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High School Road racing programs? Why aren't there any?

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High School Road racing programs? Why aren't there any?

Old 01-12-20, 12:44 PM
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friday1970
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High School Road racing programs? Why aren't there any?

So I've been watching Yowamushi Pedal, an anime about high school road bike racing. It's a pretty good anime, where high schools form teams of 6 members to race in multi-school events resembling a smaller version of the Tour de France. But watching that leads me to wonder...

..why there aren't any programs like this currently in our high schools?

We have track/field/cross country, cheerleading, football, wrestling, volleyball, basketball, baseball/softball, and tennis. But cycling? Not anywhere.
There are a few HS MTB leagues dotted around the country. But road bike races? Nowhere. Those that knew me in High School in the late 80's knew that I rode my Peugeot everywhere. Great mid-level racing bike, and fast too. If we would have had teams then, I'd most certainly would have tried out for them. But, they didn't exist then, just like they don't exist now.

Is it because of the potential of injuries during a race? Do insurers of HS sports refuse to insure schools for cycling. It is the equipment, etc? Whatever the reason, it seems like competitive road cycling should be a thing. Too bad it isn't.
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Old 01-12-20, 01:09 PM
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Liability
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Old 01-12-20, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
Liability
I don't think liability is the issue. I suspect it's much simpler -- road bike racing just isn't very popular in the U.S.

Last edited by tomato coupe; 01-12-20 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 01-12-20, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I don't think liability is the issue. I suspect it's much simpler -- bike racing just isn't very popular in the U.S.
That too.
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Old 01-12-20, 01:32 PM
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Mtn bike teams are big in my area- rivaling traditional sports in popularity.
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Old 01-12-20, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Mtn bike teams are big in my area- rivaling traditional sports in popularity.
Same here.
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Old 01-12-20, 02:07 PM
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I'd say its a combination of liability and popularity. Popularity because there are not enough HS kids that I know of that ride bicycles (fear of injury in traffic is one reason), so no good critical mass of participants, and the cost of bicycle and associated equipment would be prohibitive. Also, see how much it costs to block off streets in your area for a closed course, even just for circular 'crit' racing - its astounding expensive for a school (barricades, police, security, allowances for parking and emergency vehicles), so that also makes it prohibitive.

Liability is also a big factor. You'd be racing on public streets (?) so the local city/county would want liability insurance to protect themselves, they'd want the security I listed above (road closures and police/security pay). Once again, check with your local city/county offices and see what the price is, and you'll probably find its astoundingly high, which makes it a no-go.

FWIW: I know the TdF gets a lot of "comp'd" services in the areas they race in, but they also have security concerns. They've been coming over to the (now defunct) Tour of California to see the security measures put in place so they can improve what they have in France. With the ease of getting to Europe, and how "open" the TdF race courses are crowded finish line areas are, I'm surprised some organized terrorist group or disgruntled individual has not caused an incident at the TdF in the years since 9-11. Could you imagine a bomb being set off in Paris on the final sprint finish of the last stage?
'
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Old 01-12-20, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
Liability
Yet football, hockey, basketball, and gymnastics are common. All are sports where injuries are quite common and serious injuries arent rare.
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Old 01-12-20, 02:38 PM
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You want to present a cure to gassaholism?!

Why... THAT'S POSITVELY UN-A-MARE-I-CAIN!!!
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Old 01-12-20, 02:45 PM
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Because road racing requires roads. And then you need official ******* to separate the cars from the participants. And then to do it every week. So guess who is going to be most upset?
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Old 01-12-20, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
Liability is also a big factor. You'd be racing on public streets (?) so the local city/county would want liability insurance to protect themselves, they'd want the security I listed above (road closures and police/security pay). Once again, check with your local city/county offices and see what the price is, and you'll probably find its astoundingly high, which makes it a no-go.'
But none of that is a concern for the High School team; it is a concern for whoever is putting on the races.
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Old 01-12-20, 03:44 PM
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Thanks for the answers. I can imagine drivers being angry about high school events blocking avenues, and having to gather up local security and/or LEOs to enforce barriers for the events. Complaints at the school board and local town hall meetings. Stuff like that. Many motorists already hate cyclists enough already. But that is a subject for a different thread.
When I think about it, only a very few of us biked like I did. Our school had 500 or so graduate at the same time. And of those 500, I didn't know any other road cyclists in my class. I figured it would be a "if you build it, they will come". And you know, there would be some coaches asking students to give it a try.
As far a costs for equipment, I don't see that being an issue. Schools that participate in a league can agree to a cheap standard, like an aluminum frame/bars/seatpost/fork, 8 speed groupset, aluminum wheels (min 1900grams/wheelset) w/700x25, and other ways to limit costs. If a school can afford a football team, a bike team should be no problem.

All theoretical though, seeing as how it would never happen.
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Old 01-12-20, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by friday1970 View Post
As far a costs for equipment, I don't see that being an issue. Schools that participate in a league can agree to a cheap standard, like an aluminum frame/bars/seatpost/fork, 8 speed groupset, aluminum wheels (min 1900grams/wheelset) w/700x25, and other ways to limit costs. If a school can afford a football team, a bike team should be no problem.
Why would the school provide road bikes? They don't provide tennis racquets, golf clubs, skis, or mountain bikes for those teams.
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Old 01-12-20, 03:58 PM
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$$$$$$$$$$

Budgets are tight at high schools. You will need a coach or some kind of paid supervision.
I do not think parents are going to shell out a few thousands to Johnny or Jennifer just to ride road races unless the parents are already in the cycling lifestyle.

