Frequently Asked Questions
The HRJC program can, admittedly, be a bit confusing when you first start researching it. Let’s try to sum it up as simply as we can.
First, there is the High School Racing Season, which is from August through October, and involves Freshmen through Seniors in High School. As a “Composite” team, we are made up of student athletes from the world’s greatest high schools: Rock Canyon, Mountain Vista, Thunder Ridge, Valor and Highlands Ranch. And YES, that includes students who attend private, charter or home schools, but are within the feeder area for these high schools.
Second, there is the Junior Development Program, which runs roughly from April through July. This is comprised of 7th through 12th grade riders, and focuses on riding fundamentals, training, skill development, and a fair amount of fun races all over Colorado. The same coaches (plus more, actually) and the same riders from high school season are involved in this.
Third, there is the Off-Season, where the riders from our high school team, and from our junior devo program, will get together and do Cross Fit, spinning, occasional rides when the weather permits, and a myriad of other activities. It’s team building in the truest sense.
Sure! We have riders of all skills and abilities. Some people join the team barely having ridden a bike at all…seriously. You will be amazed at your skill development in just a few short weeks.
Though student athletes are not required to race, it is encouraged because racing is a fun and unique experience.
During our devo season (spring and summer), all ages of riders will have the opportunity to race at various family-style events around the state.
During our High School racing season, our high school athletes are highly encouraged to race at the 4 races (plus the additional state championship). HRJC is affiliated with the Colorado High School Cycling League, and NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association).
It’s simple: you need a working bike, a helmet, and enthusiasm.
Note that we did NOT say you needed a $5000 bike!! Most riders ride on used equipment. That said, we want you riding on a bike in decent condition (good brakes, good shifters). You can find good bikes for $500 or sometimes even less on sites like Craigslist and PinkBike. Let us know if you need help!
ThunderRidge, Mountain Vista, Rock Canyon and Valor have teams. We have had riders from Highlands Ranch High School, as well as a number of riders from various charter, private, and home schools in the area.
Heck yes! Get on out here! You’ll find a number of student athletes that are in the feeder area, but are at charter, private or home-based schools.
We call ourselves a “composite” team. A few years ago, when starting the team, none of these schools had enough involvement to warrant their own team, so we combined the teams. Now, each school has a fair amount of riders, but the coaching staff combines together to more effectively manage the different skill levels among the high schools. Essentially, we practice together, but on race day, we race for our high schools. Bonus: you get to know great kids and families from the other high schools, and, you are cheered on in your race by a much larger team!
Yes! We have riders who also play high school lacrosse, soccer, track, etc.
Highlands Ranch Junior Cycling team provides the coaching, administration and fundraising for our junior development team and our high school teams. Our staff is made up of parents and staff from all Highlands Ranch high schools, as well as former students.
Yes it is, and in fact is one of the fastest growing high school sports in the country! When we started, each high school included the mountain bike team as a club team. Now, at Rock Canyon, Mountain Vista and Thunder Ridge, it is an official lettering sport!
This team is supported by an amazing set of volunteers, starting with our coach, Roger Ryburn. We couldn’t ask for a better leader for these kids, and his investment in each of their lives is immeasurable. And he doesn’t get paid a dime.
This applies equally to Coach Todd Stouffer, who along with Coach Ryburn, hardly ever misses a practice or a race, and devotes incredible amounts of personal time to these students and the team.
Both Roger and Todd have been with the team since its inception, and if you talk to other parents, you will quickly ascertain that they are beloved by students and parents alike. You will be amazed at how lucky we are to have them!
Last year, Coach Ryburn’s son, Coach Clancy, joined the team as an assistant coach, and his youth and love of the sport is contagious. It’s also nice to have someone who can keep up with the athleticism of our high schoolers!
As much as we love our coaches, Coach Ryburn’s wife, Julie Ryburn, is — quite honestly — the glue that keeps the whole organization together. As the team has grown exponentially since its inception a few short years ago, her work has become more and more complicated. And she manages it all with an incredibly fun and encouraging attitude. (Her dogs are very cute, and they make frequent appearances at races.)
Our Ride Leaders are critical volunteer staff that allow us to have a ratio of adult leaders to student riders hovering around 6-to-1, which is amazing. Three nights a week, a large group of parents saddle up and ride the trails with our student athletes, and develop a camaraderie with the team that is nothing short of magical.
Finally, each of the parents give back to the team throughout the season, through managing our hectic race days, hosting team dinners, bringing food for the team tent, etc. etc. etc. We couldn’t do it without the parents!
For those who are new to the sport (and nearly everyone that joins the team is new to the sport!), the big question might be cost. And it is a good question, because bikes can be expensive!
Here’s what you need to know. Any mountain bike in good working order is all you need. That, and basic equipment like a helmet and goggles. On our team, you will see beat up, used bikes from a decade ago, up to the latest/greatest bike worth thousands. Do not worry about it! We are about having fun, and developing skills…not showing off equipment.
As for the costs associated with funding the program, there are a couple of fees. First, each season has various fees (e.g., the high school racing season might be $150 for the season). Second, for each race that you choose to participate in, the cost will vary from between $20 to $60 per race. Third, there’s the travel expenses. While all of our races occur within the state of Colorado, it is sometimes helpful to stay the night before the race near the race location (e.g., at a campsite or a motel in Buena Vista, for the Nathrop race in the fall). So there is, without a doubt, gas, lodging and food costs associated with each race. The upside to this is big: gorgeous locations in the heart of mountain country, at the peak of fall. You also get to hang out with some of the most fun families and students you’ll ever meet!
Since costs always vary from year to year, be assured that you will have a full list of current fees before you sign up. Our team coaches will make sure of that.
Our goals as a team:
- To promote excellence, skills development, teamwork, professionalism and respect for the community and environment.
- To provide an avenue of spirited competition and community-building.
- To foster an environment that is welcoming for all who desire a positive, healthier lifestyle through cycling, regardless of experience, knowledge, background or perceived hierarchy in the sport.