Thanks to a nudge from Coach Andres, Henry and I have been working with Tidewater Team Sports to design hats for the team to meet our July 1st goal of having them on our heads.… More
“We don’t mountain bike. We ARE mountain bikers!” Unique to this sport is the fact that members of the mountain biking community frequently congregate in “neighborhood clubhouses” also known as local bike shops. Not only do these clubhouses stock the goods but, more importantly, the service and support that is passion driven!
Walt, owner of Village Bicycles in Newport News, once shared, “The way to make a million dollars in this business is to start with two.” [Insert laugh track.] He quickly added, “This business is ALL about community!” After the ColRev end of season celebration, Walt was personally thanked for operating a local bike shop because without a “clubhouse” like his, there couldn’t be a Colonial Revolution community.
The Colonial Revolution family is incredibly grateful for the continued support of time, talent and expertise offered in the “clubhouses” in our area. With almost 40 student-athletes plus their parents and siblings, we need all of you to ensure we don’t miss a ride!
Sneak a peak into the workshops of our 7 clubhouses:
Not only did the team and families gather to celebrate the end of the 2019 fall NICA season, but also to acknowledge our sponsors who keep this team climbing! Great energy and good times.
A photo summary follows courtesy of Shelly Liebler’s ALWAYS stellar photos.
First the team gathered for a long overdue team photo; 6 smiles are not pictured.
Next, layers on and time to ride with several sponsors.
After the bikes were safely stored, it was time to eat. Have bikes will travel. Have crock pots, will party! Thank you Coach Angela and Coach Nancy for pulling together this feast.
With close to 90 people outside, it was time to say THANK YOU. Parker, 10th grader, spoke on behalf of the team to thank the sponsors for keeping the team safe and growing. Mandy, sponsor coordinator, gifted each sponsor with a ColRev t-shirt. Coach Mike thanked the coaches for their commitment. ColRev boasts a 2:1 rider to coach ratio. J.P. from Trek-Williamsburg donated gift cards to each coach. Coach Mike then proceeded to introduce the student-athletes from each category and present them with a wooden plaque. (Coach Beav fabricated the branding tool.) Photos here.
In order to appropriately thank Coach Mike, it took four people! Dan McClain poetically spoke on behalf of the families; not pictured. Cecile recognized Coach Mike’s I Ride for David! attitude. Ana spoke from her heart which touched Coach Mike’s (see photo). And James, senior, shared what Colonial Revolution, under Coach Mike’s direction, means to him. The artwork that James presented includes a hand-drawn bike from each student-athlete. Ann Armstrong took the lead on creating that.
Back inside for Autumn’s season wrap up video! (Link coming soon)
The meaning of I Ride for David shows the ongoing support for David Carey’s family and [serves as] a reminder to them of the impact David made on many lives. We want David’s family to know that we strive to receive the compliment, “You ride like David!” This statement means that the rider is being strong in the face of a challenge and exhibiting tenacity, persistence and stick-with-it-ness. (-Parker read more.)
The following riders have been recognized for “Riding like David!”
Brooke graciously switched to a coaching role in order to welcome a new teammate.
Hugo may be the youngest but that doesn’t stop him from giving his all to every ride.
Tristan encourages others and himself even when faced with fatigue.
Ian has been tenacious in his riding. He constantly challenges himself.
Cecile, when faced with a climb that claimed others, she dug in and made it to the top!
Felix: For great sportsmanship as he complimented Cecile on “getting up THAT hill!”
Sam: Although he could not ride, due to a collar bone break, Sam regularly attends practices and lends his good hand to helping the coaches with important tasks such as setting up drills. His presence and positive attitude is a huge motivator for the team! (Featured image: Coach Randy announcing Sam to the team as an I Ride for David! sock recipient.)
Coach Angela: Either in attitude or action, Coach Angela was not deterred by a diagnosis with a long recuperation period. Instead she focused her energies on persevering by adapting.
Coach Paula: A great friend and rival! #frenemy
Coach Mike: Presented by Cecile, Coach Mike is a leader who keeps smiling and faces his challenges with a sense of humor. He supports everyone!
Check back for more members of our ColRev family who Ride [Like] David!
As the Colonial Revolution family, riders, coaches and parents, gathered at the labyrinth at York River State Park for their pre-ride meeting, sophomore rider, Parker, introduced David Carey and Coach Mike shared how Colonial Revolution will show their support the Carey Family.
Life Story: To me, cycling, especially through NICA, is a sport that teaches the importance of not only sportsmanship, but shows the value of community, camaraderie, team building, and family. Speaking of community, I would like to bring attention to someone who has made a monumental impact on the cycling community.
