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West Hartford ‘Central Wheelers’ Get Ready for Spring Training

Mountain bike youth getting reading for a race. Submitted photo

The Connecticut Cycling Advancement announces the opening of spring mountain biking season registration.

West Hartford resident Eric Price Glynn, head coach of the West Hartford Central Wheelers with assistant coach Jeff Gelt, owner of Central Wheel. Submitted photo


The Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program (CCAP), a two-time USA Cycling Club of the Year program, is now forming 11 youth/teen mountain bike teams throughout the state.

The teams will begin practices April 1, 2019, weather and trail conditions permitting, and continue through June 15. All teams will provide the opportunity for young riders of all skill levels to flourish in a supportive team-based environment, learn bike handling and racing skills as well as leadership and responsibility, and travel to local and regional cycling events.

“Mountain biking is probably the most technically challenging cycling discipline,” said West Hartford resident Eric Price Glynn, head coach of the West Hartford Central Wheelers. “No matter your ability on the bike, you are going to get a lot more confident riding regularly with riders of your own or greater ability. This sport is not about being fast, reckless, or hyper-competitive on the bike. We support, challenge, and learn from each other, putting safety and repetition of basics first. Our team has had a big spread of riding abilities – some on their first mountain bike and others having finished more than one summer of mountain biking camp,” he added.

“It is a fun sport,” said Jeff Gelt, owner of Central Wheel Bike Shop and assistant coach of the West Hartford Central Wheelers. “We want the kids to have fun on their bikes and do something they love. It’s all about community spirit and camaraderie. These kids come to my bike shop to hang out and socialize on the weekend. They enjoy being together and train together as a team.”

All registered riders will be part of a coached youth team that meets twice a week for practices, and attends cycling events and races on the weekends. Each registered rider chooses a team jersey, racing license, and lots of encouragement and support from USA Cycling certified coaches. Junior riders may join any team in their community. A well-fitting helmet and a mountain bike in good working condition are required.

“CCAP’s programs give girls and boys of all riding levels ages 9-18 access to the sport of cycling. Young riders will improve their riding skills and travel to compete in local and regional cycling events, said David Hoyle, executive director of the CCAP. “Racing is not required but it is lots of fun. We invite you to join us for a spring full of unforgettable adventures!”  he added.

“The physical and mental benefits of cycling are clear, especially for our younger generation to ‘escape’ from the screen,” said Will Yandell, regional marketing manager at Clif Bar & Company, CCAP’s newest sponsor. “CCAP has made cycling accessible and fun for youth in Connecticut. Clif Bar is proud to support and enhance these efforts. Cycling is core to our DNA as a company which is why CCAP is a perfect partner. They are leaders in the cycling movement and a model for the potential of youth cycling programs not only in Connecticut, but across the country,” he added.

Interested girls and boys age 9 to 18 and their parents can learn about the regional teams forming in each community right now and are encouraged to visit www.ctcyclingadvancement.org. Informational sessions are being held for many of the teams, with times and locations on the CCAP Facebook page. For more information about joining a team, please contact Monika Stokes at [email protected].

All participants must have a valid USA Cycling Junior Race License at the start of the season. A 2019 race license can be purchased or renewed at USA Cycling website for $45. Please select the club “CT Cycling Advancement Program” when you join.


Date Day Event Location
April 7, 2019 Sunday Hop Brook MTB Race Middlebury
April 28, 2019 Sunday Fat Tire Classic Farmington
May 5, 2019 Sunday Berlin MTB Race Berlin
June 9, 2019 Sunday West Rock Super Prestige New Haven
June 15, 2019 Saturday Belltown Throwdown – Finale East Hampton

About Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program

The CCAP is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization with a mission to better the lives of youth and young adults through the sport of cycling. Its goal is to provide opportunities in cycling through middle and high school cycling clubs, parks and recreation programs and youth travel teams. In just over three years, the CCAP has established 44 youth recreation programs across the state with almost 549 participants. CCAP’s programs provide coached, fun, team-oriented atmospheres for youth to learn and thrive in the sport of cycling.

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