For most people, starting out in the sport of cycling can be a bit daunting - learning to ride your bike was just the start! Next comes bunch skills and tactics. Not everyone is born to be a champion & not everyone wants to become an Olympian. Some people are naturally gifted and competitive, some are happy to ride bikes for fun & fitness. Statistically, the chances of achieving anything like Olympic success may seem to be virtually impossible and so some may ask,'Why bother trying at all?' For young riders and their parents, our advice has always been:
- Learning skills and developing fitness correctly, in the formative years between 8 and 16, can be just as important as any natural talent you were born with
- You will never achieve lasting success unless you enjoy what you do - it has to be fun
- Cycling with better riders will eventually make you a better rider
- Focus on being the best you can be, take each ride as it comes, ride your bike regularly and see what happens from there
P.S.o.C.R. is run by a dedicated committee, made up of i-Team.cc members, who volunteer their time to organise weekly coaching sessions for youth cyclists from Portsmouth and the surrounding area, whether or not they are members of i-Team.cc. Over the last decade, our coaching sessions have benefited many riders from local clubs and have helped Four of i-Team.cc's home grown youth talent to progress on to the British Olympic Program. Three of those riders are currently in the mix for Rio 2016:
Access to the Mountbatten Centre Cycle Track remains temporarily suspended for the forseable future and so from 9th May 2014 until further notice, P.S.o.C.R. road bike sessions will take place at Langstone Technology Park, PO9 1SA.
i-Team.cc's volunteer coaches & helpers run two 1 hour sessions on most Fridays throughout the year at a 200m - 300m closed road area at Langstone Technology Park, PO9 1SA
6-7pm: 8 to 12 year olds
7-8pm: 12 to 16 year olds
These sessions are primarily organised for i-Team.cc youth riders but youths from other clubs are always very welcome. Newcommers aged between 8-16 years of age are always welcome to come along and watch or try a few sessions free of charge - they will be looked after and given instruction on the basics (just make sure you bring along a completed consent form please.)
Once novices have registered and can demonstrate that they have the required level of skills, they are introduced more and more into the main group. The sessions are based on British Cycling's 'Gears' and are structured to give a balance between having fun, developing skills and developing physical fitness. Within each session, riders may be of similar age but vary in ability and we encourage all participants develop at their own speed - literally!
Riders are encouraged to set their own targets and we never put pressure on our riders to reach a certain benchmark or beat a certain time. All we ask is that the riders take part because they want to improve their cycle racing skills and that they listen to the coaches and try their best.
These are not 'Training Sessions' where the main focus is just to ride hard to develop fitness.
Youths will be pushed physically (especially the 7-8pm group) but the main focus is on finding the limit of bike handling skills (i.e. very close group riding and cornering in a group,) under the watchfull eye of up to 4 British Cycling qualified level 1-3 coaches, in a professional but fun and friendly atmosphere.
Our pre-registering / pre-paying system means that we can always ensure that there is the right balance between experienced and novice riders - this helps maintain steady but safe progression for all abilities.
The 535m outdoor cycle track at The Mountbatten Centre, Alexandra Park, Portsmouth, PO2 9QA is currently closed until further notice - as soon as we are able to use the track again, we will return there for coaching on Friday nights.
British Cycling coaching and club insurance policies impose limits on the number of riders that can be coached at any one time and also require that parents follow procedures and guidelines, e.g. so that we know about any relevant medical conditions and so that we have emergency contact details on record. We operate a waiting list for riders who want to become registered and access for new intakes is prioritised as follows:
i. Riders aged 8-16, who are both individual members of British Cycling & members of a British Cycling Go-Ride club and who have a sibling already registered
ii. Riders aged 8-16, who are both individual members of British Cycling & members of a British Cycling Go-Ride club
iii. Riders aged 8-16, who are both individual members of British Cycling & members of a British Cycling affiliated club and who have a sibling already registered
iv. Riders aged 8-16, who are both individual members of British Cycling & members of a British Cycling affiliated club
In 2014, established our pre-registering / pre-paying system, where riders sign up for 3 month 'terms' - this allows us to ensure that there is the right balance between experienced and novice riders - this helps maintain steady but safe progression for all abilities.
To enquire about availability of spare places, or to add your child to our waiting list, please send us a message using this form
Olympic Gold! Congratulations to Dani King!
Above: Dani found the time to come back to P.S.o.C.R. with her new Olympic Gold medal and so help us inspire another generation
You could be like 2011
World Champion & 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist Dani King, who learnt
to ride bikes fast & safe at The Mountbatten Center with i-Team.cc's
Portsmouth School of Cycle Racing!
Dani King is a perfect role medal for any of our young riders. Dani started with us in 2005, riding similar sessions to those we run today. Although Dani showed obvious talent & ability, she had to work hard at her cycling - it didn't come easy to her at first.
Dani had to build up her fitness and experience over several years, training hard with her more experienced team mates and listening to her coaches. Eventually, she caught the eye of selectors and eventually turned professional and was selected for the Olympic Development Team, along with her club mate, Kate Calvert.
Dani had to overcome many obstacles in her early career and through determination and hard work she became European & then World Champion in 2011 before crowning her career (so far) with Olympic Gold at the 2012 London Olympics.
What Dani Says About Us:
"....at Portsmouth track with i-Team. That was my first cycling team with Guy Watson and Rob Hayles' dad and they've helped me a lot..."(Sky Sports Article)
Also, all of the other Go-Ride clubs mentioned above run their own sessions periodically, so please contact those clubs for more information about other coaching and training opportunities in the Portsmouth Area.