Contributed by Matt Muir, edited and produced by Kate Rau
The “Decade of Dirt” began in on August 25th in earnest for the North Conference of the Colorado High School Mountain Bike League with the 5th Annual Frisco Bay Invitational. Thanks to sponsors and supporters like title sponsor Toyota, the Colorado League entered the tenth year of building strong minds, bodies, and character through inclusivity and equality.
Frisco’s Peninsula Recreation Area hosted 733 racers from Colorado and Wyoming while another 639 South Conference racers from Colorado and New Mexico competed in Nathrop on the same day. At the awards ceremony, Frisco Town Council Person, Hunter Mortensen thanked the crowd and shared news of new mountain bike trails to be built in time for the 2020 event. Frisco is a steadfast partner, and embraces the growth and size of the Colorado League. Additional, community support is provided by the U.S. Forest Service, Dillon Ranger District, Summit County Open Space and Trails, and the Dillon Reservoir Recreation District.
Ten years ago, 142 racers lined up at the start for the very first race at the McMurry Ranch in Nathrop. A total of 205 riders participated in the 2010 season. Today, the Boulder Panthers alone have 140 members with 40 girls who by themselves are nearly twice the size of an average team. Credit goes to Head Coach Ben Boyer who has been with the League since the beginning and, in cycling crazy Boulder, insists on cycling sanity, inclusivity, and positivity that account for the broad range of abilities on his team.
Lakewood High Principal, Daniel Bock spent a few hours to witness the buzz for the first time. He commented, “I was blown away by the sheer number of tents, sponsors, family members, fans, and most importantly student racers! The number of competitors, the seriousness of their competitive spirit, and their communal commitment to the sport was astounding. Yes, each athlete was competing against others but also competing against him or herself. The combination of team and individual competition provided an amazing avenue for teamwork and individual grit. I was very impressed by all of the teams lined up against the barriers madly cheering with cow bells and noisemakers for their teammates but also other teams. Truly, it was an amazing communal event. This is the pinnacle of sport – teamwork, competition, and individual growth.”
Junior Liam Maddox was the impetus to establishing a new team at Highlands Ranch. “I’ve been part of the Rock Canyon team for a few years and I wanted to build a team at my own school.” Liam’s initiative resulted in a total of 9 riders for the very first race. Impressive! Valor Christian doubled their team and they have fielded at least 1 rider since 2013. The Colorado Springs School and the Link School, based in Buena Vista, are expected to join the party for the first time in Leadville.
Contact: Kate Rau, Colorado League Director, email@example.com, 720.272.9282
2019 Race Schedule:
Race #1 August 25:
North – Frisco Bay Invitational, Frisco
South – Chalk Creek Stampede, Nathrop
Race #2 September 8:
North – Showdown in The Boat, Steamboat Springs
South – Cloud City Challenge at Colorado Mountain College, Leadville
Race #3 September 22:
North – Granby Ranch Round-Up, Granby
South – Snowmassive Chase, Snowmass Village
Race #4 October 5 – 6 Haymaker Classic, Eagle – Conference Championship
North – Saturday, October 5
South – Sunday, October 6
Race #5 October 19 – 20 Durango Mesa Pursuit – State Championships
Junior Varsity & Freshman – Saturday, October 19
Varsity & Sophomore – Sunday, October 20