Getting my 10 year old son started racing

by tonyh   June 11, 2013  

My son is 10 and has a MTB and is pretty handy with it, v quick downhill, pretty good uphill considering his age.

He wants a crack at racing but I can't seem to find any info anywhere about junior racing , be it mtb , road racing or track.

He'll be big enough for a road bike soon but I don't really want him out on the roads on his own yet.

So, how do you start them off racing?

Is 10 , too young for him to start, I don't see why not if it's on a track or cross country mtb racing?

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I've just sent someone a message, see if I can get her to come and reply, her son does some racing Wink

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8895 posts]
11th June 2013 - 14:09

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Cheers GKam

Hi Tony
There are lots of clubs out there for young riders, you can find one on the British Cycling website under the Go Ride banner
http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/go-ride
http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/clubfinder

Hope you find one local to you
Dizzy xx

I'm only here for the cake

Dizzy's picture

posted by Dizzy [65 posts]
11th June 2013 - 14:47

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Cheers GKam

Hi Tony
There are lots of clubs out there for young riders, you can find one on the British Cycling website under the Go Ride button along the top of the page

(I tried to include a link, but it needs to be reviewed to prevent spam links being included)
The post may appear soon though x

Hope you find one local to you
Dizzy xx

I'm only here for the cake

Dizzy's picture

posted by Dizzy [65 posts]
11th June 2013 - 14:49

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They are doing U12, U10 & U8 road racing at the new Odd Down circuit in Bath every Tuesday night if thats anywhere near you?

posted by rockfield [68 posts]
11th June 2013 - 15:11

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OK, will try local clubs. We are based in East Molesey in Surrey.

there are plenty of cycle clubs close to us but I can't seem to find any local racing for under 12s.

Anyone know at what age do they start kids racing on public roads?

posted by tonyh [7 posts]
11th June 2013 - 16:24

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sounds perfect but too far away from us , we are in North east surrey , close to Kingston

posted by tonyh [7 posts]
11th June 2013 - 16:25

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Hi there,

Try Hillingdon Slipstreamers, they were really helpful when I was getting into it.

Not too far from Kingston.

http://www.slipstreamers.co.uk/hillingdonslipstreamers/

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1730 posts]
11th June 2013 - 16:58

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thanks, Sir Velo, really helpful suggestion. i'll follow it up.

posted by tonyh [7 posts]
11th June 2013 - 17:20

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Hi Tony h

I am going to talk from what other people have told me and my parents. I am 17 years old now I was 12 when I was thinking of racing. This is what there said.

At the age of 12 you’re your son is still at school and learning for his further career and GCSE. The local clubs will only accepted 14 years old and over. This is due because of h and s, purpose of insurance, cbr cheeking etc... all at club cost and expenses . As your child devolves in sport there will be a need when he grows to change bikes, in the higher level racing bikes can cost thousands of pounds, which the club cannot sub. Could you afford the cost of a road bike and traveling to and from races? Other clubs do have younger divisions at conideable cost.

You say he is fast for cycling (in your case downhill and MTB) but could he manage a club ride for a long period of time at a long length without getting dropped or could you look after him on the rides at pace. If you could not look after him on the rides we ( The club) will not be able to help Him to get back to the main group.

If he does still would like to race, consider a coach with plenty of experience in the field of teaching young children to race and ride. If he would like a crack at racing than I would subjec wait until he has more sense Try a couple of sportive .

The British cycling offer the option for thoughts under the age 14s to race but this is ill-advised due to the child’s development and the intense of racing at a young age . Their safety sense is still devolving and could cause a danger to your group.

So ask you son and yourself ;

why does he want to race ?

can you afford a coach?

When he grow up could you afford a new bike?

Kit cost and lincen ?

Travel cost?

Maybe start off small and dont race but devolpe him, mentally and physically both raceing

posted by Ashleyhoaken [37 posts]
11th June 2013 - 17:26

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Racing is expensive, painful and ultimately dispiriting for most youngsters once they realise there can only be one winner, and the chances are it won't be them.

Cycling is a sport for life and not just a kid's game. It is a stamina activity and you don't get that until you are in your 20's.

Get him to simply enjoy riding his bike for pleasure, and yes, have a burn up with his mates, but no more until he is older.
The drop out rate in youngsters in cycling (and I dare-say in most other sports) is extremely high.

Sorry if this is not what you want to hear, but I have seen so many youngsters just fade away and lost to the sport because they just race. Get to love the bike first.

Binky

posted by davebinks [126 posts]
11th June 2013 - 19:00

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Sage advice, you may well be right.

posted by tonyh [7 posts]
11th June 2013 - 19:03

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good advice, from someone closer to his age then me.

he's certainly not ready for any sort of road racing yet .

is there a junior mtb racing scene?

posted by tonyh [7 posts]
11th June 2013 - 19:06

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There is sort of a youth MTB racing scene of a Competitive native. some are ranking and some are Non-Ranking.
Check out the
https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events
for more details on events

The British cycling offer the option for thoughts under the age 14s to race but this is ill-advised (Pleae take note from davebinks )why.

posted by Ashleyhoaken [37 posts]
11th June 2013 - 21:10

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While I agree with DaveBinks that racing can kill a child's enthusiasm, I think it's the pressure that burns them out. But they can enjoy racing if it's not taken too seriously.

For a positive environment to develop and enjoy riding/racing find a Go-Ride club that is switched on to catering for kids. If there's a good gang there he may find the enthusiasm infectious. It's certainly the case among our youth riders.

If he's keen to try racing then consider cyclo-cross, it's huge now. Local leagues will start in September. Relatively cheap, easy and family-friendly and he can race 'cross on a MTB.

And if you enjoy the club scene then please, please help out. Every club I know is struggling to get enough helpers, whether it's standing around wearing hi-viz (instead of merely standing around), explaining the course/rules, signing on riders, checking gears...

You can start time trialling at 12 but many parents are not keen. Closed circuit racing (a subset of the Road category at British Cycling) is popular but I'd say the difference in ability is more obvious than 'cross and MTB.

Hope it works out well for him.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1979 posts]
11th June 2013 - 22:37

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tonyh wrote:
Anyone know at what age do they start kids racing on public roads?

British Cycling don't let you race on open roads until you're an under 18 (16/17-18 years old), and I'm not sure about MTB, but at the Mountbatten circuit in Portsmouth, we regularly get under 8s racing!

If you look on the calendar section of British Cycling's website you can filter events by age category, location, type etc. If you find events close to you then all you need to do is get a BC membership and race licence (membership is half price, I think, and the licence is free for youths).

posted by Charlie96 [6 posts]
12th June 2013 - 20:52

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