The first cycling race recorded in history was held in June 1868 in England at Hendon, Middlesex. By 1893, there was a world championship race, and in 1896, cycling was added to the Olympic Games. The Tour de France was introduced in 1903. Youth cycling programs today consist of track, road, mountain biking and collegiate cycling programs. There are a few ways youth can participate in cycling in Des Moines.
Cycling is a great opportunity for kids who aren’t interested in traditional sports. Cycling is also an inclusive sport: all ages, skills, abilities and both girls and boys can participate. Many clubs offer a racing program, as well as a club riding program, which provides the teamwork, fun, and accomplishment of a more competitive program.
Cycling is not a cheap sport. A good bike can be expensive. It also may be a challenge finding a cycling club near you. Opportunities for kids to participate in different cycling disciplines depend on several factors like location and how bike friendly your community is. Lastly, cycling can also be a dangerous sport. Wrecks do occur and riders incur injuries as a result.
Cycling is an “individual” team sport. Unlike other team sports, the effort and the results of the individual cyclist are immediately visible and measured, even when riding with teammates in a team strategy. Kids with discipline, determination and focus will particularly enjoy cycling.
Youth cyclists should complete “basic training” before they participate in any group training or practice. Basic training should cover: bike fit and position; proper starting and stopping technique; safe drafting instruction; 2×2 riding; proper hand signaling and communication and more.
Depending on your child’s level of commitment to the sport they could attend individual fitness practices, race team practices and/or group training rides. Cycling races are typically held on Saturdays or Sundays. The number of events and races your child will participate in will be up to you and your coaches.
- Helmet (Mandatory)
- Cycling Shoes (younger kids can start with tennies)
- Cycling Shorts
- Tool Kit/Spare Tubes
- Water Bottle
- Club Membership: Varies depending on the club.
- Race Entrance Fees: $50+
- Travel Expenses: $100-$500 average per event
- Bike: $300+ (bikes can be purchased used or rented)
- Cycling Shoes: $50+
- Cycling Shorts: $35+
- Jersey: $25+
- Glasses/Sunglasses: $40+
- Tool Kit/Spare Tubes: $35+
- Water Bottle: $5+
Fees vary according to what is provided by the organizing entity. Please keep in mind some fees are one time, others are recurring. All costs are approximate. As with any activity, as your child progresses, only your family can choose what you will spend in relation to your child’s specific goals within the sport whether competitively or recreationally.
Cycling Resources in Des Moines
There are a few cycling clubs in the Des Moines metro area. Kids can also compete individually in youth cycling races. They are a great way for a child to find out if they enjoy competing in the sport before deciding whether to make a commitment to join a club.
Barr Bike & Fitness – Ankeny
Beaverdale Bicycles – Beaverdale
Bike Iowa – Ankeny
Bike World – Various Locations
Central Iowa Cycling Club – Ames
Cycle Sport Coaching – Des Moines
Des Moines Cycle Club – Des Moines
Des Moines United – Des Moines
Des Moines Triathalon Club – Des Moines
DMOS Racing Team – Des Moines
Heartland Velo – Des Moines
Rasmussen Bike Shop – West Des Moines
Sakari Race Team – Altoona
VeloRosa Cycling Team – Urbandale
Zealous Racing – Des Moines
Zoom Performance – Des Moines
What do you think, is Cycling a fit for your kid?