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HopOn Vancouver: 2023 Recap

Escape Velocity’s DEVO program is the largest youth cycling club in the province, and thanks to Sport Canada funding, three new programs launched to help make cyclocross as accessible as possible.

2022 HopOn Lead Instructor, Teresa Rossiello championed the project and encouraged four existing DEVO riders to sign on as HopOn Instructors. After completing their training in late July, the team facilitated a 5-day morning-only summer camp in partnership with Stride Community School in Burnaby. Most incredibly, local bike shop, Landyatchz, helped design and build six special youth cyclocross bikes, helping youth 11-14 years old experience the thrill of cyclocross.

“DEVO is a great club with a strong array of rental equipment through our lead partner, North Shore Road Bike, so it was so special to expand the sizes of rental bikes available with the help of Landyatchz” – Teresa Rossiello, Lead Instructor

After instructing their first-ever 5-day camp, instructors Sabina and Xavier shared their insights with us.

“It was really great working with kids that have never been on cyclocross bikes. The kids were really into biking but had never been on this style of bike and they really worked hard to learn how to use the bike well. The breaking and gearing styles were very different from the bikes they had been on and for some of the riders it took quite a while to learn how to use these. One difficulty my coaching partner and I had was with one child who almost never had their breaks covered. We had to constantly remind him to have a finger on the brakes. The favorite part of the camp for the kids was our neighborhood ride that we did after skills, we were able to take them on about a 45 minute ride through their neighborhood. They also really enjoyed the games we played especially Bats & Cats and Grand Prix. We ended the camp with a mini cyclocross race, the challenge was for the kids to do as many laps of the course as possible. We invited the parents to come and watch the race if they wanted to and they all came. Many of the kids and parents we’re asking about other opportunities for more camps and different biking events. I believe this was a great opportunity for the kids in this neighborhood to learn about different kinds of biking and get interested in exploring more in the future. I am looking forward to doing more camps in the future as well.” – Sabina Rossiello, Assistant Instructor

“The camp went great I really settled into being a coach during the week. All the riders on the first day were uncomfortable on their bikes but they warmed up to them quick. I found that the riders liked doing the long rides and adventure rides the most. So as take away I would definitely do more of those to keep riders moving. I had a lot of fun and am super excited to do more coaching. Thanks for the program Ben!” – Xavier Fell, Assistant Instructor

In September, instructors Sidney and Cohen joined their teammates to facilitate 4-week after-school programs starting right from the Landyatchz store in East Vancouver. This included an all-girls Monday program led by Sabina and Sidney.

“I really enjoyed coaching the girls learn-to-ride cx camp on Mondays this September. I really liked watching them try new things and get out of their comfort zones. Watching it come together for them at the end was super rewarding. I also really enjoyed coaching with Sabina, I felt like we worked really well together. Thanks. – Sidney

Thanks to another incredible female coach, Cycling BC’s High-Performance Program Manager, Tara Mowat, we are very excited to announce Cycling BC’s HopOn Instructor training certification has been recognized in the BC Ministry of Education’s External Sport Credentials “Coach” Program. This means teenage athletes on Cycling BC’s targeted athlete list can pursue NCCP coach education to become an after-school or community HopOn instructor and receive high school completion credits. Learn more here or contact us via email.

See you on the trails!