skill camps

Each summer for the past 8 years we have hosted skill camps for the less experienced riders who want to build their handling skills. This year we are adding race oriented camps for middle and high school racers in NICA.   Our camps are held at the Cycle 4 Life bike park in Banner Elk as well as enjoying a number of our local trails including the LMC National Championship trails on their campus.  


Kids of all ages are invited to join in.  With ride leaders from all around the area, including Doug Owen former National Champion coach from Lees-McRae college, Alan Sparks, the National Champion Head Coach of the King University Cycling Team.  Ashley Laws, Beech Mountain, mountain patrol and ski patrol, Matthew Owen four year down hill instructor and head camp instructor for the last 8 years.  We also welcome a number of local college cyclist and local shredders to join and help teach our campers on how to handle their bikes in all type of trail environments.  This year we again welcome Sheri Cole to our camps.  Sheri is a PMBIA certified coach as well as a local NICA coach from Science Hill high school.  For the fourth year Melissa Cooper, a professional racer from NC, will join us and share with us her experiences racing.  


In 2018 and 2019 we hosted the Velo Brew  junior team from Florida to come improve their handling skills and experience climbing a 5500 foot tall mountain.

new for 2020 race camp

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June 19, 20 and 21, 2020

We will run simulated races on the LMC XC and ST national championship courses.  

High School NICA coaches from around the Southeast

We have coaches lined up from Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.  

Meet and great college coaches

We have arranged a number of college coaches from around the Southeast to come and ride with our cyclist.  Friday night we will have a meet and greet with the coaches.

Housing and meals

Hosted at the Holsten Camp on the shores of Wildcat lake at 4000 foot elevation.  Meals designed to increase your fuel level for three hard days of racing.    For parents and family joining us for their kids camp experience, please hit our link below for more information on Banner Elk and available lodging within a mile of the camp.

National Championship Courses

We will run race simulations on the National Championship XC and ST courses on the campus of Lees-McRae college.  

Headed by two multi time national championship coaches

This is a great opportunity for upcoming High School mountain bike racers to meet and greet college coaches that have scholarships available.  Designed by Rick Crawford, former head coach at Fort Lewis(10 team national titles) and Doug Owen former head coach at Lees-McRae college(8 team national titles) to increase recruiting options for college programs.  

2020 skill camps

July 13 to 17, 2020

for the less experienced

for the less experienced

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Monday thru Friday day camp to work on basic handling skills. 

 Hours are 9 am to 4 pm


for more information email doug@cycle4life

for the less experienced

for the less experienced

for the less experienced

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Not based on age, but on skill level.  Kids of all ages are invited, only requirement is that they are riding a pedal bike. 

work on basic skills

for the less experienced

work on basic skills

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We will work on riding rocks, logs, berms, creek crossings, bridges and an assortment of single track trails.

July 20 to 24, 2020

for middle school and high school racers

work on basic skills

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Monday thru Friday day camp working on racing skills and working at altitude.  Camp will be at or above 3750 feet for all race simulations.


for more information email dou


for middle school and high school racers

for middle school and high school racers

for middle school and high school racers

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This week we will focus on improving racing skills.  Our focus will be on middle school and high school racers, especially those racing NICA.

race simulation and altitude training

for middle school and high school racers

for middle school and high school racers

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We will work on short track and cross country race simulations.  We will also climb to the top of Beech Mountain, 5506 elevation, from Banner Elk, 3700 feet elevation.  

2019 camps

June 24 to June 28

June 24 to June 28

June 24 to June 28

Our first week of camp will be the last week of June this year.  The weather is often cool in the evenings with a chance of showers in the afternoons.  Enjoy our first week of camp then have the rest of the summer to enjoy your new skills on the trails of Beech and Sugar Mountain.  Feel comfortable to take a lift ride to the top and then ride your bike back down to the bottom on their trails. 

July 8 to July 12

June 24 to June 28

June 24 to June 28

Our first week in July is traditionally the first week after the fourth.  Enjoy your fireworks then come spend time with Alan Sparks, head coach of the multi time National Champion King University Cycling team.  This year we also will feature Sheri Cole a NICA coach from local Science Hill high school.

July 15 to July 19

June 24 to June 28

August 5 to August 9

This year we will once again do back to back weeks in July.  This will allow you the opportunity to come spend time with us at our local bike parks, then head over to Sugar and Beech Mountains on the weekend for some Down Hill fun.  Alan Sparkes will be with us this week.  Sheri Cole will also join us.

August 5 to August 9

August 5 to August 9

August 5 to August 9

For those kids who start school a little later.  August tends to be drier and warmer then June and July.   Traditionally a smaller camp with more one on one time with the coaches. 

camp locations

August 5 to August 9

camp locations

We begin each camp at our park in Banner Elk.  There we will asses each kids skills and divide up by skill level and practice all different handling skills.  At the park we have basic flat trail to multiple creek crossings and wooden features.  You can see more on our facebook page Cycle4life bike park. As the skill levels allow we also utilize Hemlock Ridge trail in BE and the Emerald Outback trails on Beech Mountain.  This year we hope to add some loop rides to the Holsten Camp trails  along side Wildcat lake.  

camp hours

August 5 to August 9

camp locations

We will begin each day at 9 AM and finish up around 4 PM.  Our camps run Monday thru Friday and you can come by the day or the week.  cost this year is $300 per child for the week or $60 a day.  This includes all your nutrition, Gatorade, tubes and cables for the bikes and lunch each day.  We ride to different local restaurant each day for lunch, sometimes ice cream.  We finish up each week with a ride to Wildcat Lake where swimming and general good times are allowed for everyone.  Parents are encouraged to ride with us any time they can get away from work.