Rider Development Programs

Our Junior Ride Program has gone from strength to strength over the last few years – excluding 2020, which all of us would rather forget about – and in 2021 we are excited to be piloting an extension of it into a broader Rider Development Program (RDP) that offers instruction and activity for youths (teens) and beginner adults alongside the juniors.

The mission of the RDP is to create greater enjoyment of mountain biking by BCG club members, through improved technique, higher endurance, wider trail experience and riding friendships. The BCG Committee wants to see members share knowledge, ride together and embed mountain biking as a core component of our lives.

Junior Ride Program

Age: 5-12

Our incredibly popular junior ride program (JRP) is for children age 5-12. We take children with very little mountain biking experience and equip them with the skills and confidence needed to enjoy mountain biking at our park and other trails in the region. It’s amazing to watch a 10 year old take on the difficult blue trails at our mountain bike park, knowing that they are in control and enjoying themselves thanks to the instruction they’ve received from us over time. Some of our JRP alumni have even gone on to become very competitive at a regional and state level in various MTB classes.

The JRP is for beginner and intermediate riders and is capped at 60 riders in 6 groups of 10. All groups except Green and Purple are set up by ability rather than age.

For all groups, the emphasis is on making sure the kids enjoy their riding.

  • Green Group (beginner). Initial introduction to MTB for very young children.
  • Purple Group (beginner). Initial introduction to MTB for younger children. Goal: Competent on Green Loop and Pump Track.
  • Red Group (beginner). Goal: Competent on Green Loop, Pump Track, Goanna.
  • Yellow Group (beginner to intermediate). Goal: Competent on Goanna, Short XC Loop.
  • Orange Group (intermediate). Goal: Competent on Short XC Loop, Secret Track, Need Pizza.
  • Blue Group (intermediate). Goal: Competent on full XC Loop, Snakes and Ladders.
For days/times in term 1 please see Term 1 information below

Youth Ride Program (new in 2021)

Age: 12-16

New for 2021, we’re piloting an extension of the Juniors program into ages 12-16.

  • Yellow Group (beginner to intermediate). Goal: Competent on Goanna, Short XC Loop.
  • Advanced Group (high intermediate).  Competent on all trails at the park and seeking shuttle days, advanced instruction, racing and challenge.

At this stage we’re taking expressions of interest to run these programs in term 2.

Adult Ride Program (new in 2021)

Age: 17+

After numerous requests from parents for us to provide them with the same type of instruction that we provide to their kids (so they can ride with them!), we’re trialling an adult beginner program in term 2 2021. This will focus on equipping adult riders with the same basic MTB skills and confidence techniques that the JRP riders are learning – the skills are the same no matter what age you are!

  • Yellow Group (beginner to intermediate). Goal: Competent on Goanna, Short XC Loop.

At this stage we’re taking expressions of interest to run the adult program in term 2.

Term 1, 2021 (Feb-Apr)

We’ve learned that the weather (heat, storms) during February and March often presents a challenge to our weekly instruction sessions. So in term 1 2021 we’re running our programs as follows:

  • Juniors: 4x weeknights, 2x weekend ride days
  • Youth: Not running term 1
  • Adults: Not running term 1

Also worth noting in the calendar are the Beechworth round of the local Junior Race Series, and the VIC Interschools at Falls Creek. All three Beechworth primary schools are planning to enter teams in the Interschools – check details with your school.

Calendar for Term 1

We will run 4 weeknights in term 1, along with two Ride Days. Sessions are weather dependent so watch the WhatsApp groups each week for info.

  • (Junior Race Series – Beechworth round – Sat 6 Feb)
  • JRP Session 1 – Week commencing 8 Feb 
  • JRP Session 2 – Week commencing 15 Feb
  • (Victorian Interschools at Falls Creek – Fri 26 Feb)
  • JRP Ride Day 1 – Sun 28 Feb (Falls Creek)
  • JRP Session 3 – Week commencing 1 Mar
  • JRP Ride Day 2 – Sun 14 Mar (Bright)
  • JRP Session 4 – Week commencing 15 Mar
 
Term 1 Ride Days

In Term 1 we have planned 2 ride days at other mountain bike parks in the region. These days will include instructor-led loops in the same (or similar) groups to the weeknight sessions, and a BBQ/get together after the rides.

