We’re criticised at some supposedly high levels in our sport for not having a separate Youth and Juvenile race. Our normal 1 hour format sees youth and juvenile riders join the seniors’ race mid-way and mixing it. With most of us having kids who have raced the events, we’ve seen how racing among the seniors and vets can be a huge help. They all learn about race etiquette and overtaking far more than if they were to race only among themselves. With more riders on the course it could be argued that the risk is higher, but this is offset by the fact that the youths are in a race with lots of other categories so they don’t get all bothered by each other. They like being in a proper race that doesn’t patronise. They like being faster than quite a few seniors. They like learning a lot.
We know there are always riders who’d like others to get out of their way but learning to pass slower riders and be passed by faster ones is a skill that’s only achieved by practice. And the more you practice, the better you get. That said, many of the youth riders quickly realise they are just as fast as anyone out there and come to enjoy their racing more because of small successes around our enjoyable courses. Some of the youths are also among the very fastest.
We always notice at the end of each race how youth riders become more confident about talking with their race ‘peers’ of any age. We are a stronger community that values seeing enjoyment and one that takes care of each other. Beastway is a midweek training race and it’s the best racing there is. We need more riders and that means helping youth riders grow up to be seniors.
Here are our Youth and Juvenile standings as we go into the final counting round of the Stevens Beastway 2017 series.