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My 16 year old wants to mountain bike. How can he get started? Is there a group
to go with if you are just beginning? Are there beginning trails? He doesn't
know anyone else who does it.
You and your son should look into the Norcal High School Cycling League,
http://www.norcalmtb.org/. During the school year there are teams at many high
schools and an intensive amount of riding and practicing, then competitive races
begin in the spring. I think there are even teams made up of people who don't
live near enough to a participating high school to be on their team. He doesn't
have to race; just going to the practices will teach him a lot about riding and
get him in shape. I'm not sure what city you are in, but the El Cerrito High
team is great, and I've seen Albany and Berkeley and Oakland teams, as well as
teams from the South Bay down to Santa Cruz and up towards Sacramento. Also I
see this summer there are some biking camps. My son knew nothing about mountain
biking when he began, so they are geared towards helping beginners.
I don't know where your son lives, but Berkeley High, Albany High and El Cerrito
High all have mountain bike teams that are open to anyone who is interested in
riding- you do not have to qualify. At Berkeley, we have loaner bikes, great
coaches, and supportive families. The team riders organize fun rides that I'm
sure your son would be welcome to join. Please contact me for more information.
It is a great group of supportive and welcoming teen riders.
Berkeley High has an awesome mountain bike team that is eager to encourage new
rides of all levels (and fyi is also very girl-friendly). The season just
ended, but there is still activity and ongoing races. Your kid can check out
more at http://www.norcalmtb.org/ Norcal is the California organization for
high school mountain biking, and they host races, camps, all sort of good stuff.
Addendum - website and contact info for the Berkeley High Mountain bike team:
Other local high schools/counties also have teams, so you could google for teams
in your city.
My husband and I coach a High School mountain bike team. AND I have a 16 year
old son who rides.
We'll be having some fun, easy going summer rides if your son (an any other high
school aged kids - girls AND boys) would like to join us. Any level is welcome.
During the spring (we ride as a group a lot). During the summer, less so, but
it'll be more about getting new kids into it.
Our team website is here: http://www.oaktowncomp.com/
In addition, I work for a youth mountain bike program. Our goal is to get
mountain biking into high schools as a legitimate sport. Currently we have over
1000 kids just in CA participating in our camps & races.
Feel free to email me! Would LOVE to get more kids riding. We would love to
have your son join us!
My 14 year old son is becoming interested in road biking. Is anyone aware of
any road bike clubs that are geared towards teens or teen-friendly? We live
in Berkeley. --Thanks
An excellent club based in Lafayette is Tieni Duro. Check out their website.
This is a group of very dedicated instructors and parents geared (no pun intended)
towards competitive cycling with an emphasis on team support, character building,
cycling skills, strategy, and of above all safety. It requires some commitment to
Sunday rides and cycling events held throughout Northern Ca. If your son is serious
cycling, it's a great age to get started and a great program
I decided to train for a 65 mile bike ride in September. I never did
anything like that and I am a 46 year old woman. I would like to know if
there are groups that can help a beginner to train, or some advice on how
to get started. Thank you.
Sounds like you are signed up to do a metric century! Congratulations! I have
done such rides, and they are a lot of fun. You don't say what your baseline
fitness level is, nor how much cycling experience you have.... But I would
start by checking out your local cycling club (i.e. Grizzly Peak Cyclists, Valley
Spokesmen, Oakland Yellow Jackets, etc.). You can find out about them at
your local bike store. Then check out their website and see what kinds of
rides they do. Most clubs do several different kinds of rides on the weekends,
and maybe some midweek. They may even offer a training series specifically
geared towards centuries and metric centuries. You will probably be expected
to join the club if you plan on going on many of their rides. Your local cycling
store might also be able to point out some other training programs you may
be interested in.
Depending on your fitness level, you will want to start out slowly. (Although if
your general fitness level is high and you bike on a regular basis, you may not
need to train much at all.) Don't overdo it at first, and gradually add distance
to your rides. You will also need to make sure you are training in hills, as
most rides in this part of the world involve sustained climbs. Unless you are
off during the week, you'll be biking on the weekends until we get more
daylight and you can go on short rides after work (a treat!). Doing additional
aerobic exercise (running, Stairmaster, etc.) during the week will help, too. I
know my husband trains for his rides on a trainer in the garage! Ultimately
you'll want to have done a few 40-50 mile rides before September; that
should put you in good shape for the 100 K ride.
If you are pretty new to cycling, you'll want to make sure your bike is in good
shape and that you know how to cycle on roads and in groups of people
(you'll learn that on club rides). I have done 100K rides on a mountain bike
(with slick tires), but it is so much more fun on a road or touring bike. You
do NOT need special bike clothes, although the padded shorts are nice for
long rides, and the shoes that attach to the pedal (or toeclips) s are very
helpful. You'll also want to find some routes that are fun, challenging,
reasonably low in traffic, and scenic! There are several books out there that
list and detail road biking routes that you can train on.
Be safe and have fun!
There are several bike clubs in the area, all of whom sponsor group bike rides:
the Yellowjackets, Grizzly Peak Bicycle Club, and there are others. A few of the
local bike shops also sponsor rides (all for free). You'll meet new people and
learn to ride in groups and get the mileage that you'll need for your ride in
September! Usually they offer beginner or novice rides or use a rating system to
describe the ride.(I would call around to Solano cyclery in Albany or VeloSport in
Berkeley. Missing Link is also a good resource.
There are also the fund-raising organizations like Team in Training that will
help you train but, you are generally committing to raise a threshold amount of
money. Have fun!
I have recently got back into cycling again since my youngest
child started pre-school in Sept. I consider myself a novice to
medium skilled cycler and would love to hook up with a group of
women to cycle with. I'm interested in the exercise and
training for a century ride/mini triathalon in the future.
I've asked around at various cycling stores, but it seems like
most of the groups are for serious racing.
I live in Orinda and would love to know about any groups near
me (since I ride mostly in this area and the hills). I've also
found that some of the roads near me are empty, heavily
forested (Pinehurst, Redwood etc.) and well, not so sure I feel
safe riding alone on them.
Any novice cycling groups? Any that ride during the week day
mornings? Anyone know of a web-site I can find to hook up with
other women riders? Thank you!
Velo Sport in Berkeley used to sponsor weekend morning rides of
various abilities. (510) 849-0437
Maybe check with Left Coast Cyclery in Berkeley, they are a
female-centric bike shop 510-204-8550
There is a cycling club based out of Oakland called the
Might be kind of difficult to hook up with something now since
the bicycling season is sort of winding down with the impending
inclimate winter weather approaching.
this page was last updated: Sep 29, 2013
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