This is David Carey. In this photo, he is 14 years old. His family is from Virginia Beach. His passion for cycling rivals that of any 14 year old that I know. He is known all across Virginia for his road cycling, beginning at an early age, Cyclocross and volunteered in the junior version of the Tour De France in Quebec. As he wrote in an essay back in January of 2017, he liked to race bikes, and I quote, “[Because] I get to race against people my age and older. I also get to test my strength and stamina. [I also] get to see my teammates and make new friends.”
We all know how challenging it is to build strength and stamina. The difference here is that David was battling “an epic bout” of recurring childhood leukemia. He used racing as a “distraction” from his illness and its treatments. He used racing as a way to heal in mind, body and character. Signing up for races gave him hope that he would be well enough to be there; and he did a lot of racing. He kept fighting until the machines and medicine could no longer help. David passed away on June 7th in the company of his parents. (I Ride for David photo on the back of my jersey) The image on the back of my jersey was how his parents chose to announce his passing. [moment of silence]
I Ride for David: The slogan I Ride for David was originally created by his parents as a “battle cry” of hope, celebrating David’s tenacity, persistence and “stick-with-it-ness”. It spread throughout the cycling community. [Show I Ride for David on Alejandro’s jersey, signs at race venues] Today, the meaning of I Ride for David has changed to show ongoing support for David’s family and a reminder to them of the impact David made on many lives.
Remembering David: As a team, today we will be signing a Colonial Revolution race plate to send to David’s parents. We want them to know that we strive to receive the compliment, “You ride like David!” I hope you now know that this statement means that you are being strong in the face of a challenge. May we all be thankful for our health, our ability to ride our bikes, our cycling communities, and our Colonial Revolution family.
Coach Mike presents Brooke with a pair of I Ride for David! socks. Brooke is being recognized for exhibiting characteristics of David Carey. She graciously welcomed a new teammate by volunteering to ride with and encouraging her. Brooke did not get to ride her usual ride, but instead focused on being an ambassador for cycling and helping to build community.
Carey family, more sock recipients will be posted soon. David will not be forgotten! Our youth are striving to be like him.
Colonial Revolution Composite kicked off the 2019 NICA season for the Virginia League on Saturday, July 6. Returning and new riders, coaches and families gathered at York River State Park.
Coach Mike welcomed everyone and stated that, “You are more than a teammate. Each of you is a member of the family. We are all brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles.”
As safety is always the team’s top priority, the following are important to our Colonial Revolution family:
- Helmet’s on and chin strap clipped.
- Treat everyone with respect. Everyone is on equal footing. Respect the park and other park users too. Stick to the bike trails. When you see a horse, stop and wait for the direction of horse rider.
- At each practice venue the team has a safe meeting spot, such as the labyrinth at YRSP. Vehicles should back in, bikes unloaded and riders should proceed to the meeting spot without riding through the lot. The parking lot is dangerous! It is not wise to leave your bike in parking lot either.
- Safety first: Always ride under control! We work on skills and quick thinking to protect yourself and others.
- Always pass with care.
- Only ride the bike trails. Stay on the bike trails!
- Do not litter and respect wildlife
- Come/BE prepared: Water, snack, bike that works. Develop a relationship with your local bike shop. Fran at Conte’s is offering to pick up, repair & return to the next practice bikes in need of repair. Wow!
- The coach has ultimate authority.
- No banned substances: We follow anti-doping rules and regulations with include NO CAFFEINE under NICA! CAFFEINE, sugar & exercise are bad for your heart. Keep it clean and use your hard work and your talent!
- Hydration: Drink water constantly not just practice day
- As a team we follow league rules & guidelines
- Sportsmanship is important especially at races. Our team has been outstanding at this and sets an example for other teams of how it is supposed to be done. Each of you is a role model to someone; keep that in mind.
- Welcome new riders. (Cal and Tristan got a round of applause!)
- Respond to the Heja App so that we can be prepared.
- Look for the (almost) weekly email which contains important info. Check out the website and Facebook for more general information (and Shelly Liebler’s awesome photos!)
- Commitment: Practice makes perfect. We are working to build skill & endurance which makes riding more enjoyable. There is not an attendance requirement, but practice makes perfect. Get out & ride to suit your schedule. We want our team to be prepared & conditioned.
- Bring to practice: Water (CamelBak more inclined to drink), snack, and full belly. If you have a serious allergy, you must have your personal EpiPen & know how to use it.
- Coaches’ training is our budget emphasis.
- Always looking for good leaders and mentors in our youth and adults!
And then these 20 points were put into action. This “family” is already making memories!
See more photos taken on Saturday here. Shelly Liebler volunteers her creative eye and talent to the team. She gives the team permission to download her photos for personal use. She only asks that photo credit to be given to her. (Photo credit: Shelly Liebler)
You are ready to ride, but are you “ride ready” for the fall 2019 NICA season? Everyone will need to be registered with the team prior to beginning practice in early July; first practice TBD.
NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling League) Pit Zone is now open to register for the summer & fall season.
