2021 RED SQUAD HANDBOOK
(Spring/Summer MTB/Road Team for High Schoolers)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- WHAT TO BRING TO PRACTICE
- TRAINING DETAILS
- SAFESPORT AND ATHLETE WELLNESS
- PARENT’S ROLE
- TEAM DEALS
- CODE OF CONDUCT
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
COACHES BJC provides a professional coaching staff that brings a high level of training and experience to the program. Our coaches include top-level racers, national champions, and veterans of the sport. All of them have a passion for junior cycling that fuels our success.
All of our coaches hold the following certifications:
-Double Goal Coach (Positive Coaching Alliance)
-First Aid & CPR
BJC has been designated a “Center of Excellence” by USA Cycling every year since 2008. This designation is awarded to select junior development teams which excel in the development of young cycling athletes.
NORMAL PRACTICE DAYS & TIMES
Tuesday & Thursday 4:30 – 6:30 pm (Summer practice shifts to 8:00 – 11:00 am.)
DROP OFF Practice starts at 4:30. Please arrive promptly.
PICK UP Practice ends at 6:30. Please coordinate a carpool or arrangement with another family if you will be late for pickup. Late pick ups must be avoided.
RIDING TO AND FROM PRACTICE It is up to each family to decide if their child may ride to and from practice. (Remember riding lights will be needed some months of the year.) BJC is not responsible for kids riding to or from practice.
Are sent via email
PRACTICE LOCATIONS We meet for practice at various trailheads and locations throughout Boulder County. We rotate every practice to provide new terrain and to prevent overuse of trails by our group. BJC does not provide any transportation. The locations are announced on Monday for each week. They are not announced in advance because trail conditions are always changing. So look for that regular Monday email and keep it handy. The trails we use include:
Valmont Bike Park(Road and MTB): We always meet on the south side by dog park. 5275 Valmont Rd, Boulder, CO 80301
Betasso: We usually meet at Eben Fine Park, 101 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302
Marshall Mesa Trailhead: 5258 Eldorado Springs Dr, Boulder, CO 80303
Heil Valley Ranch – Geer Canyon (south side), Geer Canyon Dr Boulder, CO 80302
Foothills Park, 800 Cherry Avenue, Boulder, CO, 80304
(Summer) Hall Ranch: We usually meet at the Stone Cup in Lyons, 442 High St, Lyons, CO 80540
(Summer) Nederland High School
BAD WEATHER We almost NEVER cancel practice due to bad weather. We ride in the rain and snow! Be ready. Please dress for the conditions that day. This will range from very hot to very cold, and include rain, snow, wind, sleet, etc. In the case of extreme weather we will cancel practice, but it almost never happens. Here is a quick video on cold weather gear.
WHY WE DON’T CANCEL IN BAD WEATHER
- Riding in bad weather builds skills and grit that are highly valuable.
- The kids usually have the most fun when the weather is iffy! (Think mud).
- Trying to predict Mother Nature never works. The moment practice is cancelled the sun comes out. It is far easier for staff and parents to stick with the schedule.
- Many families count on practice happening and have few alternate transportation options if it is cancelled.
- There is no substitute for the lessons learned in bad weather!
COVID HEALTH CHECK IN TEAM SNAP Make sure to do the Health Check in Team Snap the day of practice or races. (Only works with the newest version of the app on your phone.)
Zero tolerance policy. No Health Check, no Ride or Race.
The Health Check is ONLY available the day of practice. You cannot access it before that time.
- Install the latest version of the Team Snap app on your phone.
- Go to your team “2021 Red”
- At the bottom click Schedule, then the current day’s event.
- There are 3 tabs close to the top: Details, Availability, Assignments.
- Under the Details tab, there is a My Health Check tab.
You can have team-snap send you a reminder. Select the upcoming practice, press on the ‘team health check’ button and select ‘remind me’ when prompted.
This is super important. Please get this done. Riders that have not done their health check will not be able to practice.
Masks are mandatory. No mask, no ride.
Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet between people at all times, do not touch other athletes or coaches and do not share food, tools or equipment.
Health Check in Team Snap. Zero tolerance policy. No Health Check, No Ride.
Small groups that don’t change often.
Please read our complete protocols.
COMMUNICATING WITH COACHES We encourage athletes to talk directly to their coach whenever they have questions, concerns, or problems, and that parents play a supporting role, not a leading role. Our hope is that athletes will learn how to advocate for themselves and build a line of communication and trust with their coaches rather than parents taking on this role.
