We at the CCA recognize the importance of Junior Development, as the key to future growth in this sport that we love so well. To that purpose we are presenting programs, information and initiatives to aid in the recruitment and retention of Junior riders, and riders in general. This is the place to direct your questions and comments so that we can inform every one of the opportunities available to learn and perfect racing skills.
Starting with the basics;
- We suggest joining a club. There are many different style clubs, some that are only race teams, others are strictly recreational riding while many are a combination of both. Almost all are open to new members, so shop around and find one that suits your needs.
- The best way to see the available clubs is to go on to the USA Cycling website. Here is a link to the page you want; http://www.usacycling.org/clubs/ which is the National Club page. Get familiar with the USA Cycling web site, especially the Junior info and get to know the CCA site as well. It is a terrific resource and has the most accurate race calendar for the Carolinas.
- Seek out appropriate rides to match your fitness and skill level. For the youngest of enthusiasts (ages 12 and under) these may be Greenway rides or Off-road (Mtb) rides where traffic is not an issue; or other family style recreational rides designed for touring rather than racing. These can be found through local bike shops, YMCA’s or Community Centers. Other, faster rides are available in the same places for the more experienced riders, all the way up to full blown practice races, where you will find the cat 1/2/3’s.
- Remember that it takes 3 to 5 years to become a good bike racer. Going pro in your 2nd year is not going to happen. But it could in 5 or 6 years if everything falls into place and the hard work required is matched by an attention to all the other needs of an athlete’s lifestyle. These include rest and recovery, proper nutrition, and maintaining other off-bike interests to keep you a healthy and happy human being.