  • Ride Day 1: Falls Creek, Sunday Feb 28. Trails for the beginner riders include the easier green trails near Rocky Valley Dam and the Aqueduct trail, while for the more intermediate and advanced riders we are planning to run private shuttles up to the corner of Pretty Valley Road and Summit Road. From there riders can access the Greenline trail which opens up Eagle Rock, Generator Down, Vortex, Lakeside, Short Circuit and Induction. Riders with appropriate skill and experience may also be led on Flowtown. Our private shuttles will then pick riders up from either the Village or Howmans Gap for another run.
  • Ride Day 2: Bright, Sunday March 14. Bright’s Mystic Park offers some excellent beginner and intermediate riding on the riverside trails, Green Army, Wombat’s Lair, Rollercoaster and Playground, while the more intermediate and advanced riders can scoot up the XC trails such as Grevid’s Way, Green Army, Hades 1 and then descend the 2nd third of Hero, Shred Kelly, Gorilla Warfare and more.

Registration

Registration is now closed for Term 1. We will open registration for term 2 in March.

  1. If you’re interested in registering your child(ren) for term 2 2021 please email bcg.juniors@gmail.com. Places are limited, and previous participants are given first opportunity to re-register. 
  2. We’d also love to hear from you if you’re interested in our YRP and ARP sessions in term 2 – please let us know if you’re keen by emailing the bcg.juniors address above.
  3. Once you have registered your interest for one of the rider development programs with us and confirmed that your child has a spot in a group, the process is to join AusCycling (nominating BCG as your club of choice). Various AusCycling membership types are available, offering different benefits and levels of insurance cover. Many of BCG’s members are on “Lifestyle” memberships, but you must make your own decision about what suits your needs or those of your child.
  4. After this is complete, you pay your Rider Development Program fee to us. Riders who are not registered with AusCycling cannot participate in any of our rider development programs.

General Information

Cost

Cycling Australia “Lifestyle” membership is $50p.a. for children and $80p.a. for adults. Family memberships are available.

The program costs payable to BCG for term 1 are as follows. All instructors are volunteers – this money goes towards the ride days, coaching accreditation, first aid equipment and more.

  • Junior Ride Program: $45 per term
  • Youth Ride Program: Not available in term 1.
  • Adult Ride Program: Not available in term 1.

Payments to BCG (not MTBA) can be made to:

Name: Beechworth Chain Gang
BSB: 633-000
ACC: 150 182 673

Bikes and helmets

Bikes and helmets are scrutinised each week for suitability in off-road use. Bikes or helmets that are deemed unsafe by the coaches will not be permitted to be used in the sessions, resulting in your child being unable to ride.

Essential gear includes:

  • A mountain bike designed for off-road use, with working gears, working front and rear brakes, good tread on tyres and properly-inflated tyres. (Some small 16″ and 20″ wheel bikes use coaster brakes and/or are single speed. This is OK for children in the young beginner groups.)
  • Helmet (Australian standards approved).
  • Water must be carried in a caged bottle or camelbak. On warm or hot evenings children who arrive without water will not be able to participate.
  • Full-finger gloves are highly recommended.

Locations

The ride location for each group is published each week on that group’s WhatsApp message board. Locations include:

Communication

BCG coaches and leaders use the WhatsApp service to communicate each week with other leaders and members for immediate information.

BCG Leaders will use email, Google Groups, and the Facebook page for more general and non-urgent information.

Please ensure that where possible, members or guardians can access these services

For all enquiries, email bcg.juniors@gmail.com

Volunteer

Want to help? Please do! BCG always needs more parents to assist this expanding group. From helping out in the car park to riding with the groups as a parent helper, we welcome you getting involved. 

If you can commit to being one of our instructors, we’ll help to organise the Level 0 Instructing course with AusCycling and your First Aid Certificate. You’ll need to complete a “working with children” check too.