Dirt Squirts

All Dirt Squirts events are listed on the GMBC events Calendar on this website -  http://gmbc.com.au/calendar   

You can also keep up to date with our events via the 'Geelong Mountain Bike Club' Facebook page and the 'GMBC Junior Development' Facebook page.                                                                  

What is a Dirt Squirt ?

Dirt Squirts is GMBC’s junior program for boys and girls between 3 and 12 years old who love to ride thier  mountain bike!

We have a variety of race events and skills rides at the You Yangs, Anglesea and 'The Hill MTB Park'in Newtown throughout the year. These events are structured using MTBA's Junior Policy to progressively introduce kids into mountain biking in a fun, safe environment.  You can view the MTBA junior policy here - http://gmbc.com.au/sites/default/files/juniorpolicyv3dot1.pdf

Your child can become a GMBC Dirt Squirt member for 12 months via MTBA's online registration for just $45 or use the free 8 week trial by following this link - http://www.mtba.asn.au/membership

Skills Sessions -

GMBC has a group of qualified and experienced Level 1 MTBA Mountain Bike coaches, Level 0 MTBA Skills Coaches and PMBIA Level 1 coaches leading fun rides and activities to encourage kids to enjoy their mountain biking.

  • We plan a range of skills sessions with drills and games to help improve your childs skills on a mountain bike in a fun, safe environment. All coaches are qualified, have a first aid certificate and Working With Children Check.
  • We put kids into groups based on their skill level as determined by the GMBC Coaching team. This is due to safety and popularity of programs and will ensure that ALL participants are provided with the best and safest experience possible.
  • Skills rides are promoted as a series of events to help develop your childs Mountain Bike skills and confidence over a few sessions leading in to our racing calendar. 
  • All Dirt Squirts Skills sessions will be Online registration ONLY via the MTBA web site. (Links will be provided via this web site our GMBC Facebook page and via email a couple of weeks before the event). This will be first come, first served basis until all positions are filled. There will be NO registration on the day as we need to limit numbers to maximise safety and quality of our rides.        

Dirt Squirts Race Events -

  • The ‘race’ emphasis is always on fun, and as per the MTBA Junior Policy. All entrants fruit snacks at the completion of their event !
  • Riders are separated into four age groups -                          
  • For U/6 and U/8’s the focus is on participating and having fun in a safe environment. Random ribbons are awarded for these age groups ie. non competitive
  • U/11’s will be challenged with longer laps and more demanding terrain.  1st, 2nd and 3rd awarded Dirt Squirts ribbons.
  • The U/13 age group can look forward to tackling some bigger loops with longer climbs and more challenging terrain. 1st, 2nd and 3rd awarded Dirt Squirts ribbons.
  • Races cost $15 per child ( plus $18 permit fee for non-MTBA members ) - cheaper for online series entries
  • All Dirt Squirts race events are online entry via the MTBA website - a link to register will be provided by email, on the GMBC calendar and via Facebook a couple of weeks before each event.
  • Parents are not permitted to ride with their child during race events unless it is their first Dirt Squirts event. This is to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all participants.
  • Over the course of the year, your child will accumulate points towards the GMBC Dirt Squirts Series Champion
  • We also require some parent help for set-up, marshalling, registration, number plate collection and pack-up at each of our events - see DS volunteers info below.

Frequently asked questions -

Do I need my own bike ?

  • Yes. You need your own, suitable bike in good working order and a well fitted Australian Standards approved helmet.
  • Please ensure that the brakes and gears are in good working order and bar plugs are installed
  • Young kids (3-4 year olds) can use balance bikes to develop their skills riding on the dirt - no bikes with training wheels please as they are unsuitable for riding off road and encourage bad riding habits (we have two balance bikes available to test out at our events)
  • All riders must carry water – water bottles or camelbacks are most suitable (leaders will carry some backup water on warmer days).
  • Optional/Encouraged items include sunglasses, sunscreen, gloves (long finger).

Do I need to be a Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) member ?

