I’m sure the kids get tired of us old people saying things like, “I wish they would have had a mountain bike team when I was a kid!” But it’s true. So many of us would have been psyched to line up with what probably would have been embarrassing neon Lycra and 65 pound bikes. But we are so fortunate to live vicariously through all the high school kids in Colorado who get to practice (ride their mountain bikes) and line up for four very well run bike races every fall. It’s that time again and all over Colorado high school kids are working on their endurance, learning about passing safely, being schooled on trail etiquette and preparing for a whole new way to compete in high school sports.
This is the third year of the Colorado High School Cycling League and if history tells us anything, it should be another banner year for the league. Last year 325 athletes participated in the 2011 race series—a 78% increase from 2010. And this year there are more scholarships available to teams, coaches and riders thanks to the success of CycleFest (can you say Tom Danielson?) and the Just Go Harder Foundation. Last year 33 teams represented the state and this year there are five more teams; Rock Canyon, Highlands Ranch, Estes Park, Columbine (Littleton), Fountain Valley in Colorado Springs and Highlander also in Colorado Springs.
For the past two years Boulder High School has won the state championships with Salida on its tail in both years. Many schools continue to deliver strong performances including Fairview, Monarch and Golden. Last year 55 girls accounted for 17% of the riders which was a 120% increase from 2010. So far this year there are 158 boys and 32 girls signed up—and there’s still time to find your team and get signed up. September 3rd is the deadline to sign up on line for the first race. But on-site registration is also available. Save time and money by registering ahead of time. Best case scenario is for people to go on line and check out all the rules and deadlines. Speaking of races, there are four races in the season. The race schedule is:
- September 9, 2012 Chalk Creek Challenge Nathrop
- September 23, 2012 Snow Mountain Ranch Stampede Granby
- October 7, 2012 Peaceful Valley Invitational Elbert
- October 21, 2012 Finals TBD
It is truly amazing to watch these kids get out there and give it their all. For more information on how to get your kid signed up or how to volunteer, go to http://www.coloradomtb.org. Stay tuned for more coverage as the season and the league continues to develop.