Canadian Cyclist


January 23/00 11:28 am - Sprockids Invitational Retreat

Posted by Editor on 01/23/00

Sprockids Invitational High School Retreat
(courtesy Lesley Tomlinson)

Sprockids Society, Brentwood College and Pacific Sports Group host annual camp

Last weekend (January 14 to 16) the 3rd Annual camp was held at the prestigious private school of Brentwood College in Mill Bay. Guest athletes were selected from their results in last season's BC Championship and overall league results. This resulted in 50 invited Mountain Bike riders coming from all over the Province, as far as Valemount High School near Jasper, to join National Team riders for the weekend.

Saturday's ride was at Tzuhalem near Duncan, and in spite of snow, the trails were mostly rideable (and seeing as snow hiking is winter training anyway.....). Senior boys and Junior boys were led by "The White Rasta" Seamus McGrath, (Haro), Past National Champion and Olympian Andreas Hestler & Matt Toulouse (Ford Devinci), Mike Pruner (Coach and Pro) and Bruce Spicer of Brodie Bikes (13 National Championships and Ride Guide Fame). They were assisted by guides from the local Bike Retailer, Experience Cycles in Duncan (who by the way.. stayed on the entire afternoon working on the riders bikes...just like the Pros).

Juvenile Boys and Girls were led by World Cup Champion Alison Sydor (Volvo Cannondale), 1996 Olympian Lesley Tomlinson (RLX Polo Sport), Sean Cruickshank (Trek ), Matt Decore (Marin) and Virgil Hawkes (Gary Fisher). After a snowy but fun ride everyone headed back to the College for an afternoon with the Pros, who ran various activities.

Sean and Bruce taught a weight session, Lesley, Alison and Andreas had Computrainer testing for anyone interested (Computrainers are a training device used extensively by the National Team that measure and control power output - lots of pain but fun for everyone to see their output). The most popular activity of the afternoon was a Trials lesson and Demo led by Tighe of the Norco Demo team, until the crowd got too big and the lesson gave way to a full-on trials show. Lots of indoor games and hanging out watching motocross and race videos was also happening for those who were tired from the morning.

Saturday evening, an "athletes forum" was held with Lesley, Alison and Andreas to talk about being a professional athlete or whatever else people wanted to talk about. A crowd of about 100 seemed to have never-ending questions; no really, how cool is it to ride for a job?? They were set straight on some of the realities of the job like 8 months on the road, but there‚s no getting away from it being a choice occupation!

A teachers meeting for Zone Coaches, coaches and high school teachers was also held in the afternoon, this seemed to present a great opportunity for a pow-wow about where the sport is going and has gone in the high schools of the province (as well as bringing people up to speed on what resources are available for areas that have aspiring young Mountain Bikers). As we get closer to actually having the sport endorsed for real throughout the Province (close but still waiting for approval), teachers and coaches are getting ready to increase their own knowledge on what it‚s all about. Any retiring Pros in the teaching field should be looking pretty favourable with their additional credentials.

Sunday's ride at the Hartland Mountain Bike area rounded out the weekend. All the groups got a change of National Team leader, with a few additions: Carter Hovey and Dan MacDonald joined the rest of the crew - Andreas, Virgil,Bruce,Olivier, Alison and Lesley. We saw some awesome skills and talent. All the National Team riders were psyched to see the level of everyone there. Alison and I were especially excited to see some of the girls and the level of that upcoming generation.

Everyone stopped at the Commonwealth Center Pool to check out the great facility left there after the Games in Victoria, have a shower and a Hot tub before heading back to the ferry.

The camp is made possible by the assistance of Brentwood College Private School and their Mountain Bike and Rowing Coaches Matt Decore and Miles Elkins. Also, the amazing group of teachers that organize and stay on site with the guest athletes. The Sprockids Society‚s Director of High School Programs, Sam Scorda from Argyle School in North Van, and High School Coaches Mike Pruner and Les VanderRoest . The involvement of Assistant National Team Coach Steve Lund from Pacific Sport (whose Saturday was brought in with the arrival of a 10lb baby girl!) and the time put in by National Team Athletes who are all hard at it training for the upcoming Olympic Season, and still took the time out to encourage up and coming youths - all deserve some cudos.

This camp is one of the programs that the Sprockids Society puts together for the aspiring racers in the province. Many of the youths are members of the Society which runs programs for most levels of riders . Programs are recreational and competitive and from ages 10 to 19.

January‚s activities are rounded out by January 15 new rider registration (registration is still available year round). New Riders will ride in North Vancouver with coaches for an assessment ride that helps identify groupings of kids (All riders)

Group Rides are held every 3rd Sunday all year. Additional group lessons are available from Society Coaches.We do not encourage rank beginners.
Sprockids Program Development Society

Voice Mail Ph 604 983 6444 #5677 will be activated this month or visit home.istar/~sprockid/

Lesley doing a Computrainer test with Kirsty Smith of Argyle Sec. A senior who has her sights currently set on Stanford for running, but with her numbers and biking ability we hope she comes over to the cycling side.


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