  • No. If you are not a member, then you must purchase a Participation Permit each time your child rides and will cost $7 for MTBA insurance and for Dirt Squirts Racing an $18 participation permit fee applies.
  • However, MTBA membership for Dirt Squirts is only $45 per year - they also offer a 2 month free trial for new members (find membership info HERE).  Covers medical, ambulance and public liability insurance - It’s a good investment if you’re going to come along to a few events. (And much less paper work for all of us!) - Please ensure that you tick the Geelong Mountain Bike Club box when registering !
  • Once you are an MTBA member, GMBC membership for Dirt Squirts is FREE and entitles the child to their very own Dirt Squirts jersey at a subsidised (below cost) price of $40 - sizes XXXXS, XXXS, XXS, XS, Small.

What is GMBC's policy on age limits for Dirt Squirts participation ?

  • GMBC strictly pemits riders of age at the day of the event to participate.  If the event is part of a series - ie. Dirt Squirts Summer series or Dirt Squirts Winter series, then it is their age at the last event in the series.  This allows riders to complete the series in the one age group eg Under 6 must be 3-5 years of age, Under 8 must be 6-7 years of age, Under 11 must be 8-10 years of age and Under 13 must be 11-12 years of age.  We believe that this is in the best interest of the childs progressive development and enjoyment of their mountain biking into the future.
  • Please be aware that other clubs may have different policies regarding age restrictions
  • Cycling Victoria runs the Victorian Schools MTB series which allows riders turing of age in the year of the event to participate - ie. rider turning 9/10 during 2017 will race in under 11 and rider turning 11/12 during 2017 will race in Under 13's. 
  • At National level, MTBA permits riders of age during the year of the final race/National Championships in the series - this is done for those who will represent Australia in the World Championships later in the year.

How much do the rides/races cost?

  • MTBA members - $5 per skills session/ $15 per race event ( cheaper for online entries )
  • Non-MTBA - $12 per skillls session/$33 per race event ( includes - $7 social ride participation permit / $18 race permit )
  • Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of your skills session as we do start at the advertised time.
  • Registration for our races closes 15 minutes before race start to allow all competitors to complete a practice lap and allow organisers to prepare for the race event. 

Who leads and organises the rides/races?

  • Craig Findlow, Jonathan Connor and Liz Mulconry are experienced PMBIA Level 1 coaches leading the Dirt Squirts skills sessions with other coaches occasionally helping out too.
  • GMBC also has several MTBA Level 0 Skills Coaches to help the kids enjoy their mountain biking in a fun, safe environment.
  • DS Parent helpers also support the DS program in various roles.
  • We are all volunteers and active GMBC club members committed to providing a fun, safe environment for kids to enjoy mountain biking.

How do I purchase a GMBC subsidised Dirt Squirts jersey ?

  • Turn up to one of our Dirt Squirts Skills rides or Race Events with your GMBC / MTBA membership card or you have the option to purchase online via our events link and pick up at the nexe event.
  • Jerseys are available in XXXXS, XXXS, XXS, XS, S sizes
  • Sold below cost to members only for $40 each

Can my Mum or Dad ride with me?

  • At our skills sessions, we like to encourage kids to become independent on their bikes, however we understand that beginners may require a little extra encouragement from their parents. Parents are free to take advantage of the time to themselves and take off for a ride while our Level 1 Mountain Bike coaches and 'Registered Dirt Squirts Parent Helpers' take the kids for a ride.  However, we do require a small number of registered parent helpers to assist with supervising each group of kids for our skills sessions.
  • During our race events we ask that parents do not ride along side and coach their kids, but feel free to cheer them on from the sidelines. We are striving to to acheive a fun and friendly race environment for everyone. Our emphasis is on participation and maximising kids enjoyment and safety in our race events.

How can I become a Dirt Squirts volunteer ?

  • Just turn up at one of our events and offer to help with course marshalling, fruit preparation, number plate collection, set up or pack up.
  • Our events don't run without the dedication of enthusiastic parents to help create the fun, family friendly environment that we are famous for.

How do I contact the Dirt Squirts crew?

  • You can email the Dirt Squirts crew at gmbcjunior@gmail.com - please allow a couple days for a response as we are volunteers trying to get in a bit of ride time for ourselves too!!
  • Emails will be sent out to remind you of our major events – if you want to be included on this list please email us.
  • All upcoming events are on the GMBC Calendar - http://gmbc.com.au/calendar
  • You can also check out the GMBC facebook page for regular updates. 
  • We also have a 'GMBC Junior Development' Program Facebook page for all relevant information on junior mountain biking. It is a closed group, so you will have to request to be a member.