Youth Mountain Biking Program
The Key Pen Pirates Mountain Biking Club started in 2018 - inspired and led by Coach Coree Collins and her coaches to build the first youth mountain bike team serving the Key Peninsula region and racing with the Washington Student Cycling League. Our first 2019 racing year was a tremendous success, and Pirates in 2020 continues to grow to a year-round composite team of students and volunteer parent coaches.
About our Program:
• Mountain biking is an extraordinary experience for middle and high school youth! A Pirate priority is that the kids have fun, and our approach is to build self-confidence, team cohesion (new friends) and a life-long appreciation for the many benefits and challenges of riding and being outdoors. Mountain Biking is a progressive sport that's easy to start while taking a lifetime to master - we support a full range of riders from just-starting to regional competitors. And, mountain bikers recognize that our youth is our future: racers, casual riders, trail stewardship, coaches, etc..... We support and participate in each and every aspect of mountain biking and rider growth!
• Composite Team: our home trail is "360", or Gateway Park in Gig Harbor, WA. Simply, all youth and parents in grades 6-12 are welcome! Our youth range from Tacoma to Poulsbo and South/Central Kitsap, from home-schooled to local middle and high school.
• Scale and Scope: a common parent response is "WOW". Many races construct "villages" to support over 500+ youth racing and from across Washington. It's super-fun for the whole family.
• Coaches: our coaches are volunteers from parent mentors who just-love-to-ride to highly accomplished Washington riders. All volunteers and coaches are thoroughly vetted and receive training commensurate with the responsibilities on the team.
• Youth Coaching: our high-school riders have the opportunity to take on leadership roles and become "Ride Leaders" (under adult supervision). A wonderful part of mountain biking is the opportunity for youth to 'step-up' to leadership roles on their team and with their peers.
• Safety: Coaches and volunteers are prepared for contingencies and are hyper-focused on safety, but we go a step further in teaching youth to ride within their skill limits as well as learn how to properly equip themselves before and during rides. Also, mountain biking is relatively "low impact" on the body compared to sports like football, basketball and soccer - while developing fantastic balance, strength and endurance.
• Expectations: we typically practice twice a week at 360 once the season begins in 2020 (often coaches will have "extra credit" rides), and coaches do their best to accommodate parent schedules. We break into groups of skill levels with coaches assigned to each and so all youth can ride and learn at a no-pressure pace.
Complete the form below to stay updated with upcoming schedules and plans. We'll begin the season training at 360 trails while competing in race opportunities that include BUDU cross-country, Washington Student Cycling League cross-country and the Cascadia Cup Enduro series throughout the region.
OR, contact us with questions.