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Kids starting to race (Manchester)

NFMCNFMC Posts: 232
edited February 2012 in Amateur race
My son (aged 8) loves riding his bike and wants to start doing some races. Not too sure if this is too young?

I think he wantst to do road cycling (mainly because that's what I follow on TV) but I also guess he may want to try the Velodrome. Manchester Velodrome lets kids aged 9 and up start riding so I may get him a taster session for his birthday.

Does anyone have any hints or tips? Or know of anywhere in the Manchester region? Cross-posted in the family section.

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  • NFMCNFMC Posts: 232
    Don't know why that daft face thing went up - I wrote that he's aged 8...but putting 8 and a ) brings up a 8)
  • lfcquinlfcquin Posts: 470
    I think if I were you I'd take a look at the local cycling clubs in my area.

    In particular look for Go Ride clubs that cater for kids. Often these clubs will arrange specific activities around the kids that will allow them to develop a taste for racing. Clubs that are affiliated/have a close relationship with closed cycling circuits would be a great start, such as Manchester Velodrome or Newcastle Under Lyme track if you want track racing, or maybe Ashton Under Lyme circuit, Preston Arena or Lancaster Salt Ayre if you wanted circuit races. You won't see races on the open road for 8 year olds.

    Other things to consider are grass racing, I don't have a lot of experience of this, but I gather grass races have a youth friendly focus with races specifically aimed at young kids. The other option is cyclocross races. They have an excellent reputation for being open to all ages and it really doesn't matter what sort of bike you have. The problem is it is the wrong time of year to consider this as the cross season in the North West runs from September to January.

    The British Cycling website should give you plenty of information on Go Ride clubs in your area and most have their own specific website for you to research the sort of events that they do.

    Hope that helps.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    Yes have a look at all the GoRide clubs and then try their activities out. I would disagree slightly about it not mattering what kind of bike you have for cross - it's true you can ride anything but in the under 12s (and your son would be in that category in our league) 95% of the kids do have cross bikes - you could have a go on a MTB but it depends on your son if he's happy getting beaten by kids because they have better equipment. That said I don't know if all cross leagues are the same in that respect.

    Hope you find something anyway - my youngest two have got into it - son has never shown any interest in sport previous but seems to enjoy the cycling.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • 8 certainly isn't too young. I've just got my 4 year old (soon to be 5) a BC race licence. He keeps asking me when he'll be able to do his first bike race! He is super keen.

    Unfortunately Hillingdon Slipstreamers don't take kids until they're 5 - so after his birthday in late March, he'll be able to do some U6 races with the club and then some U8 BC races when he's gained enough experience to be let loose on the circuit with the older kids. They even have an U6 club championship at the Slipstreamers which my daughter was lucky enough to win in 2010.

    Start 'em early I say!
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