2 cartridge on their person or bike at all practices.
The booster club raises money throughout the year to pay for race entry fees. Each rider who races will be traveling to the race, usually spend one night in a hotel, and buy food. Bike repairs and maintenance vary greatly depending on quality of the bike and how hard the rider is on their equipment. My son who graduated in 2020 could easily destroy $1,000 worth of bike parts in a season. My 15 year old daughter has raced four seasons and her bike has needed nothing but routine maintenance. I hope that gives you and idea, Again, ask a coach.
Let us know you want to be on the team and we will email you the link to get signed up. Jayson Roberts 270-703-4281
No. You do not have to race. If you choose not to race you will still be considered a full team member and you will be treated as such. You will ride and practice with the team just like someone who will be racing. We will still push you to be the best you can be and achieve a race ready level of skills and fitness.
Our head coach is Jayson Roberts & Brent Powell and we have over 20 other volunteer coaches. Coaches must have background checks and several hours of training to be a level 1 coach. Level 3 coaches have all of the level 1 training plus wilderness first aid, CPR, at least 80 hours of coaching experience, concussion training, completed mountain biking 101 and 102 training courses as well as other training and seminars.
NICA is the national sanctioning body. (National Interscholastic Cycling Association) Kind of like KHSAA meets NCAA. They create the race rules, provide our training and certification programs as well as provide insurance for practices and races.