The Power of Bikes What were you doing this past weekend? Two St. Francis HS mountain bikers were leading the charge to transform lessons they learne

Sebouh Bazikian and Sean Bird

Sebouh Bazikian and Sean Bird are two of the main students behind Bikes 4 Orphans.

The Power of Bikes

What were you doing this past weekend? Two St. Francis HS mountain bikers were leading the charge to transform lessons they learned from cycling into transformational opportunities for a group of young orphans on the other side of the world. St. Francis HS Team Director Lee Bird picks up the story...

"On a beautiful, fall Saturday morning, more than 20 students and their parents from the St. Francis High School Mountain Bike Team came out in support of their teammates Sebouh Bazikian and Sean Bird, and their Bikes 4 Orphans Bike/Hike-a-Thon fundraiser. The St. Francis Mountain Bike Team arrived early to help get everything setup, and then provided trail support to the hikers and mountain bikers that came out for the fundraiser.

The Bikes 4 Orphans Bike/Hike-a-Thon was held at the Glendale Sports Complex and showcased the City of Glendale’s new Verdugo Catalina trail. Over 200 supporters of this great cause came out and enjoyed a morning on the trails that meandered through the local hills. More than $5,600 was raised - money that will go directly towards the Bikes 4 Orphans mission of providing bicycles to orphanages in third world countries. (More information on Bikes 4 Orphans is available at

581748 10201259607305771 896491098 n

St. Francis parents and student-athletes worked in support of the mission.

As the hikers and cyclists returned, they were treated to music from a live band and warm food provided by the “Meat and Potato’s” food truck. The end of the day featured a raffle with prizes donated by PAA, Incycle, Pasadena Cyclery, and Warner Brothers.

The St. Francis Mountain Bike team is entering its 6th season of mountain bike racing in the SoCal league. In addition to training and racing, the students will provide hundreds of hours of charitable service for events like the Bikes 4 Orphans Bike/Hike-a-Thon.

DSC 6333

The Golden Knights mountain bike team is 100% volunteer managed and coached and is very grateful for all of the support they have received from the parents, alumni, and their generous sponsors, including: Design Imports, Hollandays, Merchants Building Maintenance, Mountain Pine Shutters, Strategic Law Partners, Nu-Hope, Kevin Martin/UBS, Stratz & Company, Financial Guaranty Insurance Brokers, Lucas Horsfall Murphy & Pindroh, Lantern CycleWorks, Montrose Bike Shop, Crescenta Valley Insurance, Church and Larsen, and Sport Chalet.


We commend these young leaders on their efforts and know there are many fantastic stories out there of SoCal League student-athletes using bikes to help transform themselves and their communities.

See you in the Dirt Zone!

Matt Gunnell
SoCal League Director


Brian Lopes heads CycleFest 2013

CycleFest is Almost Here!

SoCal CycleFest takes place in Pasadena Saturday evening November 16th. If you haven't picked up your tickets yet don't delay. Get them HERE.

CycleFest is our annual gala event where we raise most of the money needed to fund our scholarship program for student-athletes needing an extra push. In addition to eating a great dinner, having drinks, hearing from Brian and two fantastic student-athletes, and being inspired for the season ahead we have a fantastic auction!

Included in this year's auction are a Specialized Stumpjumper Comp HT, a Felt beach cruiser, RockShox, SRAM mountain groups, a stay in the Mammoth Mountain Endurance Crib, Mammoth lift tickets, fine wine, and many other fantastic items!

We've placed the event smack dab in the center of SoCal this year for ease of access so don't miss out!

IMG 8798

SoCal League coaches prepping for on-bike skills learning

Leaders' Summit v2.0 and WFA-MTB

The SoCal League's annual Leaders' Summit (one of our two core annual coach training conferences) took place at Hemet HS the weekend of October 19-20. At 60 coaches this was the largest Summit we've ever held! New and experienced coaches learned a lot and exchanged some great information. Thanks to Coach Kirkham and Hemet HS for hosting us!

Because of high demand and the launch of our 2014 Middle School Pilot Program we are holding a second Leaders' Summit this year. This second summit will take place the weekend of Saturday and Sunday December 14-15 at Great Oak HS in Temecula. We STRONGLY encourage you to spread the word to any potential high school and middle school potential coaches you might know. A potential coach in this case could be a parent interested in getting involved at any level. Registration is open and a 15% discount is available by entering code "EARLY" at checkout. Info and registration HERE.

A great setup class for those looking at help start a team is the free webinar titled "How to Start & Manage a High School MTB Team" on Tuesday evening November 12th. Information and registration HERE.

We are also holding our annual Wilderness First Aid for Mountain Bikers (WFA-MTB) the weekend of Saturday and Sunday December 7-8 at El Camino HS in Oceanside. This is the other core annual coach training conference. This is a 16 hour WFA course tailored to planning and responding to emergency situations in the context of working with a high school mountain bike club. It is taught by Bob Foster who has been the SoCal League's EMT vendor since 2010. CPR is available Saturday night. Registration is open and a 10% discount is available by entering code "CALM" at checkout. Info and registration HERE.


NICA Awards Nominations

Do you know a student-athlete, coach, or volunteer worthy of exceptional recognition? The 2013 NICA Awards nominations are due by November 15th! Please take a few minutes to review the award categories and make your nominations. NICA Awardees represent the cream of the crop from the national high school mountain biking scene in diverse categories. Look HERE for information on past awards. HERE for descriptions of award categories for 2013. And HERE to make your nominations!

Sponsor Support to NICA Riders and Coaches

NICA and SoCal have some FANTASTIC sponsors! And many of those sponsors have discount programs available to our student-athletes and coaches. If you are on a high school team, please contact your coach for support that may be available to you. If you are an independent rider, please email for the information.

Upcoming Dates

Nov 16 SoCal CycleFest, Pasadena
Dec 7-8 Wilderness First Aid, Oceanside
Dec 14-15 Leaders' Summit v2.0, Temecula
Jan 25 NICA Awards, Location TBD
Feb 1 One day Race Camp, Tentative/Orange County
Feb 2 One day Race Camp, Tentative/Vail Lake
Feb 8 One day Race Camp, Tentative/Castaic Lake
Feb 23 Beach to Boulders, Perris
Mar 9 Vail Lake Challenge, Temecula
Mar 23 Carving Canyons, Riverside
Tentative middle school race Saturday
Apr 6 Cruise the Keys, Keyesville
Apr 27 Cow Pie Classic, Los Olivos
Tentative middle school race Saturday
May 18 State Championships, NorCal

facebook instagram twitter youtube