Minnesota Junior Cycling CX Campby Corey Coogan
September 14, 2012
Minnesota Junior Cycling (MNJRC) is continuing its tradition of hosting a fall cyclocross (CX) training program. Since Bjorn Selander (Former U23 CX National Champion and Worlds Team Member) and David Hackworthy (Former USGP Under-23 Champion and Worlds Team Member) got their cycling start with MNJRC, the juniors have every reason to dream big!
Our program is thriving! We have 12 athletes on the team, 9 of whom are brand new to the sport. As a way to give back to the athletic community that has given me so much, I am coaching the program with the capable assistance of my husband, Michael Cisek.
While we started practice in August, our season really got into full swing with a September CX day camp. St. Thomas Academy was gracious enough to loan us their facilities, so we were able to split our time between "on the bike drills" and classroom time dedicated to learning about cross, team-building exercises, and goal setting.
We began the day watching a World Cup race on YouTube. This gave our athletes a chance to envision world-class CX and their parents an opportunity to ponder just how much laundry this sport might require! The athletes' parents stayed around for the first hour, as we conducted "Cyclocross 101," including equipment needs, and how to dress for cold weather cycling.
After a warm-up ride, we did some core exercises. Because core is such an important part of CX, we devote a little time at every practice to core, mostly plank exercises. While it isn't exactly the athlete's favorite part, they are making a good effort, and also learning that it's harder to do planks when you are giggling.
Since our athletes had already worked on the basics of CX (dismounting, mounting, carrying, and running barriers), we reviewed these skills using circuits. In teams of two, they went from station to station practicing the activities. We closed out the morning by competing for hole shots, which they did with good-natured aggressiveness.
In the afternoon, we took the skills up a notch, and the athlete's enthusiasm reached new heights. We began with cornering, which was fun, but not as much fun as the sand riding and bunny-hopping that followed. The coaches, who weigh much more than the riders, were truly impressed by the riders' ability to float through the sand. The capstone of the day, bunny-hopping, quickly spun out of control, as riders begged for higher obstacles, and then amused themselves by grinding over a sand hill that they found.
Photoset: MNJRC CX Camp (from TJ McGoldrick)
Catch the MNJRC riders in action at the Minnesota Cyclocross Rider of the Year (CRY) races and other Minnesota CX races.
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About the author...
Corey Coogan Cisek is a former elite Nordic ski racer whose primary focus is now cyclocross. This is her first season on Cyclocrossracing.comís Elite Team. She races mountain bike and road in the summers and still finds time to ski when (or if) it snows! She is a volunteer coach for Minnesota Junior Cycling, a Twin Cities program dedicated to bringing the sport of a lifetime to Minnesota youth.