LOOK FOR THE WEEKLY EMAIL EACH WEEK It includes practice locations and important news. BE SURE TO READ THE EMAIL. “Log In To Your Account” at the foot of Team Snap email messages to manage your contact info, add new email contacts, change your address, etc
EMAIL COMMUNICATIONS It is required that all riders use email, on both their laptop and phone. The coaches will send lots of important info via email and riders are required to check their email and read the BJC messages.
EMAIL ADDRESSES IN TEAM SNAP Make sure all athletes and parents have their individual email and phone numbers entered in Team Snap. Many families have only entered a parent’s email, the athlete email is missing. Please go into your account to edit this or the athlete will miss communications.
INSTALL THE TEAM SNAP APP ON YOUR PHONE (riders and parents) It’s mandatory that athletes and parents install the Team Snap app for several reasons, including the COVID Health Check that can only be done in the app.
ATTENDANCE Riders are required to attend all practices unless excused. Our program follows a training plan and curriculum that is cumulative. We add skills, knowledge, fitness, and team spirit with each practice. We know that missing the occasional practice is unavoidable, but the expectation is that riders attend all practices. Please contact the coaches if you must miss a practice.
AVAILABILITY IN TEAM SNAP Athletes are asked to mark their attendance in the app. Go into the schedule on the app and mark your availability as far forward as you can. If you will miss a practice, please leave an ‘availability note’ by selecting the practice you’ll be missing, pressing ‘add’ and then leaving an availability note explaining your absence. This helps coaches in their work with each athlete.
INSTALL THE GROUPME APP (riders) Riders and coaches use a group texting app called GroupMe. It is required that all riders install the app on their phone. Coaches will add you to the text group. Group texting is used for brief communications and reminders from the coaches to the riders, and also among the riders for things like carpools and meeting locations. Riders who do not have GroupMe on their phone will miss essential communications.
TEXTING & ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS: Riders are encouraged to text or direct message the coaches whenever needed for advice, questions, and to stay in touch. However, our policy is that one-on-one texting, email, and direct messaging should be avoided. Always copy a 3rd party such as another coach or adult. See the SafeSport section in this handbook for details.
Athletes: When you contact a coach on any platform, please add another coach or person to the message. If you do not feel comfortable adding a second person, you can add our dedicated SafeSport Phone Number or Email Address. This is a mailbox where messages are stored in case they are ever needed.
BJC SafeSport Mailbox
WHAT TO BRING TO PRACTICE
CLOTHING FOR PRACTICE Riders should arrive at practice ready to ride in cycling clothing appropriate for the weather, including rain and snow! You do not have to wear a BJC kit, but many riders do. Jeans, hoodies, etc are not appropriate. Don’t forget a helmet!
ALWAYS BRING A BACKPACK It is mandatory that each rider bring a hydration pack. We recommend you leave it packed and ready to go all season.
This backpack should include:
- Extra clothing for the weather that day
- Drink (water is enough)
- Inner tube that fits their bike
- Multi-tool, and pump or inflation device
SCHOOL BACKPACKS Athletes can stash extra gear and book bags in coaches’ cars at the trailhead if needed.
WRITE YOUR NAME ON EVERYTHING! Including backpacks, water bottles, helmets, gloves, jackets, etc. DO THIS NOW.
ALWAYS BRING A JACKET It is mandatory that each rider bring a jacket to every practice.
LEG WARMERS AND JACKETS Riders are required to wear Leg Warmers and Jackets if the temperature is below 60.
SNACKS & DRINKS It is mandatory that each rider bring a snack and a water bottle to every practice. Eat before practice too!
1. Plan for rain/storms in the afternoons. It may be sunny most of the day and then rain at 4 pm.
2. When you leave home in the morning, always pack for rain and cold weather just in case.
3. Temps can drop significantly between morning and evening.
YOUR BIKE It is important you bring a well-functioning bike to practice. A bike that works as intended will lead to a better practice. Coaches don’t have the time and/or equipment to make repairs. Instead, make certain that the bike is working as intended. It is recommended that you bring your bike into your local shop before the first practice or during the first week to have it looked over, checking the chain for wear and lubing, ensuring tubeless sealant is present in the tires if running tubeless, and making sure all bolts are tight, shift cables are not worn, housing is fresh, and the gears shift properly and brakes are adjusted.
A few things you can do before practices to ensure they go smoothly:
1. A clean bike is always good. It has many benefits, not the least of which it forces you to give the bike a good once over, allowing you to clearly see the state of the entire bike.
