Basically, it's awesome!
If you're planning to be in Bend this weekend for the Halloween edition, you are in for a treat! Actually a lot of treat most likely. But, we have some fun tricks up our sleeves too!
Here's a quick recap of the season to date:
A steep climb, twisty descent, double barriers and gazebo defined the inaugural 2014 Kids' Cross course at Alpenrose this past weekend. According to one parent, "That was the BEST kiddie cross course my boys have ridden!"His kids numbered among the 240 that entered to race on Saturday and Sunday, many for the first time. To celebrate the kick off weekend, tasty treats were passed out at the finish line. Saturday's racers guzzled Alpenrose Dairy chocolate milk and Sunday's riders scooped up Salt & Straw ice cream.
To help our young racers feel more comfortable on their bikes and to fine tune their skills, we introduced a new skills clinics series in which the basics are covered: dismounts, barriers, cornering, etc. Saturday's clinic, lead by Speedvagen Family Racing, saw 30 kids while Sunday's clinic, lead by Trusty Switchblade, helped 60. Thank you!
PIR - Heron Lakes
With summer-like temperatures at Portland International Raceway this past Sunday, things heated up (quite literally) for Kids' Cross. The morning dew evaporated quickly, making for a fast course with lots of grip. Although the course was flatter than at Alpenrose, it still offered challenges with three barriers to negotiate.Over 150 kids rode the course, 90 for the first time this season. Many families set up camp in and around the race course, cheering the kids on and making for a fun, festive atmosphere.
Lazy Tarantula's led Sunday's skills clinics, covering dismounts, barriers, cornering, and remounting. Thank you!
One word sums up this past weekend's Kids' Cross at Washington County Fair Complex: mud. Whilst the course was wet, it was still rideable, offering a long, fast loop with sections of pavement and puddles. Despite heavy, intermittent downpours throughout the morning, come race time, it was mostly dry. And by day's end a thin, brown line had appeared in the grass, clearly marking the hundreds of laps accumulated by the young riders. Nevertheless, the rain appears to have kept many families away.
Undeterred by the rain and mud, a pair of brothers and a pair of sisters attended the skills clinic, all new to Kids' Cross and all excited to learn. With four race days left in the season, there are still opportunities to lead a future clinic. If you or your team is interested, or if you want to assist kids at the barriers during the race, and/or handing out treats at the finish line, email Tom Rousculp at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the Speedvagen tent between 8-11 a.m. on race day.
In addition to helping out with the Kids Cross races at the Crusade the team also spends a couple days each week working with the Bend Endurance Academy high school cross team. Check out this video of them working on mass starts last week! Those HS kids are FAST and got the hole shot!
They have also been working on bunny hops, off camber sections, run ups and overall form and technique. These basic skills balance their conditioning and are building some really great racers, all while having a lot of fun. Like Tina says, "These kids work hard but there's tons of goofing and laughing too. Gotta keep it fun, right?!" Definitely!