This week CORBA made a significant financial donation to the SoCal High School Mountain Bike League. CORBA also pledged to be more involved in the league and its events for the coming 2011 season.
For those who aren’t yet aware, there is a new high school sport in town: Mountain Biking. The NorCal Interscholastic Mountain Bike League now has a ten-year history. In 2008 the same model was used to start a league in Southern California. This past season, over 200 registered high-school mountain bikers raced at the four events of the season, doubling the first year’s numbers. A State championship also followed.
After successfully applying the model to SoCal, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association was formed to foster development of high school mountain biking around the country.
The Mission of the SoCal League is largely commensurate with CORBA’s, seeking to develop safe, quality high school mountain bike programs. They include principles of responsible stewardship of the land and trails and promotes the value of cycling as a mode of transportation and as a life-long activity.
This last aspect is extremely important. Mountain Biking can be enjoyed at many levels and at any age. In these times where obesity is rampant, we feel strongly that introducing students to a life-long sport is important. Mountain biking as a healthful activity is much more likely to “stick” long after their school years. Many alumni of the NorCal league have gone on to professional careers in cycling. Even those no longer racing continue to ride and enjoy the health-giving benefits of an active lifestyle.
At the core of the league are individual clubs that, ideally, are based on an individual school. In fact in Marin County, every public and private high school now has a mountain bike club. But there are many ways a student can participate: through their school, a composite team comprised of students from more than one school, or as independent individuals. All it takes to start a team is one girl, two boys, and an adult coach. The details can be found at SoCalDirt.org
The development of school Mountain Biking clubs is encouraged by the league and racing is not a requirement, though most kids that have tried a race enjoy it so much they continue racing.
It is for these, and many other reasons, that CORBA is proud to support the SoCal Interscholastic Cycling League in the 2011 season and beyond.