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“The Rules” - rewritten for young racing cyclists

by Mark Fraser, editor of Youth Cycle Sport, cycling coach and parent

“The Rules” - rewritten for young racing cyclists

Lots of cyclists quote from “The Rules”, a (hopefully) tongue-in-cheek list of dos and don’ts about what to wear and how to ride. It’s an entertaining read but in my opinion full of the worst possible advice for young racing cyclists.
As editor of the Youth Cycle Sport website, as a coach, as a parent, and as a lifelong cyclist I want kids to feel included by our magnificent sport – not excluded because they don’t have the “right” clothing or an expensive bike.

So this is an extract from my version of The Rules, rewritten for young racing cyclists. Some of it is drawn from the advice for children given in my interviews with world-class riders such as Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Lizzie Armitstead, Chris Boardman and Tracy Moseley. It also comes from some of the best coaches in cycling, and from parents who have already raised happy, successful riders.

Maybe these Rules will help a few children to enjoy their cycling and be the best that they can be.

Rule #1 The best riders don’t care which bike brand they ride or how much their bike is worth – they just make sure it works well, that it fits them properly, and that it’s clean.

Rule #2 You don’t need the best, most expensive equipment to succeed. If you have a steel bike see how many carbon bikes you can beat.

Rule #3 Respect your opponents. Rip each other’s legs off during the race, of course, but shake hands afterwards.

Rule #4 See that rider who got lapped? They’re trying just as hard as you are.

Rule #5 The top youth riders still fit their training and racing around school or college - not the other way round.

Rule #6  Races and coaching sessions are a privilege. Every now and again remember to thank the organiser, marshals, the people serving in the tea-hut...

Youth Cycle Sport young ridersRule #7 Try to be the best you can be. That doesn’t mean always winning - it means working to get the very best out of yourself.

Rule #8 Yes, have big goals and dreams but stay grounded. Even if you don’t get to the highest level you can still enjoy the sport and be very competitive.

Rule #9 Count your race as a success if: you executed your race plan properly; if you tried your hardest; if you tried something new; if you attacked; if you didn’t get dropped; if you lasted longer in the bunch than last time; or if you crashed but got back on.

Rule #10 Keep doing other sports as well as cycling. And do as many different disciplines of cycling as you can. Don’t specialise too early.

For the full article please go to: http://www.youthcyclesport.co.uk/features/the-rules-rewritten-for-young-racing-cyclists/

Youth Cycle Sport (www.youthcyclesport.co.uk) is the home of cycle racing on the web for young riders and their parents.