Each season consists of five races, with each race divided into heats by gender and age. Team members race against peers from around the state. Each race heat is scored individually with the top five finishers recognized on a podium. Every finisher receives points that contribute to an overall team score. Each race has youth racing at every skill level, from beginners to expert. We work with our team members to set and work towards goals for the race. Some team members might be working to be on the podium; other team members might be racing for the first time and finishing the race is an accomplishment. The spring race series is open to elementary, middle and high school students, while the fall series is open to middle and high school team members. For more information go to http://vahsmtb.org/ (spring season) and http://www.virginiamtb.org/ (fall season). Races are typically 4 to 5 miles per lap, with beginners doing a single lap and more advanced riders multiple laps. Fall races are on weekends and spring races fall on both weekends and weeknights.
Registering for Races
Parents are responsible for registering and paying for races. For the fall season, if you have already raced in a NICA race you can to return to the NICA PIT ZONE (https://pitzone.nationalmtb.org/), re‐register, pay your NICA dues for this season, and register for races. If you are new to the team and have not registered with NICA before, your coach will send you an “invitation” to join the NICA "Pit Zone" from the NICA website.
Team practices are held each week on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00pm to 7:30pm in the spring and fall at locations including Teventrails, Miller School, and Walnut Creek. Spring practice starts the week following daylight savings time and ends at the beginning of summer; fall practice starts at the end of summer and runs until the end of daylight savings. Team members are encouraged to attend practice, but it is not mandatory. After stretching and a bike check the development, JV and varsity groups divide into groups for skill‐appropriate drills and exercises.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Practice starts on time, and riders are expected to be dressed, ready to ride with helmets and protective eyewear, with tires aired up and bikes working properly. If the team has already left the parking lot, kids are not allowed to catch up to the team.
There are no "team fees" to join the CRC/BRC Junior MTB Team. However, parents are responsible for paying race fees and are required to purchase a team jersey. Race fees vary from $30 to $40 per race, (the fall season has a $55 league fee), and the team jersey, purchased from Blue Ridge Cyclery, is approximately $55.
The team has several programs to support our goal of reducing the cost of getting kids on bikes. The Charlottesville Racing Club has funds available for race and jersey reimbursement for junior riders (and/or family members) who commit to volunteering at four CRC races during the year. If you are interested in race reimbursements, please talk to a coach. Both NICA and VAHS MTB also offer limited need‐based scholarships. For more information visit the NICA and VAHS MTB websites. Our team sponsor, Blue Ridge Cyclery also provides a 15% team discount on many products in the store.
Equipment Requirements and Costs
Junior team members will need an MTB bike that is in good working order, a helmet, water bottle or hydration pack, riding gloves, a spare tube, and protective eyewear to every practice and race. As kids get more involved in MTB racing, additional equipment includes bike shorts, clipless pedals and bike‐specific shoes. All riders should be comfortable on a mountain bike with at least a 24” wheel size. Bikes purchased at discount stores will not hold up on the off road trails we ride each practice. If you have questions about what bike is appropriate for your rider or how much to spend, please talk to a coach. Good quality used bikes are often available as young riders grow or are ready for more advanced equipment, and our sponsor Blue Ridge Cyclery offers team members in search of new bikes excellent service and advice.