He must have done something pretty bad if you're using cyclocross for discipline. Murder? Armed robbery?
What discipline for an 8 year old ?
Great choice with XC Rampage. The course there is mostly flat with lots of rooty singletrack and one or 2 logs. The logs are buried in and smooth so easily rollable. Overall - not that technical at kids speeds. The kids races are on a shorter kids course with a set number of laps. There's usually a good turnout so should be a fun morning out.
Gorricks are bit different. There it's about 3/4 of the adult course so kids need to make decisions about A/B lines and the overall difficulty is similar to an adults xc race. For young kids it's a big loop out, so I would suggest a good level of competence and confidence for this. They are a good race, but much longer than the other 8 yrs races.
And for next year - the Southern XC's. These are great with really good and separate kids short courses. After the race there is free BC coaching on the kids course to help kids improve their technique and lines. Again - this is really good and works well.
Good luck at XC Rampage. Not sure if we're going yet as the weekend looks packed right now, but if we're there we'll be in Pedal 2 Pedal kit. Come and say hello and my kids can show your lad around for a practice lap or 2.
I'd be happy enough to send him out in a skills context for Gorrick, he's capable at all the blues of Swinley and a couple of reds, so no worries there... he'll get round... but the debate would be on psychology really, whether he'll want to be out there pounding for a decent time/distance.
XC Rampage seems to be 10-15 mins, which will suit him fine.
matts - Member
One of the hardest things with starting is finding somewhere that they can participate in the right skill/fitness bracket. It's nigh on impossible to keep them motivated to improve if they're getting lapped by the whole field on lap 3. So long as they're in the mix with some other kids, then you should find out pretty quickly if it's something they enjoy or not.
The result thing will be VERY interesting.. I can't see him winning, but i think he'll be a long way from propping up the back too... If we assume 20 riders... i'm hoping for top 10 with an optimistic for top 5.
He certainly enjoys cycling, he loves the technical stuff, Stickler at Swinley etc and loves climbing hills, he's a bit weird that i think he likes hills more than fun stuff... but he's an absolute beast on the hills anyway with it...
I think Race1 will be a learning curve for how hard/fast he can go and not blow up etc.. i think he's likely to pull the pin hard and then explode about 50% of the way through...
(Which is likely to be 30% more than i explode in if i do it too)
Great stuff. They are a perfect introduction to kids xc imo. And as it's a short course, he'll be racing other kids all the way round so easy for motivation.
Try and get there at least 1/2hr to 45mins early so sign-on and practise isn't rushed. Have fun!
I assume we can both ride the practice together or do they split it ?
Yes - you can ride the kids practise laps together. The adult laps split off, but given the later timing of your race, no need for you to practise until after the kids races.
p.s. the last thing i'd need to do is practice and tire myself out !
This sounds like quite a fun challenge! How many disciplines you try out in 6 months? Might even give it a go myself!
Well it went pretty well this week. We knew a bit more after last week about where to go and what to do, so it was a it less chaotic.
Lining up on the grid was very serious. Although my lad was in the 10 and under catagory they also race alongside the 12 and unders in same race. So they seed/group them as per the 12s first, then the smaller kids behind them. All in all there were about 60 in the class... Which made it all a bit chaotic. My lad ended up on the back row (of about 8 rows), but he cracked and worked hard and rode well. Had a minor off losing the front end on lap 3, but got up quickly and recovered well.
He seemed to enjoy the battling and overtaking, wasn't too phased by being overtaken by the 12's on their full on CX kit.... So all good. He was carrying great straight speed, but IMO he needs to work on gearing as he's finding himself trying to power out of corners in too heavy a gear and really he wants to be spinning it more out of the corners to get better speed/power transfer. But it's all good, he's hot, sweaty and smiling
As to finishing position, i have no idea at all, due to the classes it was chaotic out there so no idea who was racing who etc... Was a lot of very very serious kids too, all SPD'd up at 8-10 years old in full team kit lycra !
Looks very pleased with himself! Central League Cyclo-cross starts next week. Entry on the line is always available. Cheering is obligatory! Having a go is all that matters. That and falling in the mud of course.
Xc rampage next weekend, see if he can destroy his crash demons from last weekend and get a good finish. With luck I'll present ride course with him just in case.
Don't worry about the children in Lycra, my son wears full Lycra for racing, but that is because he is in a club (pedal2pedal) and he thinks it is brilliant he can wear club kit and race, he is only 6, but has an absolute blast! In his mind he is racing Niño Schurter each race
I might be around for the next xc rampage, like yak says, keep an eye out for children (and a slightly portly dad) in pedal2pedal kit! If the adult in the kit looks trim and fast that is yak not me
9th out of 27... which considering his class is 10 and under and he's only just turned 8, we've got to be VERY happy with.
He lost 40s on lap 1 to his closest competitors. If he'd lapped the same as them he'd have got 7th
Well the feature is trickier than I expected. Its not a massive hill but you need to be in the right gear so you can roll the crest with pedals level so you don't bash them.
My lad has been instructed to get in the woods first so he can attack it correctly
.Great start, sitting in 2nd into the woods
Leading after lap 1
Crashed again! Same place.
I feel..Children should be encouraged but you need to temper this with moderation. 32km for a 8yr old is alot. What if he burns out, sacks off bikes due to a bad experience? Keep his hobbies varied, introduce him to new interests. So he has a range. Don't sack off football but have a variety.
Sorry to say there is more to life than one hobby.
My son rides, swims, plays footballfootball in a league, is learning the ukelele and is about to start boxing.
I don't want him to have one sport. What if he's a natural at canoeing or a world class sailer? Isn't it a Dads job to add variety and try out as much as possible now?
