Q: What are the advantages of being on a team?
A: Bike racing is a team sport. Teammates in a race can help you save energy, stay safe and put you in the right position to win. Racing as a member of a team can be far more rewarding because each team member plays a different role in the success of the team. Being on a team can also help make riding and racing easier. Team Young Medalists gets discounts on all sorts of products. We organize lodging for major races (National Road & Track Championships, Green Mountain Stage Race etc.). Perhaps the best part of being on a team though is to meet and interact with other riders and families. Most cyclists find that they enjoy the sport much more when they have a network of friends that also participate.
Q: How is Junior racing different from Senior/Category racing?
A: First, juniors are restricted in their gearing. This is done in order to protect riders' growing bodies (knees in particular), teach proper pedaling technique and level the playing field between more physically developed young riders and those that are not as developed. The junior gear restrictions can be found in the USA Cycling rulebook, section 1I4. Juniors race by age group rather than category. In bigger junior races, juniors are split into 2-3 year age groups (e.g. Boys 10-12, Boys 13-14, Boys 15-16, Men 17-18, Girls 10-12, Girls 13-14, Girls 15-16, Women 17-18) but many smaller races will not have as many separate categories (e.g. Boys 10-18, Girls 10-18). Since junior races usually include all categories (Cat. 1-5), there are often large skill discrepancies in junior fields. Most juniors race a combination of category races and junior races throughout the season, although they must abide by junior gear restrictions even when racing in category races.
Q: How is Young Medalists different from other teams?
A: First, we use more of our sponsorship money for coaching and team direction for riders as opposed to bikes, equipment, clothing and entry fees. This is because we believe that it's important to learn the fundamentals of riding and racing first. Sponsorship (ie, free stuff) is a privilege, not a right. For 10-14 year olds, the team subsidizes one indoor, track or road group training session per week. Second, we encourage young cyclists to participate in a variety of activities, not just cycling. In the Lehigh Valley, it's easy to load up on cycling activities in addition to road racing: BRL, the weekly Derby rides, Thursday Night Crits, Masters and Rookies. For younger riders, that is really too much time on your bike. Cycling is not a load-bearing exercise, nor a 10,000-touch skill-based discipline, and children benefit from playing other sports. There is plenty of time as a teen to develop the endurance and strength necessary to succeed in cycling.
Q: What is the difference between Team Young Medalists and Young Medalists High Performance (YMHP)?
A: Young Medalists High Performance is the junior coaching program started by May Britt Hartwell/Valand and currently owned/operated by Elspeth Huyett. Group training sessions and race direction is provided by YMHP and most of the older riders on the team are coached by YMHP. However, YM team members are not required to use YMHP coaching services, and YMHP athletes are not required to ride for the YM Team. If you have questions about YMHP or you are interested in beginning a YMHP coaching program, please contact Colin Sandberg at email@example.com or call him at (330) 647-3977. You can also visit the Backbone Performance website for more info on Colin's coaching philosophy.
Q: Are you just a road team?
A: No. Since we are based out of the Lehigh Valley close to the Valley Preferred Cycling Center, we also offer track for our riders who are interested, and are currently partnering with Big Picture Cycling for track training. Cyclocross training sessions are also offered once the road season is over. Weekly outdoor road training begins the end of March, and runs thru September. Track sessions begin in April (or when the track opens for the season). Cyclocross sessions are offered in September and October. Some of our riders also compete in mountain biking, triathlon and BMX, as well as other sports.
Q: Are you an elite racing team or a club team or both?
A: Both. We don't consider ourselves exclusively "an elite team" or "a beginner team". There are many possible directions and many possible outcomes. Our goal is to help you find where you want to go in the world of cycling, show you the way to get there, and support you as best we can.
Q: What if I don't live in the Lehigh Valley and cannot attend any of the training sessions?
A: We have team members that live in Harrisburg, Wilkes-Barre, and Philadelphia. Some riders drive an hour each way once or twice per week in order to attend practices and meet-up for group rides. However, we also offer indoor training sessions that can be followed online.
Q: What is the difference between the Red Jerseys and the Blue Jerseys?
Q: What if I want to try out cycling but I don't have a bike?
A: If you are interested in trying out cycling and you don't have a bike, the team also has a number of road and track bikes available for use by any team member. For information on the availability and sizes of available bikes, please contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: How do I join the club?
A: Team registration occurs annually in January, for the purpose of ordering kits and other YM gear for the year. Juniors may join at anytime throughout the year. If you are registered with another team, you will need to contact USAC membership to have your team affiliation changed. Information sessions are held in the fall and winter, or contact Elspeth Huyett for more information.
Q: How do I sponsor the team?
A: If you are interested in becoming a product or financial sponsor of our team, please contact Lisa at email@example.com. We greatly value our current sponsors, and we would love to further ease the financial burden of families that want to be involved in our expensive sport. In particular, we would like to be able to provide more opportunities for underprivileged youth (ie, provide bikes, helmets and shoes), make coaching completely free to team members and help subsidize team trips to races in other parts of the country and the world.
Q: What happened to Colin Sandberg?
A: Colin took over the YM program in 2011 when YM founder May Britt Hartwell/Våland moved back to her native Norway. In August 2018, Colin and his family relocated to China. He continues to design training plans and oversee the development of the riders on our Elite Development team. Day-to-day coaching and mentoring of the club was turned over to Assistant Coach Elspeth Huyett. Dakota Schaeffer joined our coaching staff to help with the Elite team. Wes Kline leads our cyclocross practices.
q: Who/what is LVCC?
A: Lehigh Valley Cycling Club is a registered non-profit 501c3 organization run by parent volunteers dedicated to promoting the development of junior cycling in eastern PA. LVCC organizes and operates the team (registration, sponsors, uniforms, team housing, etc); Colin Sandberg of Backbone Performance manages the rider development program, Elspeth Huyett runs the training program and provides on-site coaching.