Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is mountain biking safe? Mountain biking, like most sports, carries some risk of injury and students will fall at some point (it's part of learning). Below are a few points we emphasize when riding.
- ALWAYS wear a properly fitted helmet!
- Bike and gear safety checks before riding.
- We emphasize students riding within their skill and endurance level, and students walk sections that are above their skill or if tired.
- Know the trail: we teach riders to take it easy until they become familiar with a trail, and if an unfamiliar trail or race we'll preride it to identify hazards and conditions. Coaches take this a step further by planning rides with designated trails, including mapping the nearest access and exits to the trails.
- If an issue, coaches are trained and equipped to assist immediately.
Who can participate? Riders in grades 6 to 12 are eligible to join the team. As composite team, we represent students from all the area schools as well as home-schooled students.
Just learning to Mountain Bike? We work with a full range of student riders, from just beginning to competitive athletes. There's no prerequisite to begin mountain biking.
We don't have a mountain bike? Yes, a mountain bike is required - but, we can work with parents and students on finding a bike. We might have a loner, and we can help navigate the many choices when purchasing an affordable bike.
When are Practices? We begin official practices late fall or early winter and as weather allows, and we'll begin with once a week and then advance to twice a week as the weather improves and there's more daylight. A typical practice is about an hour and a half. The schedule itself will be coordinated with parents. More information Practice schedules and information here ›
My child plays other sports, is that a conflict? We encourage kids to participate in other sports and school programs!
Volunteer coaches? All the coaches are volunteer parents and riders with a passion for sharing and riding with the students. We encourage parents to participate, and it's a wonderful way to connect and spend time with your kids! Mountain biking is unique in that parents can ride, practice and sometimes even compete with their kids - and for those of us who've done it, it's rather extraordinary to see their progression in self-confidence and skills. The coaches have a broad range of experience and skills, from top Washington adult competitors to parents along for the ride.
What are the volunteer qualifications? Any volunteers riding with the students are required to have (at a minimum) a background check and cursory training on topics such as concussions, etc.... Depending on the interest, there's a progression of coach training (including Wilderness First Aid, CPR, etc...) that's commensurate with the volunteer's role on the team. Examples include Head/Assistant coaches, Lead Riders, Sweepers (who follow behind the last students), and roaming coaches who'll work across the different groups.