Time for a little update on the High School MTB Team.
Someone once said (and someday if I meet this person I will have words with them): “If it was easy everyone would do it.”
It’s not been easy to get this thing off the ground. Our main challenges have been: Being a rookie team, the weather and the schedule.
The weather has continued to be a challenge. The world appears to be conspiring against us.
When I started this little adventure of creating a high school mtb team we had about 12 kids who were interested. Then the winter continued. And continued. And continued. Our trails were finally open two weeks ago. And by the time we got a chance to ride, well we had two kids who came out to actually ride. That’s a little disappointing. Last week we were joined by a third kid. So I have three who have been out to ride with us. Today, our regular ride day, is a total wash out. Sigh. We are riding on Saturday and the weather should be OK. We are going to some great flowing trails that were put in last year. They should be a lot of fun. If only the kids would come out!
Officially we are racing in the NY State NICA League. Someone in the national NICA office decided that the NY League should be a spring league. Meaning we race in the spring. The teams in that league are mostly based on southern NY, near NY City. And while a spring season is a challenge for them, they have been riding since mid March and racing for a month. Realistically for us in Potsdam that means that we have very little to no time to be outside before the racing season starts. And this year we have been riding for 2 weeks (2 weeks after the racing season started). In the first year of forming a team that’s been a huge challenge. I am not willing to take kids to a race before I have even seen them on a bike. I don’t think that is a recipe for having fun, or for being safe. The one race I think we would be ready for is the state championship race in June. But the catch there is that you need to qualify by racing in the majority of the regular season races. So that’s a challenge. I have appealed to the mercy of the league director to let me bring some kids down regardless. But I haven’t heard back.
So my focus is really just on getting a core group of kids together to ride. If we can race, so be it. If not, well we will figure something out.
Being action oriented, here is what I am trying to line up. Last year the Clarkson bike club hosted a MTB race weekend for the collegiate cycling association. I race in it. I know the kids in the collegiate club and have started to work with them to have a scholastic division included in the race. The student who is organizing the event is supportive (and since he works at the LBS that is supporting the HS team and is a student at the university I teach at, well we have leverage 😉 ). I think we will be able to get that one in. I sure hope so.
On a brighter note, we have jersey’s! See…
The design is fantastic. And we are in the process of ordering them. I want to get these made even though it is likely there will be more adults who have them then kids. We need the visibility and excitement that they provide.