High School Mountain Biking: How the bike industry could save itself?

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But perhaps there's a possible option that might see bikes put to good use, and actually generate demand in years to come? Take a look at the USA and I think you'll see a potential answer: High School mountain biking.

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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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  • This topic has 18 replies, 13 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by RNP.
Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • High School Mountain Biking: How the bike industry could save itself?
  • hightensionline
    Full Member

    Great article, and a lot of hope for the future.
    I tried to get my (comprehensive) secondary school to start a club way, way back at the start of UK mountain biking; I might as well have been asking them for a million pounds and one of the bottles of gin from the staff room for the amount of push back I got. Insurance was the main excuse, yet playing rugby was OK. I just did my own thing in the end – cycling (or the perception of it) makes you feel like a bit of a weirdo sometimes, societally.
    I’d like to believe that it’s a more progressive environment at schools nowadays, so there’s hope.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Nice article. I’m not convinced it’ll happen in the UK but it’s well written.

    fasgadh
    Free Member

    There was once a flourishing mountain biking group at Hawick High School. My own sport mad school tended to shy away from cycling (pre MTB era).

    DickBarton
    Full Member

    That looks an utterly brilliant idea and I’d hope something similar could work well here. Saying that, I doubt it would easily work/fit with how things are now, but I suspect with a bit of jiggery-pokery, it wouldn’t be too difficult to get started.

    Saying all that, I’ve absolutely no idea where to start with it. Perhaps the schools that attended the Scottish high school champs could be approached to see if they could be a starting point and work with them to develop something…

    onehundredthidiot
    Full Member

    There was once a flourishing mountain biking group at Hawick High School.


    @fasgadh
    I’m trying to get it back up and running again, alongside the pumptrack club.

    crewlie
    Full Member

    We already have this here. Arran High School Mountain Bike Club is thriving.

    They do everything from night riding to trail building. All ages and sexes. Local forestry trails to full on mountain adventures.

    It took, and still needs, the dedication of a few determined people to get it going but it is possible for this to happen in the UK.

    The only problem is that the kids now make us oldies look really bad 😃

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    If only there was a couple of forum members who worked both coaching sports, MTB in particular, and led the national school grounds charity….

    stwhannah
    Full Member

    @crewlie I knew you lot existed, my mum lives on Arran! 

    onehundredthidiot
    Full Member

    Matt it’d be great to have a conversation. I’m currently trying to get the SBC group I’ve been asked to join to actually do something. But our regional problem is, if it’s not in the tweed valley then it’s not happening.

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    Cracking stuff @crewlie

    Tiboy
    Full Member

    Living in Utah, and coaching my eldest’s middle school team I can attest to NICA being fantastic! we have 120 kids from 3 year groups in just our team, and are always over subscribed. Our high school team is regularly the largest team in USA (Corner Canyon High). The school biking teams in one of the reasons we moved here!

    bearGrease
    Full Member

    Hats off to Morrisons Academy for organising the Scottish Schools XC Champs at the Croft back in September. They did a great job 👍

    Hopefully it sticks and runs again this year.

    DickBarton
    Full Member

    @onehundredthidiot – SBC? I’m terrible with acronyms and I suspect I’m not guessing that one right as that means something to me but probably not the same as you…

    Would be great to see something develop and progressed, no idea what would be involved but I’d hope it could be begin with a small number of people meeting weekly after school and snowballing from that…what would be involved?

    