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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
Photos by Ellen LaPlace. More photos by Shelly Liebler here.
The 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.
The music is still playing, right? Here are more photos showcasing the spirit of Colonial Revolution and our BFFs from St. Christopher’s.
Want to see more of our own Tough Mudders in action? Check out Shelly’s photos here.
For Colonial Revolution Composite, Race 1 of the fall NICA season is in the books. Check out this video overview by Jack Anderson. You can’t miss Ana on the move at the 0:35 second mark. Feedback and chatter plus Rider Roll Call below.
From Coach Mike: Wow, what an exciting day everyone! The rain held off just long enough! Results are up on the Virginia League results page.
Really impressed with the heart and determination of the entire team. Whether it was your first race, or you moved up a class and added a lap, it was really a challenging course and everyone stepped up to represent the team well.
From Team Mom and Photographer, Shelly: Thanks to Coach Mike and all the coaches and parents who made this weekend a success. It was great to see the kids back racing and having fun doing it.
From Coach Rick: Thanks for the photos, Shelly. I do want to again thank Mike for his leadership. We are a lucky group to have him along with his family. I also want to give a shout-out to coaches Chris, Beav and Crystal for spending their Saturday in support of our team.