California State High School Championships
Not bad. Not bad at all! The opening Parade Start shots were a treat. The idea is to lead the pack all the way through the first turn to eliminate the mad dash, stack-up, and crash that will happen in a corner right off a Start. It also has a nice PR/cerimonial value.
Leading the Varsity Boys out on the right is Neil Flock of CycleMonkey and Head Coach of my old team El Cerrito Racing, on his new Rohloff. On the left was Austin McInerny who has worked with the NorCal League for many years. You can see an article about a great ride on our local Bay Area Ridge Trail in last months Bike Magazine.
Thanks for doing this, gambo, and a special thanks for not using the tired, obnoxious guitar music everyone seems to use for mtb videos.
And it was nice that SoCal hosted the event this year. NorCal hosted it at Boggs in 2009 and Grass Valley in 2010. Thanks to all for a very memorable event and congratulations on pulling this off. It is a major event and a signal achievement for SoCal. Nice job.
Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 05-18-2011 at 11:01 PM.
very nice...great opportunity for those kids...
So awesome! Need. more. of. this. in. U.S.A
We had some reps from the Utah HS scene there to observe. They said it's incredible what you guys are doing!!
Hopefully, we can be at your level of organization and participation in a few years.
Originally Posted by gambo2166
Do you build the teams from specific schools OR do you develop one team from an entire school district? (ie pull any kid from a school site to develop a "district" team)
I have been working with this league for 10 years. The SoCal league is a fairly recent offshoot from the NorCal league which started in 2000. Subsequent leagues in Colorado and Washington are now up and running with additional promise in Minnesota and Texas. All of these leagues are based upon the practices and programs developed and established by the NorCal High School Racing League.
The basic unit of participation is the individual racer. Racers enter competition either as Independents, a member of a Composite team, or a member of a specific High School Team. While the fundamental goal is to provide a racing experience for all racers the formation of teams is desirable for the strengthening of the culture, the depth of involvement by the community, and the stabilization of mountain biking in the community over time.
Independents are riders who do not have a team at their high school nor do they have access to a Composite team. They train on their own with limited support.
The Composite team tends to be an accumulation of athletes from different high schools in a locality where there aren't enough of the basic elements to support the team at a high school. In Northern California this area might be the Sierra foothills, Oakland Composite, or Contra Costa Composite. In general, these teams share many resources including adult support, transportation, sponsorships, and local riding information. These organizations are unwieldy simply by virtue of distance between schools and athletes and negotiation of different academic schedules. The intent is to have these teams create a temporary bridge to permanent teams at schools and, as such, have prescribed and limited lifetime by the rule book. However, these teams very often become the nursery for the development of early interests at particular schools and, therefore, spin off teams which have developed a certain critical mass of interest. I support the extended lifetime of such productive composite teams.
A team is an organization specifically dedicated to mountain biking competition at a specific high school. It is composed by a relationship with the school administration, the participation of a school liaison or staff member, specific and dedicated adult support, and usually at least three or four interested athletes.
There are rules concerning geographic distinctions, and requirements for competition in your local school.
As I said the basic element of the competition is the individual athlete. Any organization above and beyond that requires the participation and support by adult skilled mountain bikers. These riders bring a combination of a strong sense of their adult responsibility, personal mountain biking skills, strongly amended and supported by specific training given by the NorCal High School Racing League. This mechanism is critical not only to the healthy development of athletes but to assure safe practices. It is important to understand that it takes more than mountain biking skills or adult racing skills to support this effort. This is a venue of new athletes in a highly changeable part of their lives. The skills to support this age group are specific and invaluable. further the management of groups of athletes is a skill all its own.
It is my personal conviction that nowhere does there exist a body of information so acutely developed, so well devised, and so thoroughly applied to the challenge of supporting teen mountain bike racing as exists right here in the NorCal organization. I say this in full knowledge that there exist skills around the country, and specifically USA Cycling, who cannot even hope to approach our knowledge base. A tip of the cap also goes to the Canadian organizations which support teens.
A team generally starts at a specific high school where one kid and one interested adult/parent form the germ that drives the development of a team. They must also find a member of the faculty to be their liaison. As this interest is developed among school friends and other athletes numbers grow and, with luck, so do the adult skill and financial resources.
As such, communities with long-standing and deeply developed mountain biking traditions, such as Marin, or communities proximate to popular racing venues such as schools near Granite Bay or Fort Ord, can very quickly develop and support large numbers of young athletes. Schools without this extant richness of resources have a much harder time starting, establishing, and developing mountain bike teams.
Further, these activities take place amidst an extant school district with their own set of rules and considerations. Issues of liability are often at the forefront and have in many cases prohibited the execution of the sport at their school. However, over time as data has accumulated, the safety and value of this sport to the community has been demonstrated, getting past these hurdles has become a bit more straightforward.
The generation of interest at a campus and its subsequent increase are very likely. However, due to strong recommendations for a high adult/rider ratio a limiting factor can be the amount of adult support available. In addition, these teams generally receive no financial support from their host schools will. The involvement of the administration can be generally described as limited support, an allowance or tolerance for the teams existence and the participation of a teacher or staff liaison or sponsor. The use of school facilities is limited and is varied from school to school. As such, financial and infrastructure contributions from parents and the community are essential to keep teams running well, well supplied, and the volunteers well supported.
For additional information please visit:
Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 05-20-2011 at 10:18 AM.
Got it. Thanks for what you are doing for those kids. Great work