LAKEWOOD — It is Washington’s fourth year offering mountain biking to high school and middle school students and while the season doesn’t start until January, local student riders are already gearing up for the 2014 mountain bike season by getting involved in community events, trail work and, of course, riding with friends.
During 2013, 16 students from Arlington, Lakewood and Burlington high schools, as well as Post Middle School, participated on the Lakewood and Arlington Composite Mountain Bike teams. Statewide, 170 students represented 55 schools and 90 coaches volunteered their time to work with the athletes, and this year the league promises to get even bigger.
The Washington Student League is offering Meet the League rides in September and October for students in grades 7-12, parents, school administrators and others interested in getting involved with the league. All skill, experience, and fitness levels are welcome and the rides are free. The Lakewood/Arlington/Burlington High School Mountain Bike Team will be hosting a ride at Little Mountain in Mount Vernon on Sunday, Sept. 15, to introduce new riders to the team.
“It is always fun to ride the trails we have worked on,” said Coach Heidi Klippert. “And we have chosen the Little Mountain venue for that purpose.”
The athletes work consistently to help maintain the Little Mountain trails and plan to have a showing at the Mount Vernon Trail Builders trail day on Sept. 14. The city of Mount Vernon’s support of the Little Mountain multi-user trails has impacted the community — riders, hikers and even trail runners who come from all over to use the trails that the Mount Vernon Trail Builders maintain.
“The kids on our team are taught the importance of building sustainable trails, trail etiquette, and advocacy amongst the different user groups,” said Klippert. “Seeing the kids working on the trails and giving back to the community is exciting.”
Pilchuck Mountain Biker Club president and team coach Gary Holboy also commented on the volunteer hours spent by the Lakewood/Arlington teams as they worked for two rainy days on some of PMBC’s trails last year.
“It was heartwarming to see how many kids were outside working in the cold and rain,” he said.
The Pilchuck Mountain Bikers Club is a grassroots organization formed primarily to represent mountain bikers who ride on local area trails in North Snohomish County. Students from the Arlington and Lakewood Mountain Bike clubs are members of the local PMBC, in addition to riding for the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.
The regular mountain biking season runs from January to May, but the Lakewood and Arlington teams are always looking for new riders. For more information contact Coach Heidi Klippert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Arlington/Lakewood/Burlington Mountain Bike Team is excited for this upcoming year and is grateful to the support of their families and team sponsors Sports Buzz Coffee, Arlington Velo Sports, Silvana Firefighters Association, Everett Bone and Joint, and Expressive Fit Yoga,” she said. “Get on that bike and ride!”