- All Coaches, as well as Middle School & High School-aged team members will need to register with NICA.
- Racing is, of course, still optional.
- If you have not registered with NICA in the past you will need an invite from the Head Coach.
- NICA provides the insurance and curriculum for our practices, racing & other activities from July through November, and is the operating model our team is based on.
- Those wishing to opt out of the NICA program may resume activities with the team in Spring 2020.
- Elementary-aged team members are not eligible for NICA but may participate in concurrent, separate practice sessions on Saturdays throughout the summer.
- NICA-Virginia activities for 2019 include 4 races (at additional cost), Adventure Weekend, GRiT (Girls Riding Together) and Teen Trail Corps. Schedule here.
NICA provides more comprehensive insurance for our team, as well as incorporating best practices for keeping our student-athletes safe & healthy. Their program needs our support to continue the mission of getting “more kids on bikes”. If costs are a concern, or if you would like more information, please contact Coach Mike Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s hard to believe we have finished up the VAHS season already! What a month for the Colonial Revolution Youth Mountain Bike Team. Even with all of the rain, flat tires, and broken chains there was nothing but smiles on the faces of the entire team; riders, coaches and parents. What a testament to the many adults that dedicate their time and to the riders themselves that put their heart and soul (a little blood and tears too, but rarely) into each race! Some new friendships were made, some old friendships strengthened, and just a lot of biking, hanging out and camping in the mountains with some of the best folks around. What could be better, right Coach Mike?
Amongst all of this FUN, these kids have pushed their mental and physical capabilities to the limit by navigating some of the best (and toughest) mountain bike trails the Blue Ridge of Virginia has to offer. They have represented the Revolution quite well. Overall there were 26 podium finishes by the team with 5 Revolution girls making the final podiums for overall series standings including one State Champion in the middle school girls class. WAY TO GO!
After a short break we will return to the local parks for some summer fun. Come out and join the Revolution! -Coach Randy et al.
Another round of awesome action photos from Shelly Liebler!
What started as a dreary early-morning drive to the Blue Ridge Mountains ended with a beautiful, sun-soaked afternoon of fun and racing at what Coach Mike fondly refers to as the Hogwarts School of MTB, AKA Miller School of the Albemarle. The kick-off race to start the annual VAHS (Virginia High School) series began cool and cloudy with a slippery pre-ride returning a few muddy riders to the Revolution (Colonial Revolution Youth Mountain Bike Team) camp including one bike repair for our team stuntman, Carter. As the sun began to break through, and course conditions became perfect, Coach Rick led our first wave of Elementary racers to the start line. For those that have not been before, this course contains the largest climbs to start a race of all 5 venues and our youngest riders tackled the challenge without hesitation. The day progressed with excitement and cheers as the waves of middle and high schoolers hit the mountain. It was superb day for the Revolution, a large gathering of coaches, parents and family members (several four-legged) watched on as over 20 teammates completed the course, some doing 2, 3 and 4 laps of the 4-mile course. Lots of snacks were consumed along with an abundance of smiles, laughs, fist-bumps and high-fives.
Amongst all of the fun, the Revolution was also able to post some pretty nice results. In the largest division JV Boys, with 120 racers, the Revolution placed 3 inside the top 20! The middle and elementary school boys also represented with 3 more inside the top 20. And as history often repeats itself, the Revolution ladies once again rocked the field with all of them finishing in the top 7 of their respective divisions including 4 podium spots and 1 young lady getting to don her first leader’s jersey ever!
What a start to the year for the Colonial Revolution! A huge thanks to all of the parents and coaches that work hard to make our team a success on and off the race course!
(Article: Coach Randy, Photo credit: Shelly Liebler)
Revolution Roll Call:
Not only are the daffodils popping up in our community, but so has the Colonial Revolution Youth Mountain Bike Team! Many new rider faces and coaches (and not all are pictured!). Until a new word/phrase is created to better express our appreciation, THANK YOU to the adult mountain bikers, the local bike shops, and the parents for helping bring together an amazing group of youth!
This weekend I traveled to Baltimore to attend the Regional Coach Supporter Training with NICA coaches from PA, MD, WV & NC. NICA staff was on hand to coach the coaches that will come home to coach more coaches. After a long, cold, wet off-season, it was reinvigorating to be with such an enthusiastic group the whole weekend. We dialed in our skills training & knowledge and were trained to teach it back. Most importantly, it provided me with a much needed reset on why we participate in the NICA program: to build strong minds, strong bodies, strong character & strong communities through mountain biking.
As we jump into the spring VAHS (not NICA) racing season, I ask everyone to remind themselves that our team operates on the NICA model year-round. The rewards of honest effort, good sportsmanship and mutual respect may or may not land you on the podium for a couple of minutes, but they will serve you many times over a lifetime.
– Head Coach Mike Lang