2012 Season Wrap Well, we did it! We finished off the 2012 racing season in high style! And we couldn't have done it without YOU! Without YOU dedicat


Opening race podium. -Photo by Phil Beckman

2012 Season Wrap

Well, we did it! We finished off the 2012 racing season in high style! And we couldn't have done it without YOU! Without YOU dedicated student-athletes pouring it out in practice and on the race course there would be no reason to exist. Without YOU giving coaches there would be no clubs where student-athletes are mentored. Without YOU parents there would be nobody to take the kids to practice and races and do the 'many hands' work that holds it all together. Without YOU volunteer staffers we wouldn't have the institutional knowledge to pull off races at such a high caliber. Without YOU board members we wouldn't have the support to help manage growth and sustainability. Without YOU sponsors and donors we wouldn't have the financial resources to support our programs! So give yourselves a huge round of applause for all YOU have done so far in 2012!

Here are a few numbers to chew on at the conclusion of our racing season:

• 6: The number of races SoCal hosted (including States) up from 5 in 2011 and 4 in 2009 and 2010.
• 26: The number of teams that raced this season.
• 287: The number of racers at Wildwood. The biggest ever SoCal Series race.
• 1: The number of drum lines ever at a high school mountain bike race. A number I would like to improve upon!
• 264: The average number of racers at a SoCal Series race. Up from 203 in 2011.
• 4: The number of girls fields. Up from 3 last year as we had enough girls to split into separate freshmen and sophomore fields.
• 322: The number of riders who did at least one race. Up from 242 in 2011.
• 30: The percentage growth in average racers. This does NOT count the number of seniors that graduated in 2011 we had to replace to get to this number.
• 317: The average number of riders per race in 2013 based on 20% growth. Versus 264 this season.
• 4: The number of State Champs jerseys SoCal brought home. Up from 2 in 2010 and 2011 and 1 in 2009.

Looking forward to seeing you in the Dirt Zone in 2013!

Matt Gunnell
SoCal League Director

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Elizabeth Fu of San Marino HS surrounded by flowers at State Champs. ---Photo by Shawn Maurer

Team Training Limits

As the end of May concludes so does the 2012 racing season and so does insurance for teams. In order to help build our identity as a high school sport and keep riders and coaches fresh, NICA has adopted a "Team Training Limits" policy (HERE). Our coaches give hugely of their time and should not be expected to maintain a cycling program year round. For this reason, no activities can begin ahead of October 15th nor continue after the end of May. For those riders wishing to pursue cycling outside of their high school programs, the following article will give you some options.


Graduating Seniors 2012. ---Photo by Shawn Maurer

Off Season Options

It's no secret that bikes are fun to ride and some student-athletes want to continue mountain biking in the off-season or even branch out into other forms of cycling. Though the SoCal League season is over, you can continue riding. Some may want to simply ride for fun. Some may want to race. Following are some options you may want to look into where there is a connection to SoCal. None of these races/groups are governed by nor insured by SoCal so do your own research and participate to the level you see fit!

SoCal Endurance is owned by Jason Ranoa. He puts mountain bike races on in differing formats. Primarily at Vail Lake in Temecula.
SG Dirt Club is managed by Mike Hecker. This is our Los Olivos venue. Mountain bike races and rides of varying types.
Racers and Chasers is a mountain bike racing series put on by Robert Herber throughout Riverside and San Diego Counties. Robert has supported several SoCal League clubs.
US Cup West is primarily a spring series put on by Sho-Air. A few higher elevation races over the summer.
Over the Hump is a weeknight Orange County series sponsored by our friends at Rock n' Road.
SoCal Prestige Series of Cyclocross is a fall cyclocross series across SoCal managed by SoCal announcer Dorothy Wong. Fun races that can be raced on a mountain bike!
Pasadena Athletic Association is a large club centered in the greater San Gabriel Valley. Many SoCal League coaches have come out of PAA and they have a growing junior program that competes on the road and dirt.
• SoCal sponsor Cynergy Cycles in Santa Monica has several SoCal League riders competing outside of the series on the dirt and road.
• SoCal Sponsor Rock n' Road in Orange County has many affiliated teams covering road and dirt.

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The infield scene at Wildwood.

Outreach Tour Continues

The SoCal League's Summer Outreach Tour rolls onward. Are you a future SoCal League student-athlete, coach, family, sponsor, supporter, or team starter? Come to a stop on the tour and hear a brief summary of how to get involved in the SoCal League! All remaining tour stops start at 7:00 PM and span the length of the League. No cost and no RSVP needed. Flyer HERE. Next stops are:

May 30th @Rock n' Road, Irvine
May 31st @Cynergy Cycles, Santa Monica
June 5th @Main Street Cycles, Santa Maria
June 6th @Pasadena Cyclery, Pasadena


A clean feed at Keyesville. ---Photo by Phil Beckman

SoCal Venue Survey

As most of you can attest there is a fine balance in terms of commute, camping/lodging, race course, parking, and many other factors that go into a good high school mountain biking venue. Some of the things we look for in a venue make "traditional" venues non-starters and other venues that have never held a mountain bike race perfect. It's a complex web of land use managers, high school teams, sponsors, finances, and logistics that go into securing and using a venue.

As a League we want to satisfy the largest cross-section possible of our student-athletes, coaches, and families while still managing the risks associated with a race and having a high level experience. We know we can't satisfy every stake holder on every issue every time. However, we do want to be as responsive as we possibly can within the constraints we have to work within.

Each year at the end of the season we conduct a venue survey to try to stay on track. As the League grows we outgrow venues which could potentially come back into use as we look toward splitting into regions 3-4 years out and holding parallel racing series. We are always looking for new venues to grow into and to add into rotation to keep a certain freshness with the schedule. If you are a stakeholder in the League (student-athlete, coach, parent, volunteer staff, or sponsor) please take a moment to complete our Venue Survey as honestly as you can. If you want to get involved in the ongoing search for new venues, please contact matt@socaldirt.org.


El Monte RV Last Chance Discount

SoCal sponsor El Monte RV has extended an offer to all SoCal League families and supporters. Take 5% off standard rental prices and also get 50 free miles per rental day. This offer is good through the end of June 2012. First go to the El Monte RV mountain biking website and take a look at vehicle options and pick up locations. Then call (562) 483-4974 and mention code "BIKE."


NICA Awards Nominations

The NICA Awards were established in 2010 to annually honor those individuals, student-athletes, coaches, volunteers and partners that have made outstanding contributions toward the development of high school cycling and the national high school mountain biking movement.

We are constantly inspired by the tremendous commitment of our student-athletes, dedicated coaches, and passionate volunteers that form our close-knit and dynamic community. The NICA Annual Awards are a means of formally recognizing the tremendous contributions the individuals that have been made in the name high school cycling and the national high school mountain biking movement.

Please review the awards and nominate those you feel appropriate for these prestigious awards!


Turner Auction Coming Soon

Thanks to SoCal sponsor Turner Bikes we are able to auction off a special one off Turner 5 Spot in SoCal livery. Replete with orange and blue accents that scream SoCal! Look for this eBay auction to be announced soon! 100% of the proceeds of the sale of this bike go directly back into supporting the League.

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.

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