More Than Teammates

Colonial Revolution Composite kicked off the 2019 NICA season for the Virginia League Mikeon 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:

  1. Helmet’s on and chin strap clipped.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Safety first: Always ride under control!  We work on skills and quick thinking to protect yourself and others.
  5. Always pass with care.
  6. Only ride the bike trails.  Stay on the bike trails!
  7. Do not litter and respect wildlife
  8. 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!
  9. The coach has ultimate authority.
  10. 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!
  11. Hydration: Drink water constantly not just practice day
  12. As a team we follow league rules & guidelines
  13. 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.
  14. Welcome new riders. (Cal and Tristan got a round of applause!)
  15. Respond to the Heja App so that we can be prepared.
  16. 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!)
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Coaches’ training is our budget emphasis.
  20. 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!

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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)

Are You Ride Ready?

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 falcons23124@gmail.com.

Blue Ridge Wraps Up VAHS 2019

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!

 

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VAHS Kick-Off Race

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:

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Spring has SPRUNG!

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!

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2019 NICA Regional Coach Supporter Training

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.

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Mid-Atlantic NICA Coaches gather by the solar panels at CCBC for a group shot – photo by Jon Posner

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

Phil Predicts an Early Spring

Punxsutawney Phil says spring is on the way, and Robert at Red Barn has responded with the annual Spring Fundraiser in March.  Don’t wait until the first perfect spring day to get your bike in there. It’s tough to ride without one!
Support youth cycling in Tidewater.  During the month of March, Red Barn will donate a portion of all tune-ups to the Colonial Revolution Youth Mountain Bike Team. See attached flyer.
Spring TuneUp.jpg

 

Winter Daydream – Creek Crossings

One of my favorite parts of mountain biking is a splash through a cool creek on a hot summer day.  Pretty much what I’m daydreaming about right now!

With all the rain recently, and the upcoming VAHS spring race series finale ending with a giant creek crossing, I thought it would be a good time.  Once again the Ninja has us covered…

https://sandiegomountainbikeskills.com/2019/01/28/creek-crossings-9-tips-to-avoid-a-dip/

Not much to add to that but a few photos of our own:

Sherando Lake
Nathan laser focused on the exit!
Bentonville, AR
There are so many caverns in Bentonville, this creek flows underground in the summer. Magnolia shows her brother how it’s done.
Shelley Liebler photo
Joshua has perfect form in the 2018 VA State Championships (Shelly Liebler photo)

 

Sweet Dreams & Happy Trails!

Coach Mike

Feels Like Home

Race 3 at Woodberry Forest was fast and the battles furious! The condition of the course was a foil to Stokesville; dust in the eyes, not mud.  Each course in the NICA season is unique with this one being the closest to the trails on which Colonial Revolution Composite practices.  Our 26 riders must have felt like they were at home!

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A shout out to all of our newest teammates who are pictured here.  Their enthusiasm for the sport is contagious and their commitment inspiring! Happy to welcome them and their parents to our Colonial Revolution family.

This Rider Roll Call is all about the racing.

 

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Photos by Ellen LaPlace.  More photos by Shelly Liebler here.

Muddy Course? Never mind.

image2The course at Stokesville for race #2 was…muddy…mud of the EPIC kind…but Colonial Revolution Composite riders embraced the conditions and left it ALL…except the mud…out on the trails!

From Coach Mike,  “What a beautifully miserable weekend.  I wouldn’t have rather been anywhere else.  To everyone who braved the rain & mud (parents, siblings & riders), I tip my hat.  Especially if this was your first racing experience.  By now you probably know I really don’t care what place you finish, it’s all about coming out, having a little fun with friends, giving it your best shot and tackling a few obstacles.”

And from Coach Rick, “Like Mike said these are very unusual conditions and usually races /events are not held in these conditions. If I go back to the early 1990s, I think I’ve seen only two other events similar conditions.”

Seems only appropriate to use Dennis Lloyd’s song Nevermind  as background music for the Rider Roll Call.  This roll call is ordered by wave because just when the thought that they couldn’t get any muddier crosses your mind, the photos show that they do. Epic mud? Never mind.  Let’s ride!

Turn on your speakers and turn up the volume.

 

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The music is still playing, right?  Here are more photos showcasing the spirit of Colonial Revolution and our BFFs from St. Christopher’s.

 

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Want to see more of our own Tough Mudders in action? Check out Shelly’s photos here.