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Is it “Just Like Riding a Bike”? A View of Youth Competitive Cycling

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303Cycling recently caught up with Ann Trombley and asked her to write down her thoughts on getting kids involved in cycling as a competitive sport. Anyone who remembers that first race or even that first ride on the road knows the importance of being prepared and being safe. Below are some of her thoughts.

Coaching Your Cyclist from the Sidelines
By Ann Trombley
Trailmaster Coaching and Physical Therapy

Funny how most in the U.S., even Boulder, don’t think of cycling as a competitive sport for their kids. Yes, it isn’t mainstream, but what an amazing sport to get juniors started on that they can continue throughout their lifetime. It is also a sport that your children can enjoy doing with friends or on their own. And the things your children can see and experience while riding are immense!

So, why would you want to have your child join a team and/or hire a coach?

To answer a question with a question; what is the purpose of enrolling your child in soccer, piano lessons, Spanish or art lessons? Because you have an expert in the field to teach them. Also, you, as the parent, do not have to organize the practice, set up the lesson plan and actually spend the time to teach them. Lastly, your child will meet other kids that have the same interest they do.

As a USAC Certified Coach, Olympic Athlete and Coach of the Boulder Junior Cycling team for the past five years, I carefully plan the ride locations, skills, techniques and fitness building activities we do for days, weeks and months ahead. Because it is a team, this is a group of athletes learning and riding together, so each athlete learns not only from the coach, but from each other.

Colorado Bicycle Summit - not to be missed in 2012

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Colorado Bike Summit Speakers
Governor John Hickenlooper - Official Welcome

Shawn Hunter, CEO and Co-Chairman, USA Pro Cycling Challenge
Best known to us through his work at the Pro Challenge, Shawn's extensive sports background includes serving as President of AEG Sports, and as Vice President for the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets. Shawn will discuss the impact of the Pro Challenge on the Colorado economy and hopefully share a few behind-the-scenes stories!

Jeff Miller, President and CEO, The Alliance for Biking & Walking
More than 20 years experience makes Jeff a go-to leader on local, state and national level bicycle advocacy work. In addition to his current role, Jeff served as the Executive Director of Bicycle Coalition for Maine for 12 years, building one of the most well-respected state bike coalitions in North America. Jeff also serves on the boards of America Bikes and Adventure Cycling Association. His dynamic speaking style makes him an in-demand national trainer on successful bicycling campaigns.

Learn more about the Summit

This year the Colorado Bicycle Summit shall return after a very successful inaugural appearance last year and it made our top 10 in 2011. As an attendee last year I found the keynote speeches incredibly inspiring and equally important were the hall room discussions with many other attendees were equally important. The amount of cycling knowledge at that conference is amazing and bringing us all together to network and discuss brings so much growth to Colorado which is arguably one of the most powerful cycling states in the union. The Colorado Bike Summit is to advocacy and growth as Interbike is to the business side of cycling business.

"I'm a racer, not a tree hugging bike hippie commuter, what value is it to me?" The concept that bike advocacy is only for bike commuters and multi-use bike riders is wrong! Bike shoulders, road event permits, 2 abreast laws, welcome of USA Pro Cycling Challenge and more are all important to a "racer". Making our state/county/community more cycling friendly not only gets more people on bikes living a healthier lifestyle that is more similar to the "racer" but it also makes more cycling enthusiast who might go and watch that next criterium, join that cycling club or consider buying a product that is sponsored by your team and give you more compassion while passing you in their SUV on that next team ride.

Some keynotes from last year's summit
John Burke of Trek (part 1)
John Burke of Trek (part 2)
Denver Mayor Bill Vidal
Tim Blumenthal

Sidney Johnson, Husband, Father, Avid Cyclist - Fatal Bike Accident in Wesminster

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Sidney Johnson, husband, father, avid cyclist, USAPCC volunteer killed by motorist in Westminster on his birthday. The original coverage of the story was minimal at best when the accident happen on the 11th of October. 303Cycling digs deeper into the accident, the rider and what changes are coming from this incident. Read on please.

Photo Credit: Denver Post
Accident Scene on 100th Avenue

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Back on Oct. 13th, 303Cycling shared a link from the Denver Post regarding the death of a cyclist in Westminster. At the time, very few details were available. Wanting to know more, I recently attended the Bike Jeffco meeting in order to hear directly from Westminster Police about what happened and to learn more about Sidney Johnson directly from his daughter.

What happened on 100th Avenue

On October 11th, 2011 Sidney Johnson, age 52, was struck from behind by a motorist on West 100th Avenue between Simms and Alkire. The crash happened around 2:20 in the afternoon, Sydney was pronounced dead on the scene. Both the driver and Sidney were traveling westbound on 100th Avenue. According to the Westminster police, the driver, a 20 year old male who was driving a green 2005 Kia Sorento, claims to have seen Sidney and moved over to the left to pass but was then noticed a car approaching in the opposite direction. He then moved back over to the right and struck Sidney from behind. Westminster police performed a full investigation, including an accident reconstruction, and came to the following conclusions. The driver was speeding, going 57 mph in a 40mph zone. Toxicology reports confirm that the driver had no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the crash. The driver was not using a cell phone at the time of the crash, as police confirmed that his cell phone was not charged up that afternoon. Police also reported that the weather was clear on Oct. 11th and the wind was blowing due east and was not a contributing factor to the crash. Westminster police commented that this stretch of road has relatively little traffic and no intersections except for one residential driveway. The investigation is now complete and police are characterizing this crash as a "tragic accident" as opposed to a criminal act. The charges filed against the driver are Careless Driving Resulting in Death (a class 2 misdemeanor), which is the same charge made against Christopher Loven in the Left Hand Canyon crash in Boulder County (Lefthand Canyon Bike Fatality), and Speeding 10-19 miles over the speed limit (a class A traffic violation). Typical consequences of these charges are probation, a suspended driver's license and financial restitution.

