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  1. #1
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    Washington High School Cycling League

    If you or a high school aged young person you know would be interested in participation in the Washington High School Cycling League with the Southwest Washington Team, please check out the included info and directions or PM me. Time is short, I know, but there still is time to get involved. In addition to team training activities, we will be conducting skills and maintenance clinics at the Camas shop. There will be 2 scheduled competition events for the 2011 season, one on April 3 and the second on May 1.

    Mal



    High School Cross Country Mountain Bike Racing is here in Washington!

    We are the 3rd state in the nation to get awarded a league!

    Join us in spreading the word and helping establish teams in our area of the state for the inaugural season this spring.

    If you are a High School student and want to be on a team, get a hold of us, and tell your school and parents about the league.

    Enrolling Students Now for the Composite Clark County Team

    Deadline to enroll Feb18

    Contact Ed at sponsoring shop, ed@camasbikes or 360-210-5160 or visit www.washingtonmtb.org
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  2. #2
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    I'll pop in here too for the teams up here. Just got off the phone with Sara Bender, the local coach out here in the valley for Monroe/Duvall. Still could use more interested kids as well. Dh/XC whatever. PM me here or look up the Cedarcrest mountain bike team/club on the social network to find out more.

  3. #3
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    I keep trying to push it on all the people I know who have high school aged kids, or work with them.

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    Seems like there is some sort of disconnect. I heard that some school ADs have already said, "Thanks but no thanks..."

    And, some confusion as to whether it's a social thing that includes the option for racing or just for the no-visor, Briko wearing, spandex, heart rate monitoring crowd.

  5. #5
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    It is absolutely a "club" sport as opposed to a "team" thing. Or, in your words, it's a social thing that includes the option for racing.

    We're trying to get kids out on their bikes but the insurance coverage provided by NICA only includes XC type riding and racing, not freeride/DH. Obviously XC riding and racing includes going down hills though so in that sense it's a bit blurred.

    If you have interested kids at a high school you don't have to get an AD's blessing as this is a fully stand alone, self-governed, self-funded and self-insured organization. Of course we'd really like to get into a school as an official club so a sponsoring teacher or staff member is ideal.

    Full disclosure, I'm not an officer but one of many volunteers. I attended the Leadership Summit a few weeks ago and it was very informative.

    Cheers!

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    More confusion then. I get the impression that Lisa et al are selling it as a high school race team scene like the SoCal deal. Don't know who the Issaquah "leader" is but I was told they tried at Issaquah High School and were told by the AD there, "Thanks but no thanks". Seems wierd with the Issy city council so stoked on a mtb committee et al.

    I figure, if it's really confusing for the adults around here, it may be just as bad for the kids.
    And, I got the impression DH was also available.... (Look at all the Duthie hucksters we're missing out on.)

    The source sites that are referenced are also confusing. With what seems like a cloning of the SoCal page.

    I'd like to help where I can but can't figure out what the heck is going on. And, I guess there are 2 races coming up soon. What about all the other races like the indy and budu ones? Can they go to those as a "club/team" too? Lots of disconnect...

  7. #7
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    I watched the original norcal HS mtb racing develop over the last 4/5 years. The race scene was pretty inspiring. If you check out one of their race results from 2010 you will see that over 400 kids participated. Each year the number increased dramatically.
    The kids are into it just like any other hs sport. They do represent their schools. And the races are strictly cross country, set up only for the hs races, although in the beginning they raced in other public races instead (something like indy or budu races) until they got too big.
    It will take a little time for this to build. The key I think down there was getting parents and other adults who ride to coach/sponsor teams. I also see one possible problem up here in that in Cal the kids could ride hard all winter in relatively nice weather, and for the bay area teams where I was, the snow was 4 hours away.

  8. #8
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    Sweet! Thanks for sharing your experiences slop!

    Let's see if I can clarify or confuse the situation even more then. The following is from what I learned at the Leadership Summit.

