About 30 years ago when the first mass production mountain bikes were being conceived and developed, I was heading into middle school. I could dream about how cool it would have been to have a scholastic off road mountain bike race series back in the 1980s.
Well, dream no more middle and high schoolers, it’s here. On Sunday, August 31st, Waukesha County hosted the first ever Wisconsin Interscholastic Mountain Bike Race Series. The first race in this series was at Minooka Park. The weather was a little muggy but the sun was out to greet the riders and the spectators. Over 100 kids showed up to put their lungs and legs to the test, with 20 girls and 89 boys in all the age/grade levels. If I recall the 9th graders did two laps, 10th graders did three laps, 11th grades did four laps, and the seniors did five laps. For the first race, in the first season, this was a great turnout.
The High School race series moves around the state, and the three remaining races are as follows:
Sunday Sept 21st Iola Winter Park in Iola, WI
Sunday Oct 5th Nordic Mountain, Mt. Morris, WI
Sunday Oct 19th Cascade Mountain, Portage, WI
If you are a middle or high schooler or if you have a middle or high schooler and want to get involved, you can register day of, at any or all of the three remaining races. Kids can race as an independent or on a team. NICA ,who sanctions these races, states that if there is a team near you and they have enough coaches to cover the 1/6 coaching ratio, then NICA recommends you join the team. You can check http://www.wisconsinmtb.org to see what teams have formed.
Trust me you won’t be disappointed, this is a very professionally run series, with a world class Start/Finish area, 10×10 tents all over the place, first aid tents, tech/ride support, and all the schools had full on riding kits or cycling uniforms. This does not mean kids have to be fast, it’s about having fun. My middle and high school kids play soccer this time of year, so it’s going to be tough but we are going to try to make at least one of these events.
So many people and companies to thank for getting this series going, starting with Co-Directors Kathy Mock and Don Edberg, all the committed and certified coaches, Trek, Specialized, Sram, NICA, WI Bike Patrol, and many more!
A big thanks to Waukesha Bicycle Alliance, METRO Mtn Bikers, Waukesha Parks Dept, and Ron Stawicki for taking the lead with the Waukesha County Parks, and for building and maintaining the 4.5 mile course at Minooka Park. For those of you who have not ridden these trails, please do yourself a favor and get out to ride their local trails – they are worth the short drive. Minooka Park is located on the Waukesha/New Berlin border, about 10 minutes north of the Hwy 43 and County Hwy Y (or Racine Ave) exit.
Happy Trails, Dirt Tester Matt