We wanted to take a moment and give a big shout out of "THANKS" to The Bike Shop in Grand Junction. They have been supporters of the high school mountain bike movement from the beginning. They hosted a meeting way back in 2010 when the Colorado High School Cycling League came to the Western Slope looking for support and potential coaches for high school teams in the area. Since then they have provided support in a variety of ways including (but not limited to) - use of tents and A-frames, mechanical support at races, discounted tools for team use, hauling water to racers (see picture below), recruiting new riders, assisting in helping Grand Valley Youth Cycling secure additional sponsorship from partner businesses, and Ash Jordan is now serving as an at large board member for GVYC to help us continue with our ongoing mission to get kids on bikes. We thank them for their continued support.
Please stop in and give them a high-five for all they do.
Support your local bike shop - they are your local resource and friendly face for all things related to cycling. They give you the personal attention that you just can't get from an online retailer!
The momentum is building...nationally and locally! NICA, www.nationalmtb.org, just announced the addition of four new leagues including New Jersey, Arkansas, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. There are now 19 state and regional leagues working to get more kids on bikes with strong minds, strong bodies and strong character.
Locally, we have launched a weekly ride for students in 7th and 8th grade. Last night we met at the Lunch Loop Bike Park for some excellent instruction on bike handling and maneuvering from local pro enduro racer Eric Landis and Trevor Martin. A dozen riders from different middle schools in the Grand Valley showed up and enthusiastically made laps in the pump track.
Our goal for this group is to engage these young athletes in an organized weekly ride where they can increase their skills and confidence on a mountain bike, have fun riding with their peers and guide them in proper trail etiquette. We wouldn't have been able to pull this off without the enthusiasm and support from volunteers like Marc Kenney and David Collins.
Thank you also to our sponsors that are supporting the mission of Grand Valley Youth Cycling. Please visit our sponsor page http://www.grandvalleymtb.com/sponsors.html and consider giving them a personal thank you for supporting youth cycling in the Grand Valley.
We had a fantastic and memorable weekend in and around Gunnison for our first annual team camp. Fifteen student athletes were able to kick off the season getting to know each other and explore a super fun trail system at Hartman Rocks.
Our weekend started off bright and early Saturday morning loading bikes and gear. David and Sarah Withers from Desert Rat Tours, http://www.desertrattours.com, joined us for the weekend. They helped transport riders and bikes. They were excellent guest ride leaders too. David and Sarah have a passion for mountain biking. They are also skillful riders and we loved having them join us for the weekend.
We arrived at Hartman Rocks and soon met with Gary Pierson, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students from Western State Colorado University, www.Western.edu. Gary was extremely helpful in helping coordinate our plans for the weekend. He introduced us to Hartman Rocks and led us on the beginning of our riding adventure.
Some of the trails we rode on Saturday included Jacks, Sea of Sage, Rattlesnake, Rocky Ridge, and The Luge - to name a few. With 40 miles of single track available to explore our options seemed endless. We regrouped for lunch at the trail-head and then split into ability and skill groups for more riding in the afternoon.
We had some fun off the bikes too. You are never too old to enjoy a good playground.
Western State Colorado University
Next stop was the Mountaineer Fieldhouse at Western. This would be our recreation and lodging location for the evening and night. What an amazing facility for the students and faculty! After Duncan Callahan, Director of Campus Recreation, gave us a tour we headed to the University Welcome Center for a delicious pizza dinner and an introduction to life at Western State hosted by Cody Washka. Some riders even got a hug from the pathfinder bear - can't wait to see what good fortune awaits them.
More fun at the fieldhouse
Coach Jeff and Coach Alexis gathered the riders together for a team meeting before we bunked in the fieldhouse for the night.
We had hoped to ride in Crested Butte but the weather forecast appeared formidable and there were so many great trails to still discover at Hartman Rocks so we returned to more familiar territory. We enjoyed more great riding and skills instruction. The weather was perfect and we concluded the weekend thankful for the opportunity to enjoy a new riding area, with gratitude for the generous hospitality from Western State Colorado University, and enthusiastic for the start of a memorable 2015 season of high school mountain biking!
The weekend would not have been possible without the support of many individuals including (and hopefully not omitting anyone) - parents, coaches and ride leaders (Jeff Mace, Alexis Skarda, Chris Pipkin, Johnny Morris, David Withers, Sarah Withers, Melissa Pipkin, Dana VanVoorhees, Kevin Foote, the staff at Western (Gary Pierson, Duncan Callahan, Cody Washka) and of course our sponsors for the 2015 season (Community Hospital, DT Swiss, MRP, The Leftovers, The Bike Shop, The Hot Tomato, Primary Care Partners, Impact Promotions and Desert Rat Tours).
Only a few days remain until the official start to the 2015 high school mountain bike season. We are kicking off our best season yet with an out of town team camp. We will head to Hartman Rocks area near Gunnison this Saturday. Desert Rat Tours is helping us transport our student athletes and bicycles. David and Sarah Withers are well known for their knowledge of mountain biking, guiding, instructing and overall enthusiasm to share their love of mountain biking. We are grateful for their support of Grand Valley Youth Cycling. Saturday evening we are being hosted by Western State Colorado University. They have gone above and beyond to welcome our team to their campus.
Team members - We are meeting this Wednesday evening at 7pm at the Lunch Loops parking lot to talk about details for the camp and practice schedule for the next few weeks. An informal, fun ride will start at 5:30PM before the meeting. We are looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible.
Some of us braved the heat, bugs and dust and really had a great time helping John Klish with the beginnings of a cool new short track course. Afterwards John worked with our team on some basic skills such as quickly and efficiently mounting and dismounting the bike and bunny hopping over progressively higher obstacles. I think we will be spending some more time at The Camp as there are multiple obstacles to work with as our skills improve and it will be cool to be a part of the development of the new trail. We ended the evening thankful for the large trees that provided shade, the cool watermelon that refreshed us and with growing excitement for the upcoming season of high school mountain biking!