    First, a little history. It all started in 1998 when a math teacher at Berkely High School put up a flyer to start a mountain bike club. The kids had fun riding together and decided to go to a few of the local races. Word spread and other schools started forming clubs too. Then in 2001 the same math teacher founded the Norcal League with dedicated races for all the school clubs. By 2010 the Norcal League had 40 clubs and over 500 participants. The Socal League followed in 2008 and Colorado just last year.

    From the success of the Norcal and Socal Leagues the vision was expanded to a nationwide association and in 2009 the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) was founded.

    The Washington League is a Project League which basically means the coaches and volunteers are allowed a little leeway in regards to meeting the NICA qualification standards.

    I don't know why there isn't a mission statement up on the website (either Washington's or NICA's) but I found one in my presentation materials.

    "To establish and maintain safe, quality high school mountain bike programs. The League is responsible for establishing a climate that will:

    Provide students who have the desire to mountain bike with the coaching and camaraderie that will help them achieve both competitive and non-competitive cross-country mountain biking goals in a safe and enjoyable manner;

    Develop an awareness of what it is to be an amateur athlete that is both gracious and respectful to their community;

    Create an environment in which they may discover new friendships and find role models;

    Guide students towards learning new skills and disciplines, and spread the foundations of mountain bike racing across the U.S.;

    Foster a responsible attitude toward the use of trails and wilderness;

    Promote the value of cycling to our community as a mode of transportation and as a life long sport."

    There is no DH racing for a couple reasons. Insurance coverage and equal access to appropriate trails. Not every school in the state has Duthie in their backyard.

    The 2 planned races will be for the High School clubs only. The kids are certainly free to race the other local series but they won't count as part of the High School series.

    If you'd really like to help contact Lisa Miller and get plugged in.

    Where do you live? Do you want to ride with the kids? If so, follow THIS LINK and get a background check done. As that's one of the few requirements needed for folks who want to ride with the kids this year. Team Directors (aka head coaches) will also need a Wilderness First Aid certification.

    Cheers!

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    As far as high school athletic directors buying in. Well, I guess it's up to them. Apparently there are some clubs in the Norcal League that aren't an "official" school club STILL.

    Like I said above, the clubs do not need to be an official school sport or sponsored club. If they're not then they simply can't meet on school grounds for rides, have meetings on campus or use the school name and mascot. They can't stop a group of kids getting together with a parent and signing up with the league though.

    Cheers!

  10. #10
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    I agree. Especially in the early years there were "clubs", rather than just schools. The fastest girl a few years ago was home schooled and raced as an independent.

    It's too bad the AD's could not see the excitement at the races. A lot of kids camped out at the venues with their families. It was one big party scene.

    One small anecdote. Must have been a sophomore or freshman race a few years ago. A kid comes around after the first lap and he's missing a pedal. Still cranking the whole way, everyone is cheering like crazy. And it's not until he leaves the area that his cheering teammates decide to catch up to him with another pedal. Priceless scene.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo
    More confusion then.

    I figure, if it's really confusing for the adults around here, it may be just as bad for the kids.
    And, I got the impression DH was also available.... (Look at all the Duthie hucksters we're missing out on.)

    The source sites that are referenced are also confusing. With what seems like a cloning of the SoCal page.

    And, I guess there are 2 races coming up soon. What about all the other races like the indy and budu ones? Can they go to those as a "club/team" too? Lots of disconnect...
    It is a little fuzzy and I've been researching the material as a coach for our team. The kids aren't as concerned about some of the issues parents and other adults are such as safety, liability, adult qualifications, schedules, race events and logistics and such. It seems they just want to ride and are excited about an organized system for doing so.

    The material I have access to is a clone of the CA work. Why reinvent the wheel here?

    The 2 races are sanctioned by the WA chapter of NICA. These are the only races where NICA provided insurance and other benefits will apply. Certainly a school club or team or composite club/team could participate in other events. We have some students who will be participating in events sanctioned by other bodies. However, should something happen, the NICA umbrella will not cover them.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    It is a little fuzzy and I've been researching the material as a coach for our team. The kids aren't as concerned about some of the issues parents and other adults are such as safety, liability, adult qualifications, schedules, race events and logistics and such. It seems they just want to ride and are excited about an organized system for doing so.