2. In many ways the brakes are the most important parts on a bike. Check that they are working correctly, as well as checking that the wheels and rotors are true.
3. Check tire pressure. Properly inflated tires minimize the risk of flats and also maximize traction.
4. Clean the chain and apply fresh lube on a weekly basis. Be sure to clean the chain before re-applying lube. If you apply lube to a dirty chain, it will only get dirtier as the weeks go on.
GOATHEAD THORNS We recommend all riders use liquid sealant to prevent punctures from thorns. Inject it into your tires or inner tubes. Ask a coach for help if needed.
BIKE FIT A well fitting bike is a fast bike. We strongly encourage all athletes to get their bike properly fitted. In our experience, most BJC athletes will start the season with the wrong saddle height and a poor body position on the bike
BJC Partners with the Trek Store Boulder and they do bike fits.
TRAINING PLANS: All athletes, regardless of their age and level, will receive training advice from the coaches. Once each athlete reaches an appropriate stage in their development, BJC coaches will provide a day-to-day training plan. This is accomplished in two ways: 1) online in the TrainingPeaks app, and 2) verbally at practice. Readiness for a day-to-day training plan will be determined by the coaches. Parents should not provide training plans or training advice to the athletes.
3rd PARTY COACHING: Athletes should not hire outside private coaches. BJC provides expert coaches who have the experience and skill needed to help athletes reach their goals. Most importantly, BJC coaches personally engage with the athletes every week. Using an outside coach can cause issues since their training plan may not be aligned with the BJC plan, the coaching philosophies may not be aligned, and outside private coaches do not attend BJC practices. If you need more coaching advice, or you feel you are not getting the type of coaching you need, please talk to the coaches and we’ll make sure you get the coaching you need!
TRAINING PEAKS This is an app/website we use to provide a training plan and as a training diary. Using Training Peaks is optional, but highly recommended for everyone who wants to follow a training plan and learn how to train for racing. If you do not have an account, you will be asked to create an account (free) If you already have an account, you’ll log into your existing account.
You can use Training Peaks on a desktop or on your phone. We recommend you set it up on both so you can use the app on your phone for quick updates and use your desktop when you want to see more information. Get the app here: https://app.trainingpeaks.com/.
RACING Racing is not required, but strongly encouraged. All athletes on the Red Squad should be motivated to push their limits and improve their bike skills and fitness.
NEW TO RACING? We’ll send a tip sheet for parents prior to the first race which includes details about categories, rules, registration, etc. Coaches will teach kids everything they need to know to race, even first timers.
TEAM RACES BJC provides coaching and a dedicated base camp at about 10-12 races each season. Many families participate in additional races on their own.
RACE CALENDAR We’ll provide details to upcoming races in our weekly emails.
WHAT IS BRAC? The Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado. BRAC oversees the local racing and events. This is the source for details about each race. http://www.coloradocycling.org/
RACING LICENSE You must have both a National and a Colorado license to race. Most riders get annual versions, but a one day discount license ($10) is available at the race for those who just want to try a race or two. If you plan to race regularly, do this now!
TEAM AFFILIATION Be sure you’ve selected BJC as your team on your racing license. Get it changed if needed by going here: http://www.usacycling.org/club-membership-faqs.htm
VOLUNTEERING BJC relies on volunteers and it helps build our community. Families are asked to volunteer several hours each season to help keep our programs running, and we’ll announce different opportunities for those with a little or a lot of time to pitch in.
TRAVEL We are tentatively planning several optional travel races. Attendance on team trips are limited to coach selection and based upon the athlete’s age, level of development, race results, and team logistics. Most out of state trips are focused on race age 17-18. Out of state travel with the team requires additional fees plus expenses. Typically parents do not travel with the team and this gives the riders a chance to be independent and to master the art of travel and racing away from home. If parents would like to attend, please discuss with the Coach. Parents typically attend Nationals, but it is not required.
SPONSOR EQUIPMENT BJC has several sponsors that provide a very limited amount of free gear. Distribution of this equipment to athletes is determined by the coaches based on a variety of factors including race results, need, age, demonstrated commitment to the team, development level, cycling discipline, and other factors. Please contact the head coach with any questions.
SAFESPORT & ATHLETE WELLNESS
BJC ATHLETE WELLNESS PLAN BJC has implemented a plan that establishes best practices and guidelines to follow when addressing various athlete wellness issues that might include topics like Injury, Concussion, Mental Health, RED-S (Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports), Disordered Eating, and SafeSport issues.
