Why join the BHS MTB team?
Positive encouragement and training from highly experienced coaches
Improve your physical fitness while having an absolute blast
Make strong and lasting friendships
No try-outs necessary — Everyone willing to commit the time and effort will make the team
No “sitting on the bench.” Everyone can compete in races — even if you are truly a beginner
We are a co-ed team
One semester of P.E. credit
No bike? No problem! The team will get you a loaner bike for the season to ride if you need one
Scholarships are available to help cover team dues for those in financial need
The team brings together a diverse group of students from all BHS schools and backgrounds
LEARN THESE ESSENTIAL SKILLS
How to ride safely and in control at all times
How to blast through and over obstacles
How to ride long distances without tiring — farther and faster than you ever thought possible
How to achieve and maintain physical fitness, mental discipline, and focus
How we ride
We are a cross-country mountain biking team. Our sport emphasizes and builds aerobic and physical endurance. We focus on keeping the wheels on the ground and maintaining a strong, steady pace for a long time. Races are more than an hour in duration with equal parts climbing and descending. Our principal focus, though, is on building riding skills and having fun in the great outdoors.
Where we ride
Our practice and training rides are most commonly in Tilden Park and Wildcat Canyon Park, as well as Joaquin Miller Park, Sibley, and Redwood. The Team usually meets for practice at BHS, at the Cal Campanile, or at Live Oak Park. We will make occasional trips to other locations that have excellent trails. Maps of some of our favorite ride locations are on the maps page.
What we ride
We ride mountain bikes! Ideally a cross-country mountain bike that fits well, is in full working order, and ideally, has a front suspension.
When we ride
There will be a few informal group rides and practices in the Fall. Regular team practice begins first weekend in December, every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning for a longer ride. Team practice meetings address basic physical fitness and include instruction and practice on bike handling, mental focus, and nutrition for you, the endurance student-athelete.
Where we race
We race at excellent venues on well-marked, closed courses in the forests, mountains, and hills of NorCal. Each course is a loop, about 5-6 miles in length. Races are usually within 1-2 hours' drive. Races are typically held at venues such as Fort Ord (East Garrison) and Laguna Seca in Monterey County, Granite Bay (near Folsom Lake), Boggs Demonstration Forest (in Lake County; a large group of us will camp in the forest overnight), and Stafford Lake in Marin County.
You won’t believe how much fun it is! All riders on the Team are welcome to participate in each race. Only the State Championship race requires pre-qualification. All riders race in groups according to gender and class year.
We race on well-marked, closed cross-country courses that have plenty of singletrack, climbs, and descents and are closely monitored by numerous stationary and roving race marshals and safety personnel. The courses are 5-6 mile loops, and each group will race 2-5 laps, covering 12-25 miles total over the course of about 1-2 hours depending on the race group.
There are six races, beginning in late February and ending with the State Championships in May. Every rider who finishes at least once in the top 80% in a league race will qualify for State Champs.
Each race is a well-orchestrated event with up to 600 riders and well over 1,000 parents and friends to cheer you on. Races are managed by dozens of volunteers, course marshals, and safety personnel to provide a safe, supportive, and above all fun experience.
Maps of the places we ride.
At every race, the coaches and parent-volunteers provide support for the Team, which will have its own spot in the "Pit Zone" where all teams have their own tents and warm-up areas. We have stationary trainers for warmups, bike parking stands, chairs, tables, tents for shade, expert mechanical assistance and bike checks, and a whole ton of good food and drink for everyone. Parent-volunteers take turns staffing the "Feed Zone" on the race course – where riders completing a lap can get fresh water bottles and food.
Races are on either Saturday or Sunday mornings, and the event takes most of the day. Many team members travel to the race site the day before each race to pre-ride the course (friends and family can also ride the course before it is closed for the race) and stay overnight nearby (either camping or in a hotel), and carpools can be arranged as needed. Here is a checklist for the gear needed for each race.
All races, like other Team activities, are subject to NICA Rules, which Team members are required to read and follow. The NICA Rulebook is available on NICA's website.
NICA has also created a helpful Quick Start Guide to Attending High School Mountain Bike Races, which is loaded with useful information for both parents and riders. Click on the link to download a copy!