As active adults we know about the pleasure of being physically active. Obviously our focus is on cycling but my comments today could be applied to any physical sport.
By now we all know about the trend for young girls to abandon sport once they hit puberty. The reasons are manyfold and beyond the scope of my expertise, all I know is that it happens, and it sucks.
We have a Provincial cycling coach. Russ Down is his name and it's his job to train a team of young athletes to represent our Province in inter-provincial competition. And he has a problem.
Simply put, there are not enough young road cyclists to generate the kind of talent that he needs to build and maintain a successful team. They are just not out there (see para 2 above).
But they are out there, they just don't know it yet! And that's where we come in.
At our Ride Leaders meeting last Friday we talked about this. Six years ago, there were very few female cyclists in the city, and only one or two that were capable of instructing. Now we have at least a dozen smart experienced women riders who not only compete at various events but are also Spoke n' Hot Ride Leaders. There are at least 300 women who now ride road bikes in Regina and know how to paceline!
We can make change happen and we are going to do the same for youth cycling.
This season we will open Spoke n' Hot, and Spokesmen, to younger riders, 13-18 yrs, who want to learn how to ride safely as part of a Group. They will be assigned an Instructor who will ride with them making sure that they conduct themselves safely and in accordance with all our normal standards.
We've done this in the past and hat we find is that the young women take their responsibility to the Group very seriously and become very good riders..
The idea is that we can help develop these riders and encourage them to stay in the sport. If they are good enough we can pass them off to Russ for further development. If they are happy riding with us then that's just fine as well. They're active, safe and happy. As a dad to two daughters and now a grandad to an active little girl I think I can be happy with that. I hope you are too.
I don't know how many will come out, one or two maybe, but we have to start somewhere. So spread the word, lets get girls on bikes!
If you know of someone, give their parents my email, info@spoke n' Hot.com.
See you next week at the Registration Celebration ( you have Registered right?) If not just click here