What discipline for an 8 year old ?

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  • What discipline for an 8 year old ?
  • Premier Icon tomhoward
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    Thought this was going to be about the removal of pudding priveledges.

    As you were

    Premier Icon cloudnine
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    Whatever he enjoys the most..

    Premier Icon TomB
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    Lots of cyclo-cross have categories for young ones and are a good crack. My lad, same age, been trying grass track racing locally, seems they have a good laugh. Race or play?

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
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    Motocross and BMX?

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    cloudnine – Member

    Whatever he enjoys the most..

    At this stage we’ve not tried anything else, so it’s impossible to say what he’d enjoy more or less really. I don’t think he’d suit massive distance racing at this stage, but he loves winning and something like a short circuit race with some sprinting would potentially really suit him. He’s got legs the size of tree trunks and seems at this stage more suited to sprinting than being a lightweight mountain goat.

    Premier Icon lunge
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    CX. It can lead to both MTB or road, is very friendly and there are normally lots of local events. But, make sure neither he nor you take it too seriously, he’s a kid, let him ride for laughs.

    Edit, or BMX, that’s a great way for kids to learn the joy of bikes.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Despite me being a KTM fanboi, Mrs Weeksy (and indeed myself) don’t really want to push him into MXing, partly down to the expense of a decent MX bike, but also the crashing and shattering bones aspect. Also, i don’t do MX/dirt with engines, so it wouldn’t potentially be quite as bonding. We live just over the hill from Blewbury where there’s an MX track and you see lots of very angry parents shouting and abusing their kids, not the sort of thing i want to see/do with my lad.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
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    All of it, don’t rule anything out. The best riders can do it all well and do it all to get better. Start with whats local and see how he go’s.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    My lad is an avid cyclist. He’s currently riding an Islabike Benin 24, he’s just turned 8 but is tall for his age.

    Last week he rode a 32km ride with a couple of stops, he also did 2 very hard climbs on the day before and after this ride. He’s done Swinley Blue without too much trouble and seems happier going uphill than downhill arguably.

    He’s now showing more interest in cycling and was discussing quitting football (he’s a great goalkeeper) and doing cycling at the weekends instead.

    But i don’t know much about what we should/could do. I noticed theirs a class for Gorrick racing, which would work pretty well as i could do the fun class which is straight after his race, even though the class is 8-11 years so he’d be up against much older lads, i think he’d potentially enjoy it lots.
    Or do we go track riding instead ? Hell, i don’t really know.

    My preference is for him to go XC, mostly because i’ve seen the enjoyment he gets from it and it suits me as i can integrate his training/rides into my rides, so we get plenty of time riding together etc.

    hammerite
    Member

    CX is good during CX season. Jnr loved it, all the kids who raced got to know each other really well and all became mates (usually because they had to do something for the hour their parents were racing – so they basically played!). He’s now 15 and although decided he didn’t want to race anymore still chats to all his CX mates from different clubs on Facebook etc…

    But as Mike said have a go at everything. Check out the BC website for Go Ride racing, there should be loads on at the moment as BC have a big Olympics push. I used to organise 6 Go Ride races a year, usually CX and grass track. Even have a go at road racing, there’s usually a closed circuit somewhere close by to most people.

    Have a look at joining a club too. Go ride sessions are a lot of fun for nearly all younger kids who just like riding their bikes. At our club we never pressured anyone in to taking anything seriously.

    I have seen a guy on the newbury cc facebook page offering kids coaching for both road and cx I think. Worth a look.

    ferrals
    Member

    The kids cx scene round here seems massive, bigger than xc. possibly a friendlier / safer introduction to bike racing than xc? but the two arent mutually exclusive, xc in summer, cx in winter, think its the same kids doing both (definately the same adults).

    Advnatage (round here at least) is lots of clubs running cx training sessions so plenty of fun outside of jsut racing.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
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    Early days, let him do loads of different things. Keep the football up and ride a bit too. When my daughter was swimming competitively from 10-14yrs it took over everything (inc social life) so be careful.

    8 is pretty young for organised sports aside from football and rugby I think. I am not aware of any mtb cycle clubs for that young. Do CX clubs take 8 yo’s ? I would suggest taking him to track and doing mtb together. Get him a bmx ?

    Premier Icon iainc
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    I help out at Glasgow Riderz and my 13 yr old rides with them. At that age I’d say as many options as possible, including the football, as it’s complimentary exercise. Getting him into cx and xc would be great, also mini downhill. Road tends to be better when a little older and some more developed road sense. That said, I rode Strathaven 50 yesterday with a few mates, at a slowest rider easy pace, and there was a girl from EKRC in front of us, with her dad, the whole ride, and she was under 11 I guess.

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
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    There’s kids grass track racing in the park near us in early summer.

    Think it’s run by the local club (Twickenham) & the council.

    Worth investigating your local options.

    yossarian
    Member

    Have you thought about BMX racing? Great for bike handling skills, hugely good fun and good for developing fitness. Not massively expensive and I’ve found junior racing to be incredibly positive and inclusive.

    My 8 year old loves BMX and MTB and uses the skills in the former when he’s riding the latter.

    Premier Icon blakec
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    Have a look at BC go ride events see whats local.

    My eldest is 7 and he has done a few mtb, track and road (gokart track) and enjoyed himself on all of them though he did complain bit on the track as he was on a mtb racing against racing bikes. He has also done a few of the wiggle/uk cycling mob sportive on the downs and had fun. I would say at his age just keep having fun maybe look a joining a local youth cycling club

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Pfft. Tried to contact our local kids cycling club, got zero response so far. Great.