    The material I have access to is a clone of the CA work. Why reinvent the wheel here?

    The 2 races are sanctioned by the WA chapter of NICA. These are the only races where NICA provided insurance and other benefits will apply. Certainly a school club or team or composite club/team could participate in other events. We have some students who will be participating in events sanctioned by other bodies. However, should something happen, the NICA umbrella will not cover them.
    I don't know if they still do, but the OBRA races in OR used to have a high school series as well. At least two races were even put on at various points by high school groups. Might be a little closer for you then the WA events.

  13. #13
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    I guess I'm referring to them as "clubs" even if they're associated with a school. I'm also using "club" versus "team" to try and drive home the point that it's NOT all about racing, it's about getting kids out on their bikes. Also the fact that they are all inclusive and there aren't any limitations on who can participate (boys and girls and no "cuts" like other school sports). I was given a video made of the racing in the NorCal league called Children of the Dirt in which a kid with pretty severe scoliosis is out racing. Found it on youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/NorCalMTBdotOrg

    Just to clarify, there are a number of forms a "club" may take:

    Single School-Based Teams: Must be comprised of full-time students from the same high-school, public or private.

    Composite Teams: Must be comprised of full-time students from more than one high- school within the same district or other geographic proximity. Home-school students may also join Composite Teams. Composite teams must first seek approval of their geographic scope and include "composite" in their team name.

    County-Based Home-School Teams: Home-schoolers may organize teams of students (home-schoolers only) who live within the same County or other geographic proximity.

    Individuals can also come out and race, they just won't be scored in the team competition.

    slop brings up another great aspect of the racing. At each race there will be a designated "Pit Zone" in which all the schools can set up a team tent for hanging out in, warm ups, etc. Much like a cyclocross race this really gets the energy up as you've got the teams all cheering for their riders as they race through the pits.

    If you really want to learn more, check out THIS PAGE at wasghintonmtb.org. There are lots of resource material, even the NICA RULEBOOK.

    Cheers!

  14. #14
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    As of 2/23 there are now 11 registered clubs with kids at another 12 schools interested in forming clubs....

    http://www.washingtonmtb.org/teams

    If you'd like to be a coach please contact Lisa Miller (lisa AT washingtonmtb DOT org).

    Cheers!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by goneskiian
    As of 2/23 there are now 11 registered clubs with kids at another 12 schools interested in forming clubs....
    Great response, I think. Thanks for the heads up.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  16. #16
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    Looks like a couple more clubs registered. Up to 13 now. With students at another 11 (Eastlake High is listed as both having interest, and having a registered club).

    I met with the Athletic Director at Mercer Island High School today and he was very positive. If anyone knows any students at MIHS that like to ride bikes let me know.

    Cheers!

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    I do. Grant Davis' daughter is fast. Not sure if she's on the list yet.

  18. #18
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    What we need is a list! I've been going about this the hard way, top down. It'd be much easier to find some students who like to ride (and parents too!) and want to start a club than to have to go through the administration.

    These folks live on MI?

    Any chance you could put them in touch with me?

    goneskiian at hotmail dot com.

    Thanks!
    -Ian

  19. #19
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    Sure...

    Check your PM too.
    Last edited by Borneo; 03-02-2011 at 03:59 PM.

  20. #20
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    Thanks Borneo. PM received and reply sent.

    We're up to 14 clubs now. Northshore composite team added yesterday. The snowball is growing...

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    Just met my kids tonight. Totally stoked! Its going to be fun.

    -DP

  22. #22
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    What club are you riding with DP?

    Up to 15 clubs now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by goneskiian
    What club are you riding with DP?

    Up to 15 clubs now!
    Tyee/Major Taylor w/ Russy

  24. #24
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    I am hosting an Informational meeting on Mercer Island on Tuesday March 22nd at 7pm. It will be at the Mercer View Community Center (right above Luther Burbank Park).

