Colorado Starts High School MTB; More States to Come

The first high school mountain bike league outside of California kicks off this weekend with the Colorado High School Mountain Bike Racing Series. And look for more mountain biking to go along with the NorCal, SoCal and Colorado leagues soon.

By Singletrack.com

High school racers get ready for a NorCal event.

The first high school mountain bike league outside of California kicks off this weekend with the Colorado High School Mountain Bike Racing Series.

And look for more mountain biking to go along with the NorCal, SoCal and Colorado leagues soon.

As far as Colorado, Chalk Creek Ranch in Nathrop will host the inaugural opening event of the four-round series that spans now until October 31. More than 120 high school mountain bikers from at least 14 teams are registered—possibly a record-setting field size.

“The buzz is building every day,” said Kate Rau, executive director of the Colorado High School Cycling League. “It’s so exciting to see the amount of involvement from coaches, riders, parents, volunteers, and businesses. I believe that this will be the largest field of junior mountain bike racers in Colorado history.”

The level of interest in the new league was evident at two pre-series one-day leadership training camps that took place, one in Lyons and the other in Colorado Springs. They attracted 19 and 25 existing or prospective coaches and riders, respectively.

COLORADO HIGH SCHOOL MTB SCHEDULE
Sept 19: Race 1. Chalk Creek Ranch, at Nathrop, 20 miles north of Salida 
October 3: Race 2. Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Fraser October 17: Race 3. Bear Creek Lake Park, Lakewood 
October 31: Race 4 (State Championships). Peaceful Valley, Elbert

Such interest in forming new leagues has the National Interscholastic Cycling Association planning on expanding to three more states in 2011. An announcement will be made at Interbike next week by NICA officials on which states will be involved.

“These are very exciting days for us. The skill and knowledge of people in these new leagues is already very high, which reflects many years of hard work by mountain bikers before they even knew of NICA,” said Matt Fritzinger, executive director of NICA. “And we are regularly receiving enquiries from states across the country asking how they can get involved. The key for us at present is to grow at a rate that we can manage.”

A new NICA league goes through three stages of development: Emerging, Project, and Chapter. Explanations are below. Both Emerging and Project leagues will be announced at the Interbike press conference. Please direct any early inquiries to Fritzinger at 510.524.5464.

This weekend’s race in Colorado will be held on the privately owned Chalk Creek Ranch, at Nathrop, near Buena Vista. Riders will compete in Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Sophomore/Freshman categories. The League already has a good cross-state feel with riders representing schools from Boulder County, Buena Vista, Carbondale, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Crested Butte, Durango, Evergreen, Fort Collins, Gunnison, Salida, Vail, and a team from southern Wyoming.

The complete schedule for the 2010 Colorado High School Mountain Bike Racing Series is below, and more information, including course maps and directions, is at www.coloradomtb.org.

Rider registration is still open for the series, and is accessible online at www.coloradomtb.org until 5 PM, MST Thursday, September, 16.