Join Rock Creek Velo!
Breaking news! RCV is accepting new members in July and August for kids born 2007 – 2009. We have a limited number of openings, although we have more space for those in the Rockville/Gaithersburg area than around Bethesda.
Those considering joining need to appreciate that competitive cycling can be dangerous, expensive, and time-consuming. Also note that coaches evaluate kids to join starting around 8 or 9 years old through about 13 or 14. Kids trying to start older than that usually don’t have the skills or fitness to compete in their age groups. RCV only accepts new riders in the late summer/early fall so that they begin their riding experience with cyclocross, a cycling discipline that enhances bike handling skills and safety before riders go out on the road.
Cycling is dangerous. RCV typically welcomes new members at the start of cyclocross season in August, primarily for safety. Kids learn essential bike handling skills in a safe, car-free environment where falling down means hitting grass rather than pavement. Equally importantly, kids gain vital experience working as team, listening to coaches, and showing respect for others. In the gym, riders learn proper workout technique, stretching, and recovery skills. During road season, bike handling is reinforced along with group riding and traffic awareness.
We make every effort to promote safety, checking helmets and gear and avoiding putting kids in situations, rides, or races that might be overly risky. Equally importantly, we help riders develop good judgment to protect themselves. Nonetheless, crashes happen and the team has its share of cuts, scrapes, and broken bones.
Cycling is expensive. Younger riders often outgrow their bikes in a single season, so we maintain a fleet of loaners available for a modest fee. Recipients are responsible for proper ongoing maintenance to ensure the bike is good condition for its next rider. Once kids reach 14 or 15, they are often training and competing at an “adult” level, requiring better bikes, power meters, and computers. Beyond road and cyclocross bikes, there are clothing, cycling shoes, safety gear, spare parts, maintenance, gym membership, annual dues and race fees. Thankfully, our longstanding sponsor Silver Cycles provides the team with significant discounts on bikes, parts, and gear. On a limited basis, we can provide financial assistance for those with need.
Cycling is time-consuming. The club is competitive, not recreational, so practices are compulsory. Practices and rides are typically held four times a week year-round, both after school and on weekends. Riders need to participate fully to gain proper skills, be competitive, and avoid injury. Weekend races are held throughout the region (including MD, VA, PA, WV, and beyond). Kids need to arrive early to register, pre-ride the course, and warm up.
Why is this so important? Our experience has shown that riders who don’t make the majority of practices wind up injuring themselves. Worse yet, they often cause accidents which hurt others.
If so, please contact Harry Greenspun (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information and an opportunity to visit a practice and speak with other riders and parents.