No, not a license to ride the damn thing, a license to race. As in, an official, sanctioned racing license. So, it turns out that the American Cycling Federation won’t license anyone under the age of 10, which means no participation for keen little bikers, even in low-key track races. Apparently they’re quite adamant about it. I’m sure it’s a liability thing. Still annoying, though. I went out and checked around, and here’s what I found:
- The French have a diverse set of licenses for youth riders, beginning at age 4, with categories for every two years up to age 17 (more here).
- The Danes specify a minimum age of 9 or above (more here).
- The British have no minimum age, but simply define their youngest category of license holders as under 12s (more here).
- Same with the Canadians: no minimum age, they simply define their youngest category of license holders as under 13s (more here).
- The Dutch will license youth riders down to age 8 (more here).
- The Australians issue licenses from age 5 and up (see here).
Does it really matter? Probably not, I mean there’s more than enough practice for the kids to be gained just from riding with other riders and taking part in fundraising rides and non-sanctioned events.