    Cheers!
    -Ian

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    Looks like another club is registered. That makes 16 now! Woohoo!

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    First race is tomorrow at Ft. Steilacoom in Tacoma! Come out to cheer on these awesome kids!

  27. #27
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    Second and last race for 2011 in the books yesterday on Joint Base Lewis/McCord. It was also the official High School State Championships and a qualifier for Nationals in Sun Valley.

    Each race in the inaugural Washington race series had (I believe) a total 60 High School students racing in both boys and girls Freshman/Sophmore, Junior Varsity and Varsity categories. For some perspective, this is the same turnout the NorCal league had in their inaugural season 10 years ago. They now have over 500 racing on any given weekend. I don't know if High School racing here in Washington will get quite that popular but you never know!

    We had fantastic weather for both races especially considering how cold and wet this spring has been.

    The kids I talked to and cheered on during the races had a great time and are eager to ride and race more.

    The future is looking good for XC mountain biking here in Washington as there are some seriously fast kids out there and also some serious talent that, while not fast yet, will be with more riding!

    Cheers!
    Last edited by goneskiian; 05-02-2011 at 02:55 PM.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by goneskiian
    Second and last race for 2011 in the books yesterday on Joint Base Lewis/McCord. It was also the official High School State Championships and a qualifier for Nationals in Sun Valley.

    Each race in the inaugural Washington race series had (I believe) a total 60 High School students racing in both boys and girls Freshman/Sophmore, Junior Varsity and Varsity categories. For some perspective, this is the same turnout the NorCal league had in their inaugural season 10 years ago. They now have over 500 racing on any given weekend. I don't know if High School racing here in Washington will get quite that popular but you never know!

    We had fantastic weather for both races especially considering how cold and wet this spring has been.

    The kids I talked to and cheered on during the races had a great time and are eager to ride and race more.

    The future is looking good for XC mountain biking here in Washington as there are some seriously fast kids out there and also some serious talent that, while not fast yet, will be with more riding!

    Cheers!
    I couldnt agree with you more Ian. The enthusiasm & excitement these kids had was truly awesome. Our kids are excited to do it again next year & even try some of the other local races. I hope we've hooked them for life! Also, nice meeting you yesterday, now I can put a name with the face.

    cheers,
    Dave

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    Duthie Time Trial Races

    Glad the kids had a great experience. I want to let them know about the Time Trial Races Evergreen is putting on at Duthie Hill on Thursday evenings, starting May 12. Check out the other thread I started. Also, any kids who need community service hours can help me out.

    Peterman

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by DPCX
    I couldnt agree with you more Ian. The enthusiasm & excitement these kids had was truly awesome. Our kids are excited to do it again next year & even try some of the other local races. I hope we've hooked them for life! Also, nice meeting you yesterday, now I can put a name with the face.

    cheers,
    Dave
    Great to meet you too Dave! You've got some great talent there on your team for sure! It'll be great fun watching them get even faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by slop
    Glad the kids had a great experience. I want to let them know about the Time Trial Races Evergreen is putting on at Duthie Hill on Thursday evenings, starting May 12. Check out the other thread I started. Also, any kids who need community service hours can help me out.

    Peterman
    We'll definitely pass on the word. Looking forward to doing a few myself!

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    What happened?

    Does anybody know what happened to the Washington NICA league? Just wondering.
    I have a sticker. I guess it will be a collectors item now.

    Edit - After some help, (thanks Slop) here is the link: Washington Student League
    Looks familiar, but looks a little more low key...maybe.
    Kids on bikes. Good deal!

  32. #32
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    Still around, only not under NICA. There is info/links on the evergreen website and calendar.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by slop View Post
    Still around, only not under NICA. There is info/links on the evergreen website and calendar.
    I hadn't realized Washington was no longer part of NICA. Why? What is the back story? Just curious. Thanks!
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

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