F.A.Q. – BYC Youth Program

I tried to register my kid(s) last year and the program was full! Why can’t you take more kids?

Since we started BYC in 2016, we have been continually amazed by the level of interest in our program! Every year, we’ve tried to grow the program: from around 50 kids in 2016, to over 400 kids in 2022! We continue to grow, but must remain committed to the quality of the program, as well as limitations imposed on us by riding venues and group size, and being the best community members we can. In 2019 we split into two age-defined programs (BYC Youth Program and the Bozeman NICA Team) and in 2020 we split our season into multiple sessions – all to try get more kids on bikes!

What equipment will my child need?

  • A two-wheeled pedal bike (mountain bike), in good working order, with gears and 2 hand brakes. Having off-road specific (knobby) tires are best. NO training wheels, NO coaster (pedal/foot) brakes.
  • A properly fitting helmet
  • Closed-toe shoes (no sandals)
  • Water (hydration) pack or belt for carrying water and snacks – or a bike-mounted water bottle cage (coaches do not carry water for the kids)
  • Recommended but not required: bike gloves, other protective clothing (knee pads, elbow pads), sunglasses, light jacket (we all know mountain weather can change quickly)

My child doesn’t have a mountain bike. Do you have loaners?

Thanks to a few generous people, we do have few bikes to loan to older riders. In addition, we have the support of 2 amazing local bike shops (Owenhouse Cycling and Bangtail Bikes). Please reach out.

Also check-out the Gallatin Valley Bike Club’s Bike Swap in the spring as well as the Bike Kitchen.

We have great trails in Bozeman – Why don’t you take the kids to more trails?!

We realize there are LOTS of trails around Bozeman! However, Bozeman Youth Cycling cannot access ANY trails on public lands (meaning, U.S. Forest Service or BLM trails) without a User Permit. The USFS’s Bozeman Ranger District is NOT handing out any User Permits (we’ve been meeting with them annually for the past 8 years!), thus making it illegal for us to ride on USFS (public) trails.

Fortunately, we have amazing trails to ride on at Sunset Hills/Highland Glen (Bozeman Health approval, City permits and GVLT easement), Triple Tree (state trust land, GVLT easement), and Crosscut Mountain Sports Center (private property). The BYC Board has considered having a special practice out at Copper City, however the cost of a BLM permit and the length of the drive does not make this feasible for our Youth Program.

My child is just learning to bike, can we join?

Yes! Bozeman Youth Cycling is a mountain bike club that focuses on building strong bike handling skills in a supportive and inclusive environment. While there are no tryouts to ride with us and we do say we welcome all abilities – we are NOT a ‘learn how to ride a bike’ club. Kids must be able to ride a pedal bike and be independent enough to be willing to bike with their team of kids and coaches.

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