Archive for October, 2013

A paragraph in the latest CA e-Cycle that may have slipped past most – and would have slipped past me had I not been alerted to it:

Track Commission: Adopted the introduction of the Points Race as a new event in the U17/15 Junior Track National Championships.

This is great news for junior endurance riders… and an inclusion that helps even the balance of sprint and endurance events at the Track Nationals.  I mentioned that the program was very sprint heavy in my review of this year’s Nationals titled Junior Track Nationals – Could it be better?  It is terrific that the Track Commission has acted to balance out this pinnacle event.

Another change I’d like to see is the championships being opened up to additional riders (outside of state teams) who qualify in other ways.  What we’re currently seeing is that some of the bigger states have very competitive kids missing out on a spot while some of the less competitive states are sending kids more for the experience.  I’m not suggesting that smaller states shouldn’t get to send whoever they like to fill their numbers, but there is a lot of down-time at the championships and I don’t think that an extra say 10-kids per age category would have any significant effect on running times.

One of the end of night podiums from this year's nationals.  An amazing experience for those lucky enough to be selected for their state.

One of the end of night podiums from this year’s nationals. An amazing experience for those lucky enough to be selected for their state.

How these kids are chosen is up to the Track Commission; but some thoughts are:

  • Top four kids from the NJTS standings that aren’t selected in their state team.
  • Three fastest sprinters (adding their flying 200 time with their TT time) not part of state team.
  • Three fastest IP times outside of those kids chosen for the state teams.

This would give you 10 additional kids per age category which, as I say, from last years experience at the event is more than manageable.   It would also place greater impetus on racing and performing well at the NJTS, which can only be a plus.  And places strong impetus setting a good time at your State Championships – you might not be able to win out of a deep field in one of the stronger states, but you’re competing to post your best possible time with a view to getting one of the wildcard spots at the Nationals.

This idea is particularly beneficial for bottom-ages with clear talent but not the development to challenge for a spot on a strong state team… but had they been born in another state they’d be an automatic selection.  It would give them vital experience as there is nothing that compares to the pressure of racing a Nationals and to experience it a year early would really prepare them for the future.

Let’s hope representatives from the track commission stumble across this whacky idea and give some serious discussion.  There’s nothing stopping them from implementing something like this even this year.

One of the big decisions a cycling parent needs to make is when is your child old enough to ride on their own?  It’s a conundrum all of us will face if our kids stay in the sport of long enough.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re a country parent or a city parent, for all parents there is that gnawing feeling inside when you know your child is out there and you’re not there to protect them.

I recently bought my son a replacement bike computer, after his broke off in a crash.  His sponsor looked after him with a very good price on a new Garmin 510.  A pretty slick looking product (although a fair bit bigger than his old 500) and offering a few more bells and whistles.

One such bell (or whistle?) is it’s ‘LiveTrack’ feature.  That is, I can sit at home (or be out and about) and ‘watch’ my son riding on a map on my computer or smart phone in real time (or on about a minutes delay).  So I, and his mother, know where he is at any time when he’s out riding on his own.  We can estimate when he’ll be home and we know, heaven forbid, exactly where he is if he crashes or needs assistance.

The 510 syncs with your phone via bluetooth. It's pretty easy to work out. Then you can track your child while they're riding.

The 510 syncs with your child’s phone via bluetooth. It’s pretty easy to work out. Then you can track your child while they’re riding on your phone or computer.

The other upside is that it gives you intervals and tells you average speed, HR, cadence, metres climbed, etc. so it would probably also be good for a coach to ‘monitor’ their athlete.

Any how, I don’t like doing product endorsements here, but thought this feature was a very relevant one for all cycling parents out there (especially being school holidays) and might help them with the decision of when to let their kids ride on their own (or better still… with the mates).

This is what it looks like on your computer at home.

This is what it looks like on your computer at home.

Images courtesy DCRainmakers indepth Garmin 510 review.