Join Rock Creek Velo!
Interested in joining RCV?
RCV welcomes new riders in the late summer 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. New riders typically start between ages 8 and 13, and we have a nearly even split of boys and girls. Kids older than that usually need to be evaluated by our coaches to ensure they have the requisite level of skills and fitness. Those considering joining need to appreciate that competitive cycling requires a commitment of time and resources in order to be done safely.
Cycling can be dangerous, which is why our biggest focus is on safety. 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.
Cycling costs are comparable to other youth sports on a season-by-season basis, and the team makes every effort to keep those expenses reasonable. 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.