The forecast was for rain, coinciding with the start of the Richard Tom Foundation Burlington Criterium Kid’s Crit.  Our preparation that morning (RTF set up on St. Paul St.) was accomplished with a sense of denial in the face of the forecast.  Well, the spirits of Richard Tom and of all the young riders prevailed with favorable weather and we had a wonderful turnout.  We never know how many will participate since many of the families likely wait until the last moment to check the weather and their child’s readiness.  Our registration tent became very busy at around 10:30 a.m. with families arriving with children ages 7-11 and their bikes.  Registrations this year brought some surprises as each child received a GMSR t-shirt and a Little Bellas jersey.  Little Bellas is one of our key partners because Richard was an enthusiastic supporter of Little Bellas and the wonderful life-enhancing and skill-building that they offer to young girls through mountain bike camps.  Thanks to Rachel Ciancola for setting up the Little Bellas tent adjacent to the RTF tent and for helping manage the event throughout the day.

At noon, we pre-staged the 7–8-year-old group with a nod to Richard followed by the “call to start” by Alan Cote.  Alan provided safe riding instructions (“Look ahead”, “Hold you line”, etc.) and they were off.  This group completed two city block loops followed by a warm down back to the RTF tent area.

The 9-11-year-old children then were pre-staged, again with a nod to Richard followed by Alan’s safety instructions at the start line.  This group completed four loops and returned with a warm down to the RTF tent.

Each age group was chaperoned through the city street course by members of the Jackalope NE Cycling Team (an RTF partner) and the Criterium Moto.  The Jackalope Team had to work to stay ahead of some of the faster Kids’ Crit riders!

The excitement of the children is palpable.  This event, hosted by RTF, and fully supported by the GMSR and Criterium Directors is offered at no cost to the participating families.  Medals were awarded to each child.  After completion of the Kids’ Crit, families were invited back to the RTF tent for a fabulous raffle.  A plethora of high-quality prizes were distributed.  Thank you to Cool Motion Outdoor Sports (CMOS), Earl’s Cyclery and Fitness, and North Star Sports for the donated items.  Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

If you have children (7-11 years old), plan on participating in the Kids’ Crit on Labor Day 2023!