Youth Mountain Biking Group

Announcements!

2024 ride schedule coming soon! We will be offering weekly rides similar to last year (see below). If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with us.

For up-to-the-minute info on rides, weather cancellations/re-schedules, and more, please join us on Slack: NCC Trail Blasters.


The 2023 season will be the fourth year of riding for the Trail Blasters since Coach Craig approached the Northampton Cycling Club about starting a youth mountain biking team (thanks Craig!).

We offer weekly rides for kids in grades 3-12 beginning in April and ending in October. Depending on who shows up to a given ride, we will typically break the whole group into elementary (grades 5 and under), middle (6-8), and highschool (9-12) groups. Each group will have 4-6 kids riding with 2-3 adults, minimum. This provides for a lot of opportunity for one-on-one instruction during the rides. Adults (parents, caregivers, family members, family friends) are welcome to ride with the group.

The only requirements are that kids have a trail-ready bike with gears, at least 24″ wheels, and a helmet. We also require that all participants be a current NCC member with either an individual junior or family membership to participate. Kids are usually ready to ride trails starting in third grade, give or take a year. If you’re at all unsure whether your child is ready, please feel free to reach out to us. We would be happy to chat with you.

Weekly Ride Schedule

We ride on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. The Friday ride location stays the same for each month. The Sunday ride rotates through a bunch of different locations. If you’re new to riding with us, the Friday ride at Earl’s trails is a great, beginner-friendly starting point. We can do routes of varying difficulty at Earl’s depending on who shows up and according to their skill level and interests.

One last Earl’s Trails ride for the season on Friday 10/6 from 5-6:30pm: Meet at the end of Chmura Rd. in Hadley (please drive slow).

We will focus on basic skills for new trail riders on Fridays. All are welcome on Fridays, but the focus will be on skill development, not fast-paced riding. Older, more experienced youth are welcome to ride along and help.

Various locations on Sundays in October from 3-5pm:

For October, Sunday rides will be for everyone (beginner/intermediate/advanced) with at least two different groups, one led by Coach Craig and the other by Coach Tom.

Su. 10/1: Canal Trails. 81 N. Liberty St., Belchertown, MA. The entrance is hard to see. It’s on the left and immediately across the train tracks. GPS usually takes you further down the road past the turn.

Su. 10/8: DAR State Forest in Goshen. Meet at the campground parking lot on Moore Hill Rd., which is the first left after the boat launch. There’s also a road trip to Green Woodlands Trails in NH, scheduled. Message Nick Harrison on Slack for details.

Su. 10/15: Sawmill Hills. Meet at the Armory entrance at end of Col. Lavellee Ln. off Spring St. in Florence. We’re going to offer a skills clinic with Coach Tom and an advanced ride with Coach Craig, so you can focus on skills or ride hard.

Su. 10/22: Bear Hole Watershed Trails. Meet at the Elks Lodge, 250 Whitney Ave., Holyoke, MA. Like last week, we’re going to offer a skills clinic with Coach Tom and an advanced ride with Coach Craig, so you can focus on skills or ride hard.

Su. 10/29->11/5: Coach Craig’s trails. Meet at 61 West St, Hatfield. FINAL RIDE OF THE SEASON! Halloween themed fun ride (costumes encouraged) followed by a party, treats, and bonfire.

Thanks for a great season everyone! Yip-yip yee!!

Coaches

Our coaches are Safesport certified and have years of experience running youth cycling programs. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

Tom Hoogendyk
NCC Youth Programs Coordinator
Trail Blasters Assistant Coach
thoogendyk@nohobikeclub.org

Craig Neal
Trail Blasters Head Coach
bikeharder36@yahoo.com