Could mountain bike racing be the best addition to high school sports in the last few years?
I think so.
It's one of those sports where every person on the team competes. There are no bench warmers and boys and girls have equal opportunities.
My son is in his second year of racing for his high school team. I love that he gets a good aerobic workout in practice and at races. Even better, he has fun and learns a sport he will use for the rest of his life. It doesn't stop when he graduates like so many other team sports. It's also become a family affair. We all load our mountain bikes onto our rack for his practice and ride the trails too. Sure, I can't keep up with any of the high school boys or girls but I don't care. It's much more fun than sitting on the sidelines or dropping him off and picking him up later.
While riders wait for their age group to race, they build camaraderie with their team members and those of other schools while they hang out in the "Pit Zone" where team tents stand side by side. It's also a place to fuel and recover from races and parents gladly volunteer behind camp stoves to feed the riders and their families.
Backcountry.com, one of the places I shop for outdoor gear. They were nice enough to let my family load up on their famous goat stickers and even provided cow bells for us to clang at the finish line.
If the race isn't fun enough, the Utah National Guard provides a climbing wall to keep bored siblings occupied.
While high schools usually don't approve mountain biking as an official sanctioned sport, they do recognize it as a club sport. At our high school just being on the mountain bike team elevates you to the status of "cool." And if you do happen to get injured while riding, the broken wrist or leg gash serves as a "badge of honor."
Want to join a league or start one in your state?
Check out NICA Leagues.
Not a sponsored post though post contains affiliate links.