Cruise the Keys Last weekend the League returned to Keyesville near Lake Isabella and the Sequoia National Forest for the second year running. In the

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JV rider Marshal Smith (302) dismounts after a grueling race as Garret Gaither (34) outkicks Joel Titius (33) for 5th place in the Varsity race in the pouring rain. -Photo credit Shawn Maurer

Cruise the Keys

Last weekend the League returned to Keyesville near Lake Isabella and the Sequoia National Forest for the second year running. In the week leading up to the race a winter storm warning for the area popped up on the weather forecasts. This caused quite a bit of stress amongst League families as we learned that the weekend prior the area had been hit with snow. All week I was hit with calls, texts, facebook messages, and emails asking me if the race were going to go on.

Unfortunately, it's so hard to read between the lines and determine what the REAL weather is going to be. The bottom line is that we don't want to hold a race if conditions are clearly unsafe. If we know ahead of time that the conditions will be obviously unsafe we will cancel a race. However, if we know that there will be some cold weather, wind, and rain that can be mitigated by appropriate clothing; we will race! If we know that the trails shed water well and won't become an impassible mudpit; we will race! Mountain biking is a sport characterized by grit and determination. The riders that finished wave three and the volunteers that helped break down the venue in the pouring rain all demonstrated that grit and determination.

See you in the Dirt Zone at Victory at Vail the weekend of April 15th!

Matt Gunnell
League Director


Keenan Koch of St. Francis HSs MTB Team did a trail work Eagle Scout Project in association with his club and CORBA. --- Photo credit CORBA

Trail Work Day

Trail work is an important part of what ALL mountain bikers should do. We don't have a gym or field that get taken care of. It's up to us to get involved in building and preserving legal trails so that we not only have places to ride but so that we show our sport in its best light. At the national level, NICA has partnered with IMBA to work toward this end. At the league level, we want clubs and riders to partner with local trail groups to get involved in this effort. At our opening race we had at least 600 people present including riders, coaches, and families. If each of these people gave only one 6 hour day of trail work a year that would work out to 3600 hours of work spread throughout trails in SoCal! That's a lot of work with minimal effort.

To that end, Crescenta Valley HS coach Banner Moffat, CORBA (Concerned Off Road Bicycle Association) Director Steve Messer, and the US Forest Service are putting on a SoCal League Trail Work Day. The date is Saturday April 7th and the location is Brown Mountain above the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

Banner is taking the count so that CORBA brings enough tools. Please contact him directly at to RSVP! Until then, watch this great time lapse of a recent Banner/CORBA/St. Francis trail work day!


Sea Otter

The Sea Otter Classic is one of the largest bike racing, camping, consumer trade shows in the world. It takes place annually in and around the Laguna Seca Raceway in coastal Monterey. This year the dates are April 19-22. Sea Otter has virtually every type of bike competition and ride from dual slalom, to road century, to road race, to dirt jump, to pump track to cross country.

For years, NorCal riders have raced there in an open spot in the NorCal schedule. For the last few years, SoCal riders have raced there as well. This year, it's quite possible there will be NICA riders from all over the country participating.

So if you have an open spot in your schedule and are looking for adventure, we have two great options for you:

1) SoCal and NorCal sponsor El Monte RV has extended a special rental rate. Got to El Monte RVs MTB site and check things out. Then, call the hotline at (888) 337-2214 and use the code "bike" to get a rate as low as $72 a night.

2) Teams wanting to set up a team support area (aka team pit) have been offered space by Sea Otter's Expo Services Director. If you are heading up with a team, have your coach contact Skip Latham at


A huge mix of SoCal and NorCal jerseys stage at California State Championships in 2011. -Photo Phil Beckman

State Championships Registration

California State Championships will take place on Sunday May 20 at the Stumpgrinder Dirt Club outside of Los Olivos/Solvang. This is a prestigious race which brings together the SoCal and NorCal Leagues once a year. The race does not count toward either race series but is a true, stand alone, state championship race where the winner in each field takes home a California Grizzly jersey.

The State Championship race requires individual riders to qualify in order to compete. To qualify for State Championships, a rider must finish within the top 80% of at least one SoCal or NorCal race this season. To determine if you or your rider qualify please do the following:

1) Determine the number of STARTERS in a field. For example, a field shows 27 finishers and 3 DNFs. The number to use is 30 (27+3).

2) Determine where you finished. For example, you finished 14th in the field noted above.

3) Divide the place you finished (14) by the number of starters (30) and get the result. (14/30=.466666...)

4) Truncate the result to the first two digits after the decimal (.46)

5) Convert that number to a percentage by moving the decimal point two spots to the right (46%).

6) Is this number less than 80%? If yes, you qualified for State Championships and may register. If not, you have not qualified yet and can not register.

7) Please contact before registering if you have any questions.

State Championships is PRE-REGISTRATION ONLY. There will be NO registration at the race. If you are not yet registered in the Pit Zone please contact Angel at to ensure you complete Pit Zone registration. Fields may fill so, if you are planning on attending, please register as soon as you know you are qualified.

SoCal Facebook Pages

The SoCal League has two official presences on facebook. We have left our facebook "group" and gone to a facebook "page" for general league information. Please "like" and share the official SoCal League page by clicking HERE.

We also have a group for our coaches and staff to interact. This is a closed "group" called the SoCal High School Cycling League Coach Zone. If you are currently a coach, a volunteer that is part of the ongoing management at races, or seriously considering launching a new club you can ask to join by clicking HERE.


Apr 7 Trail Work Day

Apr 15 Victory at Vail

May 6 Power the Pinnacles

May 20 State Championships

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