BJC ATHLETE WELLNESS ADVOCATE BJC has appointed Meredith Miller to serve the role of Athlete Wellness Advocate and SafeSport Champion. Meredith is a former pro racer and a member of our board of directors. The Athlete Wellness Advocate serves the BJC community as a confidential and neutral resource for athlete wellness concerns. This can include any athlete health issues, both physical and mental, any SafeSport issues, or whenever an independent and experienced resource is needed. Members of our community can contact Meredith at any time via email.
A wide range of USA Cycling Member Well-Being Resources are here.
SAFESPORT SafeSport is a set of resources and policies to safeguard athletes from bullying, harassment, hazing, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct. BJC requires adults who have regular contact with or authority over minor athletes to follow the SafeSport policy. This includes coaches, board members, and chaperones.
Read more details about the USA Cycling SafeSport program.
SAFESPORT ONLINE COURSE IS REQUIRED – BOTH PARENTS AND ATHLETES
All athletes and parents are required to complete the online SafeSport training course. It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
There are specific courses for Athletes and Parents.
Once you complete the course, please email us your certificate of completion so we can maintain a complete set of records.
Both courses are here (scroll down): https://www.athletesafety.org/training/index
– SafeSport for High School Athletes
– Parent’s Guide to Misconduct in Sport
* Note, parents who are closely involved in youth sports must take a higher level course, called “SafeSport Trained”. This applies to coaches, van drivers, chaperons, mechanics, board members, lead volunteers, program organizers, etc. Anyone in a position of authority over, or have regular contact with athletes. That higher level course is here: https://usacycling.org/resources/safesport/safesport-training
** Athletes must also take this higher level course when they turn 18.
TO REPORT SAFESPORT CONCERNS: Contact the USA Center for SafeSport at https://uscenterforsafesport.org/report-a-concern/
MINOR ATHLETE ABUSE PREVENTION POLICY Known as the MAAPP, it is a set of guidelines established by numerous sport organizations.The goal is to eliminate isolated, one-on-one interactions between children and adults. Establishing clear boundaries for one-on-one interactions reduces the risk of physical, sexual, and emotional misconduct as well as opportunities for bullying, harassment, and hazing. The majority of child sexual abuse is perpetrated in isolated, one-on-one situations. By reducing such interaction between children and adults, programs reduce the risk of child sexual abuse. However, one-on-one time with trusted adults is also healthy and valuable for a child. Policies concerning one-on-one interactions protect children while allowing for these beneficial relationships.
Read more details about the USA Cycling Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy
There are a host of guidelines, but the key ones cover: meetings, one-on-one coaching, car sharing, and electronic communications.
Meetings between adults and minor athletes: Must be observable and interruptible by another adult.
Individual training sessions: Must be observable and interruptible by another adult, unless agreed to in writing by the minor athlete’s parent/legal guardian in advance. Please follow the link below to complete BJC’s online permission form for Individual Training Sessions https://waiver.smartwaiver.com/w/5f4828c59fb4f/web/
Car sharing: Adults shall not ride in a vehicle alone with an unrelated minor athlete, unless agreed to in writing by the minor athlete’s parent/legal guardian in advance. (Emergency circumstances excepted.) Transportation is allowed when at least two minor athletes or another adult are in the vehicle. Please follow the link below to complete a BJC online permission form for minor athlete to ride in a vehicle alone with unrelated adult https://waiver.smartwaiver.com/w/5f481e58252ac/web/
Electronic communications: one-on-one texting, email, and direct messaging between adults and minor athletes should be avoided. Electronic communications should include a 3rd party. This can be accomplished in several simply ways:
- Copy another adult on the message. When texting or messaging each other, athletes and coaches should copy another coach or parent. (A good example is for athletes to copy both Coach Pete and Coach Joe on text messages.)
- As an alternative to copying another adult, BJC has set up a private mailbox to serve as an archive of communications. This may be used if copying another adult is not desired.
- For texting, copy the BJC SafeSport phone number: 303-900-5675
- For email, copy: email@example.com
- Athletes can create a contact in their phone with this info: BJC SafeSport: 303-900-5675, firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more details about the USA Cycling Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy
TO REPORT MINOR ATHLETE ABUSE PREVENTION POLICY VIOLATIONS: Contact the USA Center for SafeSport at https://uscenterforsafesport.org/report-a-concern/ You can also BJC’s Athlete Wellness Advocate and SafeSport Champion Meredith Miller via email.
