Welcome to the team!
The Saint Vrain High School Mountain Bike Team (SVHS MTB) is a composite mountain bike team consisting of riders from Longmont, Lyons, Mead, Niwot, Skyline, and Silver Creek High Schools. We are a member of the Colorado High School Cycling League.
The team has grown rapidly since its founding, with about 10 team members at the start and growing to over 60 riders.
Why mountain biking?
Mountain Biking is a lifelong sport. The SVHS MTB team focuses on individual growth, teamwork, hard work, and FUN! We provide students with the skills to achieve both competitive and non-competitive cross-country mountain biking goals in a safe and fun environment. Training with our team provides life lessons in fitness, nutrition, self-discipline, teamwork, and sportsmanship.
Riders and Parents may find team information through TeamSnap (our calendar and chief communication method) and the Team Website.
Practices and Gear
The Saint Vrain High School Mountain Bike Team holds weekly practices from the start of the season (August 2nd, 2022) through approximately the end of October. Practices are held Tuesdays and Thursdays and last about 2 hours from the start time. Start times will vary throughout the season as we chase daylight hours. Practices start at 6:00 PM early in the season and we will continue to move practice times forward in the day to about 4:30 PM at the end of the season. Practices will start at various locations between Lyons, Longmont, and the Boulder/Erie area.
We also typically hold an optional Wednesday practice leaving from Silver Creek on Wednesdays at the same time as other practices for the week. The Wednesday practice is specifically focused on developing speed and pushing the pace over flat to rolling gravel roads.
The first few practices at the beginning of the year are crucial and mandatory for all new riders. Please ensure that you are registered for the team before the first practice. Registration information
During these initial practices, all riders will be required to pass a bike safety check and go through a skills assessment. In addition, we will hold one timed event to assist with assigning to group pace. All of these assessments are used to place student-athletes within an appropriate riding group for their skill level, ability, and pace.
We use TeamSnap to manage practice times –more information on TeamSnap Your student-athlete will be assigned to a specific ride group and it is important to use TeamSnap to ensure you are showing up at the athlete’s assigned group’s location and time.
During each practice, the coaches teach riding skills, bike maintenance, bike safety, trail etiquette, sportsmanship, nutrition, race preparation & strategy. The coaches’ goal for the team is to have fun in a safe and supportive environment.
Riders must sign up for TeamSnap and keep it current; this is how ride groups and coaching assignments are determined. For safety reasons, riders may NOT peel off from their ride group UNLESS a parent/guardian has confirmed with the team director or Head Coach before the start of practice.
The basic gear includes a helmet, shoes, socks, riding shorts, gloves, water (either in bottles or a camelback), nutrition (at least a gel or bar per hour of the ride), tubes, and tools. In addition to these basics, you may want extra riding layers, sunglasses, extra nutrition, and sunscreen.
Team bikes are available to borrow. Bikes are often for sale within the team and encouraged via messaging in TeamSnap and gear is often passed down. An excellent and often resourceful resource for finding inexpensive gear is Community Cycles in Boulder.
RIDERS SHOULD LEARN HOW TO MAINTAIN THEIR BIKES for speed and safety or take them to a qualified shop!
See our practice guidelines for additional information on student-athlete practice responsibilities and equipment requirements.
SVHS MTB is part of the Colorado High School Cycling League. The racing season includes 4 Conference Races and the State Championship Race. We are part of the Yampa Division.
Racing takes all day and the team sticks together to cheer and hang out. Typically teams start arriving the evening before the race to set up and pre-ride. Teams create a “Pit Zone” for their riders which is a basecamp where bikes are stored, rider food is available as well as shade, bike maintenance, team trailer, and support of any kind! Races typically begin at about 8:30 am and end at approximately 3:00 pm. Racers should know their “call up” start time and arrive at the start area at least 10 minutes before their race. Plan to arrive at the race a minimum of two hours before your race start to ensure time to check-in, change, apply numbers, warm-up, etc.
It is imperative to do everything possible to allow the student-athletes to pre-ride the course. Pre-ride is allowed the night before the race, or in the early morning (7 AM) the day of the race. (See the specific times allowed on the race flyer on the Colorado High School Cycling League website). Pre-ride is generally allowed the night before a race even after the ‘closing’ time of preview, but there will be no marshalls, so riders are on their own for support and should stop at all trail or road crossings.
Pre-riding ensures that student-athletes know the course and can safely navigate it during the race. Care should be taken in pre-ride to note areas where there may be obsticals or dangers so the rider is prepared to negotiate those safely during the race.
Races are grouped into categories according to their number plates and started in ~5 minute waves to spread riders out on the course. Awards ceremonies are conducted after all of the races have ended and the results recorded. We encourage riders to stay through the ceremonies to support their fellow athletes.
