I’m the father of a junior cyclist. He’s been racing now for a number of years, with another couple of years to go. I’ve been struggling my way through for the same amount of time. I’ve made some pretty stupid mistakes. My son and I have had lots of ups and some downs. We’ve spent many hours in the car on road trips to races in all corners of Australia. We’ve spent many more hours riding side-by-side in the early hours of the morning. I have a very supportive wife and younger siblings… so there’s a chance as one comes out of the juniors, another will be making their start (although they show little interest at present).

In this blog I’ll share what I’ve learned as the dad of a junior racer. I’m coach, soigner, psychologist, taxi driver, banker and sometimes, just plain old dad. It’s been a fun ride so far and its always a balance between supporting and pushing; between his goals and what I think his goals should be; between sleeping and exercising; between the rest of the family and cycling.

I’m no expert. But thankfully I’ve surrounded myself with some people who are pretty good at what they do; and these people have taught me a lot about what it takes to be the father of a junior cyclist. I hope, if you find yourself in a similar situation, you might get something out of these posts.

  1. Darby Munro says:

    Great articles Cycling dad.

  2. Pete says:

    Do you think CV should have a Junior Commission?
    Junior issues seem to fall partly under Development, Track, Road, Technical & Women’s but none has specific responsibility for junior interests. Many decisions are made by event organisers (clubs or CV) and we often don’t get satisfactory outcomes.

  3. cycdad says:

    Hi Pete, interesting question. Yes, junior issues (like elite mens issues) do fall across all commissions. I think it’s the Coaching and Development Commission that can have the greatest positive impact on junior cycling. This commission does have three ‘cycling dads’ on it, but their kids are all now out of the junior categories. I think there does need to be more planning and thought given to the issues surrounding junior racing – meaning under-9 to under-17. Whether that could be done better with a stand-alone Junior Commission or just better representation on the existing C&D Commission (and other commissions) I’m not sure. Looking at the list of people sitting on the commissions, there is definitely an under-representation of those involved in junior cycling. I know the commissions are always looking for volunteer members so if you feel strongly and can afford to invest the time, I’d suggest putting my hand-up to sit on the C&D Commission for 2014. I’m sure if you gave CV a call they’d be only too happy to include you. I’m also hoping that now the new head of the VIS has been appointed he will have an positive impact on refining and better defining the junior ‘pathway’.

  4. Pete says:

    I would envisage a potential Junior Commission would liaise with the other commissions as applicable to particular issues and formulate (negotiate) policies for CV to endorse and prescribe.

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