Kristin Weber - Cyclocross Nationals and Worlds

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With Cyclocross Nationals and Masters Worlds right around the corner, I wanted to catch up with a local rider who will be competing in both events. Instead of the usual suspects, Brandon or Pete, I reached out to somewhat of a newcomer to the sport. Kristin Weber is a member of the Boulder Cycle Sport Ambassador Team and has been racing Cyclocross for a couple of years now.

Photo Credit: 303Photo

[303Cycling] When did you start to race cyclocross?
[Kristin] I got into cyclocross at the tail end of the 2009/10 season. I had been watching and supporting Dave for a couple of years and after having three kids decided it might be fun to race again. I thought this sport is so family friendly and it combines all the things I do, running, mtn biking, and road riding. So he lobbed an email to his team at the time and got me a $250 Surly, that weighed a ton, and had down-tube shifters. I did one race on it with the shifters and after nearly killing myself trying to shift while racing he got me some proper shifters. I did 3-4 races that season and really got hooked.

[303Cycling] You had a great year last year wining the Womens 35 Open race at the Colorado State Championships. Were you surprised at how well you did last season?
[Kristin] Well thanks! I appreciate that very much. I credit last year's success with a set of good mountain biking skills, a general base of fitness, a supportive husband and family, and a re-awakened competitive spirit. It was super fun to launch my first real season with some successes. I just love cross, I love the culture, the people, the dirt, the near heart attack that is every race. Although I am still mastering all the skills related to the sport, I feel like it is the sport for me on so many levels. I love bikes, I love people who ride bikes and I love to race. It's so challenging on many levels and like golf, there are micro refinements that you can learn from one race and take to another.

Countdown to the final top Colorado Cycling stories in 2011

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Here are the final top 5 cycling stories of 2011, see the first 5 top Colorado Cycling stories

5 - Road Rage near Golden caught on film This is something I think nearly every cyclist has dreamed of. In this case the idiots did not know that Paul was packing, that is 2 HD cameras on both front and back of his bike. This video did end in a prosecution. Others pointed out the slippery slop of personal liberties. Will make for an interesting next 10 years.

Countdown to the top Colorado Cycling stories in 2011

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303Cycling will count down the top 10 stories in 2011 starting with 10. It was an exciting year with lots of great milestones, some good and some bad. See what you think and give us your thoughts on 2011.

Top 10 cycling stories in Colorado for 2011

Photo Credit: 303Photo

10 - Inaugural year for the Mead Roubaix. Either you loved it or hated it, especially if you were one of the cyclists caught in the mass pile up on one of the dirt sections. One rider did some how make it out of the entire carnage around him, see the whole Crash Series. IMO most amazing photo series of the year.

9 - Lance Armstrong, LiveStrong, and an Unforgettable Journey. This story is so amazing I'd call it BS if it weren't for the photo proof. Touching and just dam cool how our new Colorado resident, Lance Armstrong, offers a hand to another Coloradan. If you missed it when it came out then worth the read

8 - Boulder says NO to Bikes in West TSA. Huge political storm, that is probably still having some fall-out with voters, hit the fan as the City Council was set-up by Open Space to decide the fate of allowing access to the West TSA section in Boulder. Ironically days before the vote an illegal trail was discovered and local pro cyclist Mike West was one of the 2 caught riding it. In the end the council voted to continue the ban on cycling in the West TSA

7 - Colorado had their first Cycling Summit. The Cycling Summit was put on by Bicycle Colorado and the purpose was to take much of the energy from Colorado that was going to the national bike summit in DC and keep it in Colorado focused on Colorado. I was blown away and look forward to it returning again in 2012!

6 - B-cycle Launches in Boulder!. Denver got their Bcycle in 2010 and 2011 was Boulder's turn. Much has since been spoken about B-cycle since their launch, see All of our stories dedicated to Boulder B-cycle.

Last 5 top stories in 2011

Stay tuned soon for the last 5 stories that rocked the Colorado cycling community. We know what they are, do you? Tell us what you think the last top 5 stories were in 2010

Green Guru, locally turning junk into eco friendly bike products

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[Son] "Where do inner tubes go after they die mamma?"

[Mom] "They end up at Green Guru of Boulder where they are turned back into useful products again."

From the Daily Camera

Lewis, 33, is the president and founder of Green Guru Gear, a Boulder-based repurposing company launched two years ago that converts unusable wetsuits, inner tubes, climbing ropes and banners into bike gear and accessories.

"One of the challenges in product design, manufacturing and sourcing is ... you're always looking for suitable material," said Lewis, a cyclist and outdoors enthusiast with a background in product design. "I used to work at bike shops growing up, and I got tired of throwing away the tubes and tried to reuse them."

In 2009, Green Guru Gear was developed as a subsidiary of Denver-based Ecologic Designs Inc., an "upcycling" manufacturing business Lewis founded in 2007. Ecologic repurposes damaged or excess goods into products such as beverage cozies, bracelets and key chains, all aimed at the broader eco-conscious clientele.

2011 - Holiday Gift Guide Part 3

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Here it is, the final edition of the 303Cycling Holiday Gift Guide. We have featured a variety of great gifts for the cyclists on your list in week one and in week two.

Week Three

Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle
I picked up one of these water bottles mid-season and I was hooked. Not only does it keep your Secret Drink Mix colder than a normal water bottle does, it also has a leak proof cap and the CamelBak JetValve as opposed to a conventional pull spout or bite valve. The JetValve is designed to prevent drips and spills and it does! Little more expensive than a normal water bottle but well worth it.


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