Three spring mountain bike youth teams forming in Fairfield County

The CT Cycling Advancement Program (CCAP) will be supporting three Fairfield County regional Mountain Bike (MTB) teams that begin practices this spring. Boys and girls age 10 to 18 and their parents who are interested can learn about the MTB teams forming across the state right now, and are encouraged to visit ctcyclingadvancement.orgor the Facebook page. All three teams will  provide the opportunity for young people to flourish in cycling, learn good bike handling skills, work in a team based setting and travel with others to local or regional cycling events.

Serving as head coach for both the Fairfield County Youth Cycling Team (FCYCT) and the Old Greenwich Riverside Community Center (OGRCC) is Greenwich resident Clare Zecher, a USAC/USAT Certified Coach. The team manager for FCTCT will beNorwalk resident Monika Stokes, an IMBA Certified Coach. Practices will be held at Cranbury Park in Norwalk.

OGRCC will hold practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting April 5 and 7, from 4 to 5 p.m. at Mianus Parks and various other locations to be announced weekly. OGRCC is located at 90 Harding Road in Greenwich.

The FCYCT practices will be on Wednesdays starting April 6 at Cranbury Park in Norwalk and on Saturdays starting April 2 during the three month period when there are not other East Coast MTB races. The FCYCT is supported by Outdoor Sports Center of Wilton.

"I am so excited for the kick off of the spring mountain bike teams for 2016," said coach Zecher. "In 2015 the two teams we started in the Greenwich/Stamford and the Wilton/Norwalk areas saw more than twenty riders. The kids flourished and loved it, and so did we, the coaches. We expect a significant growth for the teams based on what we are hearing from the many happy and enthusiastic parents. The more kids we teach to ride and expand their abilities, the more lives we improve. It's such an honor."

A Newtown Regional Youth MTB team will provide families who live in the greater Danbury area with a more convenient location to train. This team will be held for 12 weeks and be lead by head coach Jim Dannucci with assistance from his wife, Meegan. The team will meet every Wednesday, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. starting March 16 and each Saturday from 8:30 to 11 a.m. starting March 19. The practices continue until May and will all be held at Collis P. Huntington State Park.'

The fee for each rider is $299 in all programs. Each participant rider receives a team jersey and racing license. Every rider receives lots of encouragement and support as well. Helmets and mountain bikes are required for each rider.

Parents or riders may join which ever team is most convenient, based on where they live. Interested parties may also contact Karen Franzen at

Regional teams practices:

OGRCC, Greenwich and Fairfield County, with head coach Clare Zecher, Tuesday and Thursday, starting April 5 and 7, 4-5 p.m., Mianus and various parks.

FCYCT, Wilton, with head coach Clare Zecher, Wednesday and  Saturday*, starting April 2 and 6, 4-5 p.m., Cranbury Park Norwalk.                     

Newtown MTB, Danbury/Newtown, Northern Litchfield, Redding, with Jim Dannucci, Wednesday and Saturday, starting March 16-May; Wednesday, 5:30-7 p.m., Saturday, 8:30-11 a.m, Collis P. Huntington State Park, Redding. *Saturday when not a race weekend.

The CCAP is a non-profit 501c3 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. After just over two years of existence, the CCAP has established more than 30 youth recreation programs across the state with over 400 participants. CCAP's programs provide coached, fun, team-oriented atmospheres for youth to learn and thrive in the sport of cycling.