With a whistle of wind through hair kids took to the air and land in the second BikeJam to launch the School Bike League last Friday.
While the hoopla at the West Shore rec centre started the season, there’s still time for schools with riders from grades 6 through 12 to enter a team.
“There’s no entry fee or other requirement and you don’t have to ride all nine events,” said Lister Farrar, SBL race director.
The next nine weeks SBL will cover a variety of venues and nine different kinds of cycling on mostly Tuesday evenings April 9 through June 4.
“You can do six out of the nine on a mountain bike,” Farrar said. Some venues, like the velodrome at West Shore recreation, include free bike rental while the hills and tracks of North Saanich Free Ride Park are ideal for a mountain bike.
“The idea is not only to test kids skills but develop them,” Farrar said “The competitive part is relatively low emphasis… it’s really aimed at all levels of kids.”
The bike league has been around since the 1980s during the mountain biking boom, with a surge in the last three or four years expanding to include the variety of styles.
“We all believe that being good at all these different skills carries through into the different aspect of the sport you choose … there’s lots of crossover when you get to the higher competitive levels,” Farrar said.
The school must approve an adult supervisor for the team – which can be a lone rider – and email the commissioner firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm participation with name of school and adult. Visit www.schoolbikeleague.com for details.
The bike league is open to any school in Greater Victoria. Participants can earn points for their school toward league championships and prizes.
SBL is offering a prize of three GoPro cameras this season, divvied into three age groups using top three girls and top three boys scores at the end of the league.
“It’s an incentive to get as many kids from your school out as many times as you can,” Farrar said.