Friday, March 8, 2013

High School Mountain Bike Team


March 2, 2013

If you are out near the trails of the Otay Reservoir or the open hillsides of Mt San Miguel on a weekday afternoon, chances are you may have seen a group of dedicated high school student athletes on mountain bikes spinning up the hills on the single-track. We are the Eastlake High School Mountain Bike Team, one of two high school mountain bike teams in San Diego County, and a part of the SoCal League of high school mountain bike racers. With 32 teams in the SoCal League, and over 300 riders, we are part of a growing movement that seeks to provide student athletes an arena in which to set and accomplish competitive goals, and to achieve their personal best. 

2013 marks the fourth year for the Eastlake High School Mountain Bike Team, comprised of boys and girls from freshman to senior. Our pre-season begins in October, with training consisting of skills clinics for new members, and purposeful trail rides targeted to improving the endurance and bike-handling skills of returning members.

Students come from all different backgrounds and levels of experience. Some have been riding since they can remember, while others have only just got their first bike, and are learning as they go, encouraged by their teammates.

Being a part of a mountain bike team is unique, in that while you are a part of a team and something larger than yourself, the competition is largely an individual effort. Whereas a football player who is new to the sport and perhaps at a physical disadvantage would spend time on the bench on game day, every mountain biker who comes to practice has a chance of competing on race day. If you as a cyclist know that you have put in the practice house to go the distance, and you have completed the necessary skills training to successfully navigate the obstacles on the trail, then you know your race is largely about eating properly and hydrating well in the days before the race, mentally preparing yourself for the race, mentally preparing yourself for any unexpected setbacks such as a flat tire or a crash, and putting it all together on race day so that you start and finish your race well.

If you are interested in learning more about the Eastlake Cycle Team and how you can be a part of the growing movement of enthusiast mountain bikers who want to see the sport grow (e.g., be a ride leader!) and see more young people on mountain bikes, we encourage you to contact us via this blog, through Eastlake High School, the SoCal League, or our Facebook page. And if you see a group of high school students riding together around Eastlake, wave hello and feel free to cheer us on!

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