Lol couldn't be further from the world really mate. He had done 2 years of football for a team, he plays flute in an orchestra, he swims a lot and enjoys plenty of time with mates.
The 32km was a day out along the canal in France on holiday with jellies, cakes, bread and cheese. The last thing it was for him was a chore.
He's just told me its way more fun than football.
I have to agree with Hora...
It is good that your son is doing the races, but it sounds as if it (you?) could become a little too competitive/focused if not careful.
It shouldn't really be too serious.
I remember daft parents shouting at players (and other parents and the ref) when I was playing u10s football and u12s Rugby League. My Dad only ever shouted encouragement for which I am grateful.
It is hard to balance encouragement against pushing. My 6yo daughter has now started showing an interest abd more aptitiude in games/sports and physical activities, including her bike, having until recently not been keen
-which is good. I have resisted the urge to push her towards riding and other things too much.
It is also important that children aren't always involved in "organised" activities.
Free play is very important too.
I will admit that I would like the children to do wrestling or judo (they both like a bit of grappling), but not for the medals and wouldn't force then into it.
My children will hopefully see that the healthy, active lifestyle of their parents is preferable to the sedentary, unhealthy life that many others appear to have....
I have known quite a few people who were pushed into sports at a young age because their parents wanted it and then abandoned them all. Others took the sport very seriously and did nothing else.
Yes, it could be the way to produce a future world champion, like Lewis Hamilton, but would you want your child to resent you or to turn out like Victoria Pendleton, other than the Gold medals?
He's done 3 years of judo too.
I honestly can't put into words just how wrong I'm now being perceived as being. Its so so not what me or him are about.
Even his t shirt shows our attitude
OK, and it is a wider issue than you personally, but you did write:
My lad has been instructed to get in the woods first so he can attack it correctly
About an 8 year old.
That advice was so he could have a clear run into the technical feature and not make it harder by having someone next to him as many would get off and walk it
Do they ru a coaching session or two alongside the racing? Mud Sweat & Gears do for the youngsters, big up to Steve for running the sessions. If you can find racing locally that does this he'll get loads more from it.
Nope, certainly something that we'd be interested in for sure. Also debating taking him next time I go to Jedi.
Sitting thinking about it here based on the comments and I'm not sure why its wrong for me to want him to win or for me to give him the best chance of that with a bit of advice. Without getting too serious here, it was clear from his dnf race that he's one of the fastest in the race for outright pace, so makes sense to guide him to use that to his advantage?
It's a proper friendly series and I was chatting to a few stwers but also the parents of the lad who won the race, he's a road racer and this was his first xc race, he was also just out having fun.
My lad rides bikes pretty much every day, racing his mates round the green and close, today's race was very much in the same vein of fun and having a laugh.
Nothing wrong with your approach weeksy. Your lad is quick, and your advice about the technical feature is sound. I was even coaching some of our lot on it prior to the race. This is a local xc race with a really good kids turn out, and pretty much all of them had a cracking time.
Thanks mate. Nice chatting this morning. Maybe in a few weeks I'll stay for the adult race and prop up the rear of the field.
An 8yr old doing 32km?
Why? It was a proper lovely day out. Climb at the end was tough for him but he loved it.
hora - Member
An 8yr old doing 32km?
A bit harsh there, Hora.
I'm sure the lad was fine once he understood the benefit of training in different zones, all-out power intervals and periodisation
For coaching alongside the racing, try the southern xc series. Finished for this year now, but they have really good kids races followed by BC coaching on the kids course straight after the kids podiums. Works well imo.
Cheers yak. We'll see if his interest levels remain until next year.
Skills are much harder to learn when you're older. So I'd say BMX would be useful to get the basics down with some xc or trails thrown in.
Well done Weeksy jnr, always nice to achieve something at any stage of life. Bit surprised at the negativity on this topic.
Another vote for (race) BMX. Amazing for skills, race discipline and fun. Far more friendly crowd at my lad's club than some of the more traditional road/cross centric clubs we tried. My 11yo started at 9 (which is comparatively late; they start from 4/5). He can manual, jump and whip his way round the track and have a huge amount of fun. The local club also have them at the velodrome and even have watt bike sessions for the older kids. He even gets on a road bike occasionally..
I'm not sure I get the criticism of an 8yo riding 32km. It's about 20 miles, so not really that far and by the sound of it was more of a day out with the bike as transport than anything else.
When Jnr was about the same age we did a 60km charity ride. We took it easy, rode for an hour - stopped for cake, rode for another hour and stopped for chips, rode for another hour and stopped for an ice cream. He got loads of shouts and encouragement from others riding, there were others of a similar age riding. When we finished he got the football out the back of the car and wanted to play football for most of the afternoon. 7 years on and he still talks about it as one of his favourite days out on the bike.
Some kids are quite delicate and would struggle with it. Others are a bit more robust and happy to do whatever is thrown at them. So I don't think it's right to judge what weeksy's lad has done.
In the same week he climbed Mont Rome in burgundy, which may not be a mountain but is a massive hill.
After his 32km ride we played football 3 times that day and also cycled to buy bread.
He's not scared of a bit of work.
Fwiw, I've never once made him race or ride, he asked if he could do it after watching the Olympic xc race.
Swinley forest he asks me to go often and wants to come out on an adults ride so he can race us up the hills. I'm fairly sure he'd beat several of us too!
After today's race he rode 2 more laps, to go with the 3 he did pre race, then home, lunch and 2 hours of football, some cycling and Xbox.
We then watched return of the Jedi before he went to sleep with his new fluffy dog teddy he got for doing brilliantly today.
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