Cross country biking kids league founded

A biker on the Bike Ranch course in Kamloops. Photo Supplied.

The Kamloops Bike Riders Association (KBRA) will host a series of races for kids aged seven to 13 starting May 29. Their goal is to introduce kids to the sport of cross country mountain bike racing.

Olympic cross-country mountain biker Catharine Pendrel is involved in the league and will be volunteer coaching at the kids’ races.

Chris Martin from the KBRA said Kamloops not only has a plethora of trails, but also of professional bikers who are easily accessible and great to work with, including Pendrel.
“And with that opportunity, we thought why not give the kids that have been introduced to the recreation side of the sport the opportunity to do some competition as well and at least learn more about the competitive side of the sport.”

The league has four races scheduled for May 29 and June 5, 12 and 19.

“Our goal is not to just throw kids out onto a race course and have them come back unhappy with that scenario,” said Martin. “We plan to offer a little bit of development and coaching ahead of time, and we always ensure that the kids are able to pre-ride the course so that they know what they’re up against.”

He said they will also be offering events for kids that are too young to race to give them the chance to be part of the community.

The program is volunteer-run and completely free, and has had a lot of interest already. Kids will register on the day of the race and be covered under the insurance of the KBRA.

The first event is at the Lac Du Bois Grasslands which is referred to by cyclists as “Batch.”
Martin said biking is “a lifelong opportunity to stay healthy and to get outside,” and pointed out many kids may be missing out on the opportunity.

He added it’s great for kids who might not fit into traditional team sports because it gives them the opportunity to be competitive and part of a community of cyclists.

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