What Does The Team Do?
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 win 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.
Where/when are practices?
Generally speaking, the season kicks off at Cherokee Park. In that setting we can easily evaluate each child and make sure we think 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 other local parks – Waverly, Seneca, Parklands, etc. Practices are Tuesday night, Thursday night and Saturday mornings. Weekday practices are generally two hours and Saturday practices usually last for three hours.
What kind of bike do I need?
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 fits 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 Walmart bikes simply won’t take the abuse and the miles. Coaches are more than happy to advise you so please ask us. If you are a team member then you are a NICA rider and several bike manufacturers offer significant discounts to you. Middle of Town works closely with the team and they are familiar with the Giant, Yeti, and Liv 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.
What kind of equipment/clothing do I need?
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.
How much does a season cost?
Do I have to race?
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.
Who are the coaches?
Our head coach is Jennifer Hester and we have over 10 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 201 training courses as well as other training and seminars.
What is NICA?
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.