General Information and getting started with Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club Juniors
DHBC welcomes, encourages and trains junior cyclists, both boys and girls, defined as being under 19 years old. You're welcome to come give track cycling a go or just ride for fun, and we'll be right behind you if you decide to take your riding to the limit in competition. So please, read on... you could become the next Cadel Evans or Anna Mears. All world champion cyclists start at their local club and DHBC wants you to start your cycling journey with us.
DHBC Juniors ride on the road and track, for recreation and in competition and you can choose to do one or both types.
Track cyclists train and compete in several different events. Events roughly divide between sprint and endurance, so you can usually find a race that suits your strengths. Events include individual and team time trials, point races, sprints, the Madison and the Keirin. Some cyclists specialise and others compete in several categories. DHBC Juniors train with coaches at the Tempe Velodrome, Waterworth Park, off Bayview Ave, Wednesday nights from 5.30pm. A track fee of
$10.00 for the first child and $5.00 per sibling is payable at sign on, each time you train and it covers the cost of hiring the track from Canterbury Council.
Road and recreational bicycles are not allowed on the track. You will need a special "fixed gear" track bicycle to get started. DHBC Juniors has several bikes for loan free of charge, but it's great if you can bring your own. If you use one of our loaner bikes we would expect that after you become proficient that you will buy your own. This will help to get other new riders out on to the track and ensure that everyone gets plenty of track time.Quite often older juniors will sell their smaller bikes as they grow, so look out for those. We can also point you in the right direction if you wish to buy a new one. Please don’t hesitate to chat with one of the coaches or experienced members of the Club.
The gearing rollout for juniors varies. Rollout is the distance the bike travels in a straight line in one full revolution of the pedals (cranks). For example U13s is 5.5 metres and Under 15s is 6 metres. Coaches can advise on gearing restrictions for competition as they vary according to age groups. The club will help to set-up your bike correctly. Whilst it is not a difficult task, it is one that requires specific tools, chain rings and sprockets. So planning in advance is important. In general the main purpose of having varying rollouts is for the safety of the Juniors. Pushing a really big, hard gear can be detrimental to a junior’s physical development.
Clothing & Pedals
A firmly fitted helmet (which meets the relevant Australian Standard) and gloves are required before you can ride on the track. A pair of cycling shorts, called "knicks", (worn without underpants) is a good investment and will help prevent chafing. Later on you may wish to buy one of the club's own jerseys. New juniors use pedals with toe clips and straps while they are developing their skills. Many move on to clipless pedal systems. DHBC Juniors will often sell their cycling shoes when they grow out of them.
Good track cyclists understand the benefits of building up their skills and endurance through road riding. DHBC Juniors members are welcome to join Club rides provided they are accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. The best ride for you to start with is our weekly Saturday Slowies. The ride leaves from the corner of the Post Office Square located at the intersection of Silver St and Marrickville Rd, Marrickville at 6.30am sharp (best to be at least 5 minutes early). It's a guided ride which takes cycle-friendly routes to Centennial Park and back. Friendships are cemented over breakfast on Marrickville Road after the ride. DHBC Juniors members also compete in road races throughout the year. Details can be found at:
We have a few Club members who mountain bike regularly. We don’t have a dedicated Junior program in this discipline. By all means check out our Club Forum to see who’s doing what.
DHBC Juniors takes safety very seriously. Coaches will instruct riders on track safety and the skills needed to avoid accidents. Anyone deliberately ignoring track etiquette will be asked to leave the track. While DHBC Juniors takes all precautions, cycling on the road and the track comes with the risk of injury. You should consider this before getting involved.
All riders must have a licence to use the track. This covers them for insurance claims in case of injury. There are a number of different licences you can have, from a 3 month introductory right up to a full racing licence . A 'Silver Ride' or “RideKIDZ” membership will cover you if you want to train without competing. You will need a 'Gold Racing Licence' to ride for DHBC Juniors in competition. Information on membership and competition age groups is available here. The DHBC Secretary and the Juniors' officer can also help you get the right type of licence.
We can't wait to see you at the track or on a Saturday ride - bring your parents!
Dougie Kirkham – President and parent of two juniors