RACE Series

Our definition of RACE

Words have meaning, and the word “race” is no different. When we first launched this league, we noticed the reaction we got from people when we said that middle and high schoolers will “race” and can say it wasn’t exactly how we wanted it to land. To a new rider, even the words “mountain biking” can bring up images that don’t really represent what our version of mountain biking is, as explained in this article.

So we thought long and hard on how we could describe what a RACE is and decided that it’s our acronym for Really Awesome Challenging Event  – because that’s exactly what it is. A RACE will be a timed event on a closed course, and the rider can choose what they want to accomplish out there. That may be getting on the podium or just finishing one lap without getting off the bike, but whatever it is, it’s gonna be rad and we’ll be there to root and cheer each and every rider that comes out.

 

What sets us apart

One of the great things that separates us from other youth cycling development programs is that we produce our own youth-specific events. This means we pick out RACE venues and work directly with landowners and managers to produce the highest quality youth development RACE courses and events. Our student-athletes get a stage of their own, away from adult competitions, and we strive for safety and fun above all other factors.

We have already begun the process of reviewing prospective Fall 2019 venues around our state to insure that our events will meet NICA standards, for the sake of our participants’ experiences as well as our own risk management. If you have a suggestion for a venue we would love to hear it, please send your ideas to us.

A great event venue is nothing without a great team putting the event on, and we are a 100% volunteer run organization. We are actively seeking volunteers for all aspects of event production, from helping us form great partnerships with land managers, set our courses, mark the routes, and assist in various other “day of” roles such as registration, course marshals, parking, and more. Whether you’re interested in a 2-hour shift so you can see your child ride, or a spot on an event committee, the Oregon Interscholastic Cycling League would be delighted to have your involvement! Please send an email to heather@oregonmtb.org to inquire about volunteer opportunities.

 

A note about our fall RACE season

We’ve had some questions about why we’ve chosen to do a fall RACE season, so here’s a little bit on our logic:

  • The Oregon League facilitate youth development through the sport of mountain biking, with about 90% of our student-athletes being new to racing and 75% of them riding trails for the first time upon joining our program. We really do want to get more kids on bikes – not create a development program for high-end athletes (although we do see a lot of talent throughout NICA participation). There are juniors already racing in other programs during the fall, and that’s great! They’re already in the cycling community, and chances are really good that their family is, too. And while we invite them to join us, we know there are thousands of others who don’t know what this is about. We’re ready to share what we’re doing with both new and experienced riders.
  • The weather we get from September through early November is best for our riders. If we were a spring league, we’d be up against the chances of our venues being under snow, boggy from rain, and cold. These are not the conditions we want to expose our new riders and their families to.
  • A fall season means student-athletes can start training in July. A spring season means riders start practicing in December. In order to create a positive experience into the sport, getting new riders out on trails with warm days with wildflowers makes way more sense to us than getting them out in the winter’s cold, rain, ice, and snow. We’re not saying that all that doesn’t create character, but we have other ideas of how to do that that include way less groveling.