Doesn't Junior Racing already cater to this?
https://www.usacycling.org/national-calendars/jdrs
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Old 01-12-20, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
$$$$$$$$$$

Budgets are tight at high schools. You will need a coach or some kind of paid supervision.
It doesn't have to be expensive. A parent can be an unpaid coach / organizer.

https://www.331racing.com/cms/resourc...eagueflyer.pdf
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Old 01-12-20, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
$$$$$$$$$$

Budgets are tight at high schools. You will need a coach or some kind of paid supervision.
I do not think parents are going to shell out a few thousands to Johnny or Jennifer just to ride road races unless the parents are already in the cycling lifestyle.

Doesn't Junior Racing already cater to this?
https://www.usacycling.org/national-calendars/jdrs

Also in SoCal here. WOW, my brother paid a couple thousand for his son to play football, if not more at Damien! My grandson played for Alto Loma, also big bucks for the football program few years later. Even then, they had to also raise money in order to use school buses for away games. Many many fund raisers. At times, we donated $200 to help out with the fees they had to pay just to be on the team JUST TO GET STARTED. That wasn't even the entire fee, just a portion to ease the pain on the parents.

That is crazy, and every year! I can't imagine a cycling team. Couple grand just for the bike to get started in a sport that is not as accepted compared to football programs.

I don't know about other states, but here, if you want to take the school bus to away games, they charge you. If you sneeze, they charge you!
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Old 01-12-20, 05:02 PM
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There are already venues for Juniors to race that don't involve schools or taxpayers. FWIW, I hear that with some sports the best players are on "travel" teams and don't even play on their school teams.
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Old 01-12-20, 05:05 PM
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The biggest star in pro racing was totally disgraced, basically wiping out interest in the sport in this country ever since. No one who has come since then has been a worthy hero for little kids. What kid wants to turn into a weirdo with a giant quads and giant lungs and a team ďdoctorĒ slipping them steroids and hiding their pee?

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Old 01-12-20, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by .mockingbird. View Post
Prepare to be shocked because cycling teams already exist - mountain bike teams. https://www.socaldirt.org/https://www.socaldirt.org/
Reading up a little more on this, this is a league type organization for high school kids but not actually a part of a high school program, is it? I am under the impression the OP is about a cycling program offered within local schools. Maybe I misunderstood the OP.
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Old 01-12-20, 05:27 PM
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My kid is in HS and races road, CX, and MTB. He races as part of the same race team as his old man. We have a handful of juniors. He goes to a large (2500 student) urban/suburban public high school and as far as he can tell he’s the only one races his bike. They had a HS MTB team a few years ago but it apparently folded from lack of interest.
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Old 01-12-20, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDudeIsHere View Post
Reading up a little more on this, this is a league type organization for high school kids but not actually a part of a high school program, is it? I am under the impression the OP is about a cycling program offered within local schools. Maybe I misunderstood the OP.
Yes, as I understand it, thatís a good way to describe it. Theyíre teams made up of kids from the same school but itís not offered by or sponsored by the school. FWIW, thatís similar to HS rugby too.
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Old 01-12-20, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDudeIsHere View Post
Reading up a little more on this, this is a league type organization for high school kids but not actually a part of a high school program, is it? I am under the impression the OP is about a cycling program offered within local schools. Maybe I misunderstood the OP.
No. You understood me very correctly. School vs school. Just like Football, Basketball, Volleyball, and other team and/or individual sports

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Old 01-12-20, 05:40 PM
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My cycling sports idol was before LA and he was legit. Too bad that high school aged kids likely never heard of LeMond.
I went to high school with a fella who ran track and cross-country; he later became a top duathlete after he took up cycling.

It is amazing the amount of $ that is needed for team sports at the HS level. I am a small time booster for my nephew's basketball team. Constant fund raising and teams play year round. Some players opt for traveling teams where there is more of a money commitment. These players are developing knee tendonitis from playing 100+ games a year.

it is no surprise Mtn Biking has some teams. It makes sense that teens would be attracted to the thrills/risks/speed of trail riding.
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Old 01-12-20, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by friday1970 View Post
No. You understood me very correctly. School vs school. Just like Football, Basketball, Volleyball, and other team and/or individual sport.

Cool, thanks!

So the league mentioned above are high school kids in city type leagues. As my grandson plays on a traveling team of high school kids playing tournaments but does not play on his high school team. Different situations.
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Old 01-12-20, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Yes, as I understand it, thatís a good way to describe it. Theyíre teams made up of kids from the same school but itís not offered by or sponsored by the school. FWIW, thatís similar to HS rugby too.
This is how high school alpine skiing is handled in my area. The high school team is considered to be a "club sport," not a "varsity sport." There's a statewide organization that provides rules, and there are both regional and a state tournament every year. For our high school, the coaches are volunteers and parents.

Our school does have a mountain biking club. I meet up with them coming the other way on my evening ride home from work, and it's easily 100 kids or more, heading towards the county mountain bike trails. But I don't think it's competitive.

The biggest barrier I'd see to high school road racing is getting the roads closed for races. That's a huge production. Also, my impression is that mountain biking is perceived as being safer, and more popular among kids.
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