BEING A GREAT SPORTS PARENT We want to help parents learn how to find that “sports parent sweet spot” where you support your kids and show your love, but avoid adding pressure or becoming too intense. We hope parents can allow kids to be independent and find their own level of sports success. But we know it’s hard to find that “sports parent sweet spot” because we love our kids so much and want the best for them.
Parents should focus on the goal of using sports to teach life lessons, while leaving the goal of winning to the athletes and coaches. The best practice is: Release your child to the game. They need to feel that their sport is their thing. Let them “own it” even if they make mistakes.
Our suggestion for parents is to leave coaching and instruction to the coach. Parents who provide additional coaching can do more harm than good, especially as it may conflict with the coaches’ advice. This includes selecting races to attend: athletes should work with their coaches to select races to attend, and parents play a supporting role. Parents, if you have questions about the race schedule or the progression of the athlete, please contact the coaches.
Encourage the athlete to communicate with their coaches. We want to develop athletes who are independent and who can think and speak for themselves. When issues or problems arise, the first step is for the athlete to meet with the coach. It is the athlete who works with the coach on a daily basis and is a member of the team. Therefore, it is the athlete who should be having this conversation with the coach.
But please remember: parents are invited to contact the coaches whenever needed and we encourage an open line of communications at all times.
SHOULD PARENTS STAY AT PRACTICE OR RIDE WITH THE KIDS? BJC’s policy is that parents may NOT participate or tag along during practice unless specifically requested by a coach to do so.
We like this quote: “Once you are confident that your child is in a safe environment, one of the greatest gifts you can give the young athletes in your house is to let them go and let their sports experience belong to them.”
Release Your Child to the Game! By the Changing the Game Project
“Once you are confident that your child is in a safe environment, one of the greatest gifts you can give the young athletes in your house is to let them go and let their sports experience belong to them.” Link: Release Your Child to the Game!
BIKE SHOPS: Trek Store Boulder and Excel Sports are the official bike shops of BJC.
WELCOME TREK: We are happy to announce that Trek is the new official bike of BJC, and the Trek Store Boulder becomes an official BJC bike shop. They are located at 2626 Baseline Rd, Boulder, CO 80305. Phone is 303-413-0228 and they are open for business. The shop is managed by Chris Arterburn, a veteran bicycle expert and longtime supporter of our community. Email Chris.
Due to the pandemic inventories are extremely low and there are wait times of several months for nearly all popular mountain bikes. If you need a bike, don’t delay!
EXCEL SPORTS: Excel is a well known e-commerce operation with thousands of products in stock. They also have a showroom here in Boulder where you can purchase items directly or pick up your internet order. BJC athletes and family members get awesome discounts
If you have any questions about the programs at Trek Boulder and Excel Sports, please feel free to contact your coach..
FINDING USED BIKES AND CLOTHING
BJC Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/70699182603/
Pros Closet: https://www.theproscloset.com/
Front Range Bike Swap (Facebook) https://www.facebook.com/groups/frontrangebikeswap/
Buy the Mojo, an excellent local EBay Store: https://www.ebay.com/str/buythemojo
JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP Join the BJC Facebook Group to communicate inside our community. This is the place for group chatter, such as selling gear, carpooling, asking for advice, and other inward-facing stuff: https://www.facebook.com/groups/70699182603/
LIKE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE This is our organization’s official FB page, this is our outward-facing page for public news: https://www.facebook.com/BoulderJuniorCycling?ref_type=bookmark
Boulder Junior Cycling Code of Conduct
1. Athletes shall treat themselves, coaches, and team members with respect and dignity and make a sincere effort to support the shared goals of the team.
2. Athletes shall not use any illegal drugs, including any and all performance enhancing drugs as defined by the United States Anti Doping Agency, nor shall any athlete consume alcohol, or use any form of tobacco.
3. Athletes shall not engage in any manner of criminal activity.
4. Athletes shall wear a helmet while riding.
5. Athletes shall not take inappropriate risks or willingly attempt anything which is beyond the scope of what is reasonable and appropriate.
6. Athletes shall ride responsibly and limit damage and erosion to trails and the environment.
7. Athletes will follow all traffic laws.
8. Athletes shall model and display courteous riding and behavior at all times.
Remember, you are responsible for all your actions and words while riding on the team. Your behavior reflects upon the team as well as sponsors and Boulder Junior Cycling itself. Think of yourselves as ambassadors for the team, the sport of cycling, and your community.