During 2014/15, 600 Go-Ride Racing events were hosted by Go-Ride clubs and coaches nationwide, providing over 15,000 opportunities for young riders to experience their first racing events. Go-Ride is sponsored by the Bicycle Association’s Bike Hub levy fund. Most of the current Great Britain Cycling Team started out at Go-Ride Clubs.
Go-Ride Clubs are encouraged to deliver race series throughout the winter, with those clubs that do so having the opportunity to gain extra resources and enter riders into a special one-off event hosted by British Cycling Go-Ride Coaches.
One such race took place in Liverpool recently. The first event of Liverpool Mercury’s Go-Ride Racing series saw young riders donning bibs and lining up to sharpen their racing skills. Over 20 riders were involved in the first of a series of four evening events at Litherland Sports Park. The ages of participants ranged from four- and five-year-olds getting their first taste of racing on balance bikes through to 13- and 14-year-old club members.
Paul Paterson, event organiser at Liverpool Mercury, said of the event:“The riders enjoyed the racing immensely; they developed riding techniques like braking, cornering and bunch riding that we work on in our Go-Ride coaching sessions and lead into the racing.”
Further handy hints and tips were provided by volunteer coaches to develop young riders’ bike handling skills and riding techniques during the races. By taking these tips on board, youngsters improved their performances as the evening went on and races demanded greater use of tactics. Coaching and Go-Ride Racing activities such as these hosted by Liverpool Mercury help young people to enjoy cycling and reach their full potential.
Stars from the Great Britain Cycling Team are quick to attribute their success to Go-Ride Clubs.
Tre Whyte, a BMX rider on the Great Britain Cycling Team and member of the Peckham Challengers Go-Ride Club said she “loved the thrill of racing with my friends, and Go-Ride Racing events are a great way to feel that buzz.” Reflecting on the support provided at her club, world champion Laura Trott, who first started cycling at Welwyn Wheelers Go-Ride Club, highlighted that “without support from the volunteers at my Go-Ride Club, it’s possible I wouldn’t be where I am today”.
The Bike Hub fund is a voluntary levy scheme, which raises money to “safeguard the future of cycling”. Contributors voluntarily donate £1 per £1,000 of goods invoiced and this is matched by the manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers thereby creating a total contribution of £2 per £1,000.
Bike Hub raises over £350,000 each year.