The SLV Bike Team is getting ready for some gnarly races this season with Coach Graham Dittman leading the charge. The SLV Mountain Bike Team is different than any of the other school teams in a variety of ways. The team races many different high schools from around California. The San Lorenzo Valley Bike Team joins with the Scotts Valley High School Bike Team and The Santa Cruz High School Bike Team, to form one team to race against other areas and schools
The team is looking for and hoping for success this year. The team usually races on weekends against teams from all over California, whether it’s a public or private school. Junior Shayne Kiyabu said, “We all race against a bunch of other schools, all at the same time. We race against San Francisco, Salinas High, Monterey Bay High, and Marin, in addition to others from all over California.” When the team races, the team gets an overall place based on how the participants did. Each racer also gets a individual place.
The team usually practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school, and Saturday mornings. Their first practice is December 3rd. There are many good places to practice in and near Santa Cruz. They usually practice on some of the trails near UCSC, and sometimes Wilder Ranch. The team does not have any Captains, but there are some experienced racers which are similar to captains.
Unlike most of the other school teams, the Mountain Bike Team members have to pay about eight hundred dollars to participate. The cost of playing pays for things like Bike Kits, travel fees,and trail fees. However, the cost could be even higher if it weren’t for their sponsors. The team is sponsored by Specialized, Sram, and Santa Cruz Pasta Factory. Mountain biking can be expensive; however, they keep the cost down through the sponsors and fundraising.
Mountain Biking is a large part of the culture in the greater Santa Cruz area. The team hopes to do very well this year with some experienced Mountain Bikers. Sophomore Alexandria Simbulan says, “I haven’t seen the whole team yet, but I think we are a strong team, and we will keep each other going hard throughout the season.” The team has done well in the past and hopes to build on that success.
By Gabe Michaud