By visiting the Colorado High School Cycling League website, families can click on Events and Race Info for a comprehensive description of the registration, location, course, preride, and race day schedule. It’s a good idea to figure out what wave your rider is in as start times for each wave change with each race. This information helps you map out your day for your rider as well as your family.
The League provides emergency medical teams, which include EMTs and paramedics. The teams are at the race site on race day, as well as the day before for pre-rides. During the race, ten to fifteen stationary and roving course marshals are in immediate radio contact with the medical team, as needed.
The team also provides ‘feeding’ for riders in a specified ‘feed-zone’. The team will practice handing up water/gels to riders before the event so they will have some idea what to expect. Riders should start with a full water bottle on the bike. We recommend bottles over camelbacks or other backpack water systems as water bottles are lighter and often the athlete won’t need to drink as much as they think during an event if properly hydrated before time.
Preparing for your race
The week of your race, ensure your bike is working PERFECTLY. If your bike has any issues entering a race week, be sure to get it scheduled for maintenance (either yourself) or with a qualified shop. Many shops are experiencing supply chain issues and it is important to plan ahead. We recommend having a small stockpile of relevant expendable bike maintenance items such as chains, tires, tire sealant, brake pads, and cables. These don’t tend to go bad before the need to use them, so it’s worth stocking up (and bringing them to the race in case of day of issues).
The night before your race it is important to eat a good and healthy meal. Rest is also important, so try and get to bed early (especially if pre-riding the morning of). Many of the races require significant travel time. Be sure you plan your travel so that you arrive at the venue a minimum of an hour before your start and preferably two hours before. You also need to plan time to eat a solid meal between 2 and 3 hours before your scheduled start time. This meal should be something that is filling and contains protein and carbohydrates to fuel your ride, but doesn’t upset your stomach. Plan to ‘experiment’ with a few meals during practices (by eating 2-3 hours before and noticing any stomach or digestive issues during practice rides). If in doubt, a few staples that often work are Oatmeal with raisins or fruit, Rice and eggs, or Granola. If you get hungry before your event, lighter items such as fruit (bananas and apples are great) or an energy bar are good staples (avoid gels as they don’t last long and will spike your blood sugar prior to your start – save these for race time unless you are headed for the start and don’t have time for another option).
FIND LODGING EARLY!! Because of the high number of participants, hotel and campsite reservations usually fill quickly so try to make lodging plans in advance. Be sure to ask for the event discount. PLAN WAY AHEAD – campgrounds and hotels fill months in advance when (almost as soon as the race schedule is announced).
Packing: Read the NICA Quick Start Guide for packing tips, but mainly treat the day like you are camping outside! Check the weather and plan for bad weather anyway. Other items to consider are: spare towels, camp chairs, blankets, change of clothes, warm/cold drinks, plastic bags, 1st aid, sunscreen and hats, shade/rain cover, stuff to fill downtime.
Food: the Pit Zone is FOOD FUEL for riders, however, our Team is one big Family! To keep the Pit Zone stocked with rider food and not too many bodies, join the adjacent Family Tent. Bring chairs, food, drinks, games for siblings and hang out together. Race venues sell food, but you may want to plan your own meals for the long day, including extra food for your rider.
It’s a good idea for riders and families to be aware of the event rules. HELMETS are a big deal and the helmet rules are enforced for EVERYONE. Once a leg goes over the top tube of a bike, the rider (athlete, parent, or sibling) MUST be wearing a helmet or the Team may be penalized. Also, check out guidelines for dogs at the event. NICA Rules and Guidelines
Like any sport, SVHS MTB depends on volunteer efforts. Sign-ups will be sent out periodically and parents can help out in many ways. SPREAD THE LOVE! Chipping in is easy and expected from every family.
Volunteer opportunities for parents include:
- Coach/ride leader (Level 2) or Ride Assist (Level 1)
- Volunteer at races for SVHS through donations or shifts in Pit Zone
- Volunteer at races for the Colorado High School Cycling League
- Help with team events
- Participate in trail workdays or other community volunteer activities with team *This is required for athletes in order to letter.
- Team Apparel
- Marketing and Sponsorship help
- Washing of Skratch/H20 bottles post-race
- Loading and unloading of League trailer
See all the ways you can volunteer
SVHS MTB expects riders and families to represent in all ways: team spirit, sportsmanship, manners both on and off the bike, leave no trace, all hands on deck, and most importantly, have fun! If you have other questions, contact us.
Come ride with us…
Latest News & Articles
Find out the latest team and league news, read informational articles, get tips and tricks, and updates.
A fully coached experience
From first-time rider to expert racer, we offer a coached, mentored and friendly environment to get you riding and enjoying the camaraderie of mountain biking!