We, the Grand Valley Youth Cycling board of directors, are excited to let you know about a new sponsor for our 2105 season. Community Hospital is partnering with us to help us meet our goals as an organization.
GVYC has also completed the necessary step to become a 501(c)3 tax exempt charitable organization. There are several benefits to receiving this designation, one being that donations to our organization are tax-deductible.
With that being said, we are in our final push for sponsors for our 2015 season. We are designing team tens, banners and t-shirts that will be a place to recognize sponsors. A sponsor will also get promotion on our website.
We are asking for your help to contact individuals and business owners you know that would like to sponsor the high school teams and the mission of Grand Valley Youth Cycling. The purpose of GVYC is to empower youth through cycling.
Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out a contact form on the website for more sponsorship information.
Hope you're all off to a great summer and you're getting in some fun rides! It would be a good idea to try to get out at least 4 times a week throughout the summer so we can come into the season ready to roll!
There are many welcoming group rides in the valley that you should take advantage of if you haven't already. The Tuesday, Thursday night rides at Canyon View is a fast pace road ride which is awesome for some hard efforts. You can still ride a mountain bike on this ride if that's all you have. This ride is fast so don't worry if you get dropped, see how long you can hang on and then finish the loop or turn around on your own. The Bike Shop ride or Red Rock Riders are good ones to practice riding in groups on the techy trails. However you can get out there is awesome! You guys can always arrange your own group rides as well :).
I hope you all are able to make it out to some of the local events. The Little Park Hill Climb and Gunny Enduro are this weekend so if you can make it, you should do one of them! Why not!? I'm excited about building the short track course with John Klish on Monday. This is something the team can use to host short track events so it will be fun to be a part of the building process of these trails. Hope to see you all there!
Next team event:
June 8 5PM-7:30 or 8PM –
Help build a new short track race course & skills clinic with John Klish.
The area for the short track course was the campground for the Grand Junction Off Road. It is located behind the Albertsons grocery store on Broadway. Address is 171 Dike Road. The private land owner is working with John Klish of Mountain and Desert Racing to support local bike events including the build of a short track race course. Come and help build the course. We will start at 5pm - join us when you can. After about an hour or so of trail building, participate in a skills clinic led by John Klish. John has a passion for skills instruction and the personal resume to support his accomplishments.
Warning – the area may have goat heads and other stickers. Be prepared. Freshen your sealant if you have tubeless, add sealant to your tube (can be done if your tubes have a removable core), visit your favorite local bike shop for help if needed.
Bring work gloves, water, snacks, your bike and a helmet. Trail building tools and excellent instruction will be provided.
Do you have a friend interested in the mountain bike team? Invite them to come along to meet some other team members and find out what we are all about.
May 31 – Grand Junction Off Road – Thank you team riders who have volunteered to lead the Kids 4 Grand Ride Sunday morning. Good luck to any of you racing on Saturday. It’s going to be a beautiful weekend to ride and take in the festivities around this event. www.epicrides.com
June 6 and 7 – Little Park Hill Climb and Gunny Enduro www.madracingcolorado.com Consider participating in one of these events to test your climbing and/or downhill technical skills. Volunteers are also needed to help these events run smoothly. John Klish, race organizer, will compensate your volunteer time with event shirts and/or future race entry fees depending on how much time you can help. Contact him for more details.
June 8 5PM-7:30 or 8PM – Help build a new short track race course and skills clinic with John Klish. This area was the campground for the Grand Junction Off Road. It is located behind the Albertsons grocery store on Broadway. The private land owner is working with John Klish of Mountain and Desert Racing to support local bike events including the build of a short track race course. Come and help build the course. We will start at 5pm come and join us when you can. After about an hour or so of trail building, participate in a skills clinic led by John Klish. John has a passion for skills instruction and the personal resume to support his accomplishments.
Bring work gloves, water, snacks, your bike and a helmet. Trail building tools and excellent instruction will be provided.
June 13 & 14– Ride the Rockies, bike wash station. Team members needed to help staff a bike wash station behind The Bike Shop. Volunteers needed – Saturday 12pm-7pm and Sunday 10am-5:30pm We will have a tip jar and also sell GVYC decals to help raise funds for the high school teams. Let me know by responding to this e-mail, calling or texting me if you can help. Let me know if you prefer to help in the morning or the afternoon. Monies raised will help off-set the cost of the team kits (jerseys, shorts, etc).
June 16 – tentative date for skills clinic at the Fruita Bike Park
In addition to our team sponsored events there are other opportunities to ride with a group and get more time on your bike and increase your fitness:
Wednesday evenings 6pm, Lunch Loop trail head The Bike Shop group ride led by Keith Kitchen
Tuesday and Thursday evenings 5:30pm, Canyon View Park, road ride – great way to get some base miles and improve your overall fitness
Red Rock Riders, Wednesday evening rides, various locations (June 3 18 road, June 10 Troybuilt Trail, June 17 Troybuilt) facebook.com/RedRockRiders email: email@example.com or go into Board and Buckle Bike Shop for more information
June 4 6pm – Single Track sisters group ride at Lunch Loops - we would love to have more female team members, especially from the Fruita area, so please help get the word out. This event welcome to female student riders and moms of any riders. New riders are invited and encouraged to join us for any of our summer events. Invite your friends.
Make sure you keep the weekend of August 1st and 2nd open on your calendar for our out of town team camp. This event is for team members, ride leaders and coaches that are registered in the Pit Zone – contact your coach if you have not received an invite to the PitZone for NICA registration.