Dan'ger came back from the Coe Ride with a box of donations from a few of our MTBR denizens. Imridingmybike and Zorg and a few unnamed riders gave us stems, headsets, bars, some grips, a sweet carbon seatpost and a pretty nice seat. There were camelbacks and bladders, an xtr rear der, a set of race face cranks and a couple of sets of spd pedals.
Last night we had our 5th Annual Parents' Meeting. It is a time to gather the returning racers and their families and pick up where we left off last season. One never knows who will be there, who will come back. Yet the faces I hoped to see we all there. And there were new faces; some with doubt, some with fragile hope, some with curiosity and we did our best to make them feel welcome.
The meeting is a Dog and Pony show. We always share about how great our club and families are, our resourcefulness and how the synergy makes us successful. This year we talked about the explosive growth we experienced last season going from 10 racers to 28 and how it took all the coaches to their limits. The simple logistical challenges of providing bikes for kids who didn't have them left us at a loss.
El Cerrito is pretty far down the list from Les Gets and Moab, and local folks who have heard of Northstar only for skiing, so when the new kids and their folks show up they have no sense of what the cycling community is about. So when I present the solution to our bike need I talk about dozens of donors from California and around the country who, focused through MTBR, helped us pull together 8-9 bikes last year from donated parts.
Well it looks like I have about 18-19 racers returning this year. From the looks of it we will probably have about a dozen new riders. After the meeting I chatted with parents and kids and some were ready to hook up. There were questions about needing bikes; not wanting to pop for one just yet or not being able to afford one in general. And now, within certain limits I can size them up and say simply "I have a bike for you."
So the box of stuff the Dan'ger brought will get poured over the 8 bikes we still have and refresh and adapt them for more use. Our fleet evolves. Some bikes from last year, were sold for $175-$250 (LX/XT 8 speed, 27 lbs.) Some will be donated to other needy teams. As time passes and we will continue to develope our fleet; more modest bikes will be upgraded leaving canti's and 8 speed behind, upgrading shocks, improving seats, upgrading components.
None of this happens without the inveterate generosity of our MTBR friends and their need to see things put to good use. Keep us in mind with your still usefull castoffs. You can count on us to do the very best we can. Thanks for all you do.
Director, El Cerrito High School Mountain Bike Club
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