Today, there are more opportunities than ever for youths to get involved in cycling as a regular, accessible activity for basic exercise/fitness or even as platform for youth’s competition in various types of bicycling at various skill levels.
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Anthony Barr, aka the “Mobile Cyclist,” previews two organizations based here in Central Indiana and the driving forces behind local efforts:
Indiana Interscholastic Cycling League:
• Chapter of NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling League) – (26) State Leagues now
• Club-Level mountain biking in Indiana schools
• Indiana: NEW league this year – Full Schedule not set
• Core Values: Inclusivity, Safety, Equity and FUN
• Make bicycling accessible as possible: NO barriers to entry
• Diversity at all levels, including ability and skills.
• 15 – 20 Indiana teams/schools participate in 2019 season
Why start a NICA Chapter for Indiana?
• CDC: ¼ of students grades 9-12: Get HOUR or more – moderate- physical activity daily
• Indiana’s kids need new alternatives for activity/exercise for healthier life
• Getting kids / families acclimated to a bike lifestyle – help improve overall health
Youth Mountain biking …in Indiana?
• Think “off road”, riding in state parks, in the woods, away from traffic – safety priority:
• Club coaches must attend certification program – involves a large component of safety.
• Courses must: NICA certified for safety: open, accessible by safety/ medical personnel.
• Southwestway park / Griffin bike park / Potato Creek
How to Start a club / team at your school?
• Go to http://www.indianamtb.org/start-a-club-team/
• Admins, teachers, parents, students and/or community can start Club/Team at their local high school or community.
• Don’t have to be avid cyclists to start team / desire to introduce kids to sport
• NICA provides all tools necessary to be a coach
Why choose mountain biking as a sport over soccer, baseball, volleyball, etc?
• NICA doesn’t want riding “Once and Done” / Rather to embrace and build love for cycling
• Cycling is activity that can attract youths through FUN and SUPPORT
• Can become a lifelong healthy activity, whereas Other Sports not as easy to do
• Key is making it inclusive, safe and of course FUN!
• DEVO is a full bike racing team that supports kids in ( 3 ) main race disciplines;
o Mountain Biking
o Track Cycling (on a velodrome)
o Cyclocross ( on Grass / Mud / Various )
• Support junior racers and raise the visibility of bike racing as a fun sport in central Indiana
• KEY: Provide juniors every opportunity we can for them to pursue competitive bike racing.
How can kids / families get involved? What can they expect?
• If interested they should contact: https://midwestdevo.com/
• Expect to Have Fun, make a bunch of friends who also love bike racing, and improve their riding & racing skills.
Where does DEVO practice?
• Track Cycling – Major Taylor Velodrome
• Cyclocross – Indy Cycloplex /Major Taylor Grounds
• Mountain Biking – Fort Ben, Town Run, and the Indy Cycloplex
When are the seasons for these sports?
• MTB and Track are in the summer
• Cyclocross – Fall Through Winter
How folks encourage more families/ kids to adopt cycling as a competitive sport in Indiana?
• Encourage kids to get outside and enjoy riding bikes with their friends!
• The excitement of racing really begins in our neighborhoods among kids who love being out on bikes with their buddies & looking to see who’s fastest on their bike, what you can do on a bike.
• Take them to a bike race to watch other kids and adults race!
Go to www.mobilecyclist.com to learn more, to sign up for the newsletter for news on episode releases and see more episodes from all over the U.S.
More about Mobile Cyclist
• Barr enjoyed discovering how people could enjoy bicycling no matter where they were or what type of bike they used.
• His curiosity and creativity led to the idea of showcasing the personal stories of fellow cyclists, the sights and sounds of places that make up the diverse cultures of cycling cities and the people who bring it to life.
• After a 20+-year career in the health care industry, Anthony decided to combine his passion and purpose by starting his own production company, Two Wheel Films, Inc. and creating “Mobile Cyclist.”
• “Mobile Cyclist” has now launched episodes in 12 cities, including Cincinnati, Ohio, San Francisco, Calif., Sun Valley, Idaho, Asheville, N.C. and the Katy Trail, the longest greenway in the U.S. that stretches across Missouri.
UPCOMING RIDES & EVENTS : March / April
Breaking Away: 40th Anniversary Live with Dave Blase
• When: Tuesday, March 19th – 6:30pm – 7:30pm
• Where: IMU Whittenberger Auditorium: 900 E 7th St, Bloomington, Indiana 47405
• What: (Social Event) – IU Student Foundation hosting Dave Blase (inspiration for main character in the movie) to discuss his Little 500 experience, his time at IU, and talk about the film Breaking Away
• How: $5 – cash at the door
• More Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/297183120967115/
Saturday, March 30th
JWD Ceraland – Bike Race
• When: 7:30am
• Where: Ceraland Park – 3989 South 525 East, Columbus, IN 47203 US
• What: (Bicycle Criterium Race) A 1.4 mile loop that rides like a road/circuit race. The finish line will be at the top of the gradual climb. One of the nicer venues in the Midwest as it has a bit of everything. Juniors / Women’s / Men’s ( All categories)
• How: Register https://www.truesport.com/index.php/events/truesport_event/843
o Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. $10.00 late fee
o Registration closes at 10:00 p.m. on March 28nd at 5 p.m… $20.00 for an additional race.
o One day race licenses cost $10 and are available only to CAT 5 Men & Women and Junior categories.
Thursday, April 11th
Bike to Ballpark and Indy Indians Opening Night (Hosts: Sun King and Bike Indianapolis)
• When: 3:30pm – 7:00pm
• Where: Sun King Brewing – 135 N College Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
• What: (Social Ride – Slow) Start with a pre-game party at Sun King Brewery, downtown Indianapolis. Then pedal with Indy’s Mayor Joe Hogsett to Victory Field to see the Indians in their season home opener against the Charlotte Knights. Bike Indianapolis will provide valet bike parking while you enjoy the game.
• How: Ride is (FREE) Show Up 3:30pm / Ride to Ball Park with Mayor at 6:15pm
o Ride Spots limited to 200: register: https://www.facebook.com/events/1213239572166264/
o Purchase Indians tickets: www.indyindians.com
Sunday, April 14th
Rollfast 8 x 8 Challenge (hosted by Rollfast Cycling Club – Carmel IN)
• When: 8:00am – 5:00pm
• Where: Brown County State Park, Nashville, IN
• What: (Endurance Bike Race) The Rollfast 8×8 Challenge is 8 figure 8 laps consisting of 93.6 miles and 7,616 feet of climbing in Brown County, Indiana. This grueling event takes place in the hills of southern Indiana at Brown County State Park. Each lap has approximately 900 ft. of vertical gain.
• How: https://rollfast.us/rollfast-cycling/rollfast-8×8-challenge/8×8-challenge-registration/?fbclid=IwAR3_9fYjeUaViFddJ3_KemCqZ-lqjeZwb5W-vnHOdhxrFyt4nme0IKnO4Gw
o $50 – Benefits Rollfast Foundation for Suicide Awareness
o Race registration includes:
– Chip-timed course with lap splits
– Rest area at start/finish
– Half distance option available (4×8)
– Post ride cookout