    Carax
    Member

    Cyclo Cross is a great choice for winter. It will keep both of you motivated to get out even in bad weather and with age groupings he will get great racing. I also think there is a greater ‘camaraderie’ than club road rides and road racing which makes it more fun.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Bin Dun, but

    NO PUDDING……!! ๐Ÿ˜†

    poly
    Member

    not sure why you feel the need to pick a discipline – at that age most of the kids are riding in a mixture of events. Some really keen parents will buy specialist bikes for the disciplines but just stick sensible tyres for the event on the islabike and he’ll be fine.

    hammerite
    Member

    Our club took riders from the age of 6. They saw it as fun and games on a bike, which it is really. We would spend periods focussing on CX, grass track (the kids called it their velodrome), and road (car park or school playground). Essentially the sessions covered the same common skills, but the kids loved to focus on different things. Every few weeks we’d have a family ride or a MTB ride in the local woods. Most kids rode the same bike for all the disciplines a few had a MTB and a CX bike (which they would use for road).

    Molgrips – usually these things go through to one person who is a volunteer and/or might not be great with technology/check their junk/spam folder! If they’re on holiday or away things can sometimes get held up. Try again and maybe copy in a different club email address just in case or give them a call if there is a number.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Apparently the local club have a waiting list…

    So i rekon we’ll have a crack at XC rampage and see how he gets on there ๐Ÿ™‚

    http://www.xcrampage.com/

    No Facebook for a week! ๐Ÿ˜†

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
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    CX seems to be the natural starting point for kids round here* at local clubs. Builds skills and fitness for whatever direction he goes in from there.

    Unless you live in Peebles, their kiddies MTB clubs are HUGE!

    hammerite
    Member

    Weekly – Waiting list? Where are you based?

    hammerite
    Member

    Weeksy even, autocorrect!

    MTB Rob
    Member

    I say really depends on where you are and what is happening local, If you going to be travelling over a 2 hours + to do track it might get to much of a hassle!
    As he ride off road already,
    As above CX, as local races allow MTB bikes and I don’t think they restrict gears.
    Or if there is a closed road circuit near by try that but just be aware that there is gear restrictions for the riders under 18 (in there age cats) but the one off/give it a go, races you can lock out some gears with the limit screws.

    As for him riding against older riders, i would not worry I sure he hold his own if he doing 32km rides!!!

    TiRed
    Member

    Palmer Park Velo in Reading, but there is a waiting list. It will be a longer waiting list post Olympics. Track bikes provided.

    Hillingdon Slipstreamers is further afield but similar waiting list.

    EDIT: PPV got me started on mtb – they have regular sessions at Swinley, some CX and road bikes. Not just track. Sign up ASAP, expect to have a place come cold autumn/winter weekends.

    hammerite
    Member

    TiRed/Weeksy – my experience is that those clubs who base themselves at places with excellent facilities like PPV and Hillingdon will have waiting lists. But there are loads of other clubs not so lucky to have the facilities who will also provide some really good coaching/sessions.

    That BC area is central, Josie or Mac could help with clubs https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/go-ride/article/goridest-Regional-Development-Staff

    TiRed
    Member

    It’s a fair point. PPV and HSS are successful partly because of their access to dedicated facilities. Children aren’t allowed on the road. Full stop. So finding good circuits is key. There is a shortage in the South East and BC are looking for another site. Whichever club coaches on it, when it finally comes, is likely to be just as successful.

    We (Twickenham) run some grasstrack sessions as Go-Ride racing in the summer, as already mentioned. We also do coaching sessions on a Tuesday evening for younger riders, who then progress to a Richmond Park youth ride. Mac runs cyclocross training in Richmond Park in the autumn. There are courses run every holiday in Black Bush Park in Slough by WDMBC as well.

    I’ve run after school sessions on tennis courts, I’m sure other schools do the same. BC may have more information in your area weeksy.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Sunday is his first XC race. XC Rampage over in Checkendon…. He’s now stepped up to an Islabikes Beinn 24, so he’s got a bit more rolling than he previously had.. He’s happy and looking forward to it lots.

    Neither of us have any idea what to expect really. He’s a little scared it may be overly techincal, but i’ve assured him it won’t be.

    I’m interested to see if it’s lycra clad whippets on carbon bikes… or a bunch of kids playing in a field….

    Premier Icon jambalaya
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    Cool ๐Ÿ™‚

    Mke sure its about the fun, I can’t tell you how serious some parents are at kids sports events. Over the years I’ve wished I had a great big W.nker / B.itch stamp I could have used on people’s foreheads which fortunately I did not or I would have been part of the problem.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    That goes without saying, it’s the one thing i try to instill in him, if we do any semi-serious activity, “If you’re not having fun, we won’t do it any more”.

    I’m all for a bit of competition and want him to do well.. but there’s limits to it.

    I did have him practiscing his race starts last night though. Gear 3 to start on grass, straight into gear 6 is apparently the optimum for him. That’s the limit of our race prep though. “pin it”….

    He’ll be the one in a pair of jeans shorts and a motorbike t-shirt… not the lycra ๐Ÿ˜‰

    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.

    He must have done something pretty bad if you’re using cyclocross for discipline. Murder? Armed robbery?

    Premier Icon Yak
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    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.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Thanks Yak.

    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.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    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)

    Premier Icon Yak
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    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!

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