Skip to main content

The future of 'cross gathers in Colorado

Image 1 of 19

All smiles in Colorado

All smiles in Colorado (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 2 of 19

Joe Haulman (Front Rangers)

Joe Haulman (Front Rangers) (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 3 of 19

Camp had a record turnout this year.

Camp had a record turnout this year. (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 4 of 19

Campers started Saturday with a morning jog over the scenic YMCA grounds.

Campers started Saturday with a morning jog over the scenic YMCA grounds. (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 5 of 19

Campers came in all ages and sizes, with quite a few in the 10-12 year old range. Kamil Kieszkowski and Brian French belly up to breakfast.

Campers came in all ages and sizes, with quite a few in the 10-12 year old range. Kamil Kieszkowski and Brian French belly up to breakfast. (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 6 of 19

Smaller barriers for smaller racers made learning skills a little easier and a lot more fun. Chaney van Garderen was having lots of fun with the drills.

Smaller barriers for smaller racers made learning skills a little easier and a lot more fun. Chaney van Garderen was having lots of fun with the drills. (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 7 of 19

Former camper Brady Kappius (Team 5280 Magazine) returned in his first senior cyclocross season to help coach the juniors.

Former camper Brady Kappius (Team 5280 Magazine) returned in his first senior cyclocross season to help coach the juniors. (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 8 of 19

Joe Haulman (Front Rangers) leads the younger kids over a set of barriers, trampled underfoot. Many of the younger riders had the heaviest bikes!

Joe Haulman (Front Rangers) leads the younger kids over a set of barriers, trampled underfoot. Many of the younger riders had the heaviest bikes! (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 9 of 19

Lots of riders were doing their best Sven Nys impersonations during the bunnyhop drills.

Lots of riders were doing their best Sven Nys impersonations during the bunnyhop drills. (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 10 of 19

Even without a dedicated CX bike kids can have fun with 'cross. Tyler Easterlin heads towards the last barrier on the skills course.

Even without a dedicated CX bike kids can have fun with 'cross. Tyler Easterlin heads towards the last barrier on the skills course. (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 11 of 19

Brian French concentrates on riding through the woods on one of the bikes provided by Redline.

Brian French concentrates on riding through the woods on one of the bikes provided by Redline. (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 12 of 19

Camp had a record turnout this year. Cyclocross camp must be fun if more and more young racers show up every year.

Camp had a record turnout this year. Cyclocross camp must be fun if more and more young racers show up every year. (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 13 of 19

Campers were required to help build Sunday's race course. Thomas Walsh mans the course tape, of which there was plenty used!

Campers were required to help build Sunday's race course. Thomas Walsh mans the course tape, of which there was plenty used! (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 14 of 19

The infamous Snow Mountain mud pit reappeared this year, with a new approach. Lots of kids thought making the mudpit was the best part of course construction!

The infamous Snow Mountain mud pit reappeared this year, with a new approach. Lots of kids thought making the mudpit was the best part of course construction! (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 15 of 19

One young camper attempts the Superman flying dismount with little success. Tackling a rider off the bike is against the rules set forth by the American Bump 'n' Thump Association.

One young camper attempts the Superman flying dismount with little success. Tackling a rider off the bike is against the rules set forth by the American Bump 'n' Thump Association. (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 16 of 19

Some riders take themselves out by going too fast and losing traction. It only takes a second before they're back up and gettting back in the action.

Some riders take themselves out by going too fast and losing traction. It only takes a second before they're back up and gettting back in the action. (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 17 of 19

Bump 'n' thump is not for the meek of heart! Amazingly, no bikes or riders were harmed during the festivities!

Bump 'n' thump is not for the meek of heart! Amazingly, no bikes or riders were harmed during the festivities! (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 18 of 19

Yannick Eckmann charges through the mudpit during the Junior race. MTBs are not ideal cyclocross mounts, especially for smaller racers, but that won't keep these kids down!

Yannick Eckmann charges through the mudpit during the Junior race. MTBs are not ideal cyclocross mounts, especially for smaller racers, but that won't keep these kids down! (Image credit: Beth Seliga)
Image 19 of 19

National champion Danielle Haulman shows the skills she's learned over the years on the one runup on the course. The course featured lots of barriers, natural and man-made to add even more challenge to the twisty woody course.

National champion Danielle Haulman shows the skills she's learned over the years on the one runup on the course. The course featured lots of barriers, natural and man-made to add even more challenge to the twisty woody course. (Image credit: Beth Seliga)

Tales from the peloton, October 13, 2005

American Cycling Association junior cyclocross camp

Under glorious blue Colorado skies, the 2005 American Cycling Association's Junior Cyclocross Camp once again convened at Snow Mountain Ranch on September 24 and 25 for two days of honing the skills of our future cyclocross stars. Although Fraser, Colorado has the reputation for being the "icebox" of the nation, we were blessed with temps that rivaled summer rather than the cold and rain that greeted the Front Range.

Kids aged 8 to 18 years woke early Saturday morning with an organised run, just to get the legs moving for the rest of the weekend. Lead coach and local cyclocross guru Scott Mares treated the kids, and us coaches, to a little drill sergeant routine, barking orders at 7:05am to make sure everyone completed the run and calisthenics in an orderly fashion, even going so far as to add a little bit more when a few of the youngsters "protested". The kids were now primed to get on their bikes, and true to the American Cycling Association's dedication to grassroots and developmental goals, the ACA had a number of Redline CX bikes available for those who didn't have cross bikes for the weekend. All of them were spoken for quickly, and the programme's success was evident by how many of those went home with the kids after the weekend was over.

With the run completed and breakfast done, it was finally time to get to work on the core of the weekend, the skills. After breaking into more manageable groups, the team of dedicated volunteer coaches put the kids through their paces, teaching them the finer points of dismounts and remounts and how to get over barriers quickly and efficiently. Granted, a 10-year-old trying to lift a bike that's a third of their weight over a 16 inch barrier can hardly be described as either quickly or efficiently, but they all did so with enthusiasm, eager to learn more. Cone drills, barrel races and bunny hopping all familiarised the kids with the bike handling skills best used for tackling a cyclocross course, but easily transferred over to all types of riding.

The afternoon culminated with the annual building of the next days race course. The goal was to let the kids construct a course that would challenge the skills and lessons learned earlier in the day. Multiple barriers, a couple of water crossings, a decent run-up and some tight turns through the trees, the kids and coaches came away with a challenging design. After stringing 10,000 feet of yellow caution tape through the forest and constructing the infamous Snow Mountain mud pit, the kids were finally ready for the highlight of the weekend, the always popular "bump and thump". Last person standing, or more importantly riding, within a small, enclosed oval earned the skilled rider a prize. Judging by how often the kids were lining up time after time for a couple of hours, the event proved its worth not only for developing close riding skills but savvy bike handling as well.

Sunday dawned cool but clear, but the temps didn't stop the kids from lining up to race at 8:30 in the morning. Judging by the smiles on both the kids and their parents' faces, the work done the previous day was evidently rewarding as they sailed through the course with their new found skills. Muddied from the few trips through the mud pit and exhausted from lifting bikes over barriers, the weekend was a success for the future cyclocross stars. There is no doubt that all the kids are looking forward to next year's camp.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1