It’s here, it’s race season!
Here are some things to remember as we enter the most exciting time of our year.
Ask students about their racing goals
Every student rider wants something different out of their race season. For some, it’s the first time they’ve raced mountain bikes, and their goal might be just to finish and feel successful. For others, picking up the pace and pushing themselves harder is what they are going for. Sometimes racers who have been very successful are more interested in reconnecting with the fun of mountain biking and taking the pressure off of themselves. Your job as coach is to ask your students what they want out of racing this season, and help them work toward achieving that goal.
Race day schedule change
This year we’ve made an adjustment to the race day schedule so that the middle school boys have their own race time at the end of the day, 1:30 p.m. This will help smooth out race staging and starting, and and hopefully keep things more fun for everyone. Check out the full race day schedule on the races page.
Being prepared = having more fun
Race days can be long and tiring, but making sure student riders have everything they need will help ease the stress and increase the fun factor. Pre-riding the course can also be a great way to ease any race-day jitters, burning off nervous energy while gaining valuable course intel. Be sure and check out the Race Day Guide for other important information.
Student athlete pre-race checklist
Make checking this list the night before the event and again before departing from home part of every student rider’s pre-race ritual. This doc can also be found here:
FOR BEFORE THE RACE
League number plate
Forms signed by parents (if needed)
Driving directions to the race (don’t assume someone else has them)
Short sleeve jersey
Long sleeve jersey
Short finger gloves
Long finger gloves
Full water bottles/CamelBak (fill it up at home).
Multi-tool (has the basic allen keys, a screw-driver, and a spoke wrench)
Chain breaker (don’t let a broken chain stop you from finishing the race)
Spare tube and pump (race ready to fix your own flat)
Towel (good for getting dressed/undressed discretely and cleaning-up afterwards)
Plastic bag to put dirty/wet clothes into for drive home
Sunglasses (with multiple lenses for different conditions)
Energy bars (extra in case the race is late, longer, or further from food than expected)
FOR BEFORE THE RACE
A jug of water is also great for washing after the race!
Extra clothes for hanging out in after the race
Lunch, more food – racing makes you hungry
Lawn chair for awards ceremony and hanging out
Coach Kristi Berg has been racing bicycles in various disciplines since 1994: Road (Cat 2), Cyclocross (Elite), BMX (expert in 20″) and MTB (professional downhill, crosscountry, and dual slalom). She enjoys coaching and sharing all she has learned through riding and racing, and is committed to giving back to her cycling community. Kristi is a Level 2 USAC Cycling Coach and owner of Berg’s Coaching Services. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.