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Mountain biking group for teen

May 2013

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. Thanks


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. Liz
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. Mona
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. Heather
Addendum - website and contact info for the Berkeley High Mountain bike team: http://www.bhscycling.org/

Other local high schools/counties also have teams, so you could google for teams in your city. Heather


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! Lauren


Road bike club for teens?

Aug 2012

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 Heather


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 attend the Sunday rides and cycling events held throughout Northern Ca. If your son is serious about cycling, it's a great age to get started and a great program robert

Training for a bike ride

Jan 2011

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! cycling chica


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! carolyn

Cycling - looking for women's group/team

Oct 2005

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! Maya


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 Yellowjackets.

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.


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this page was last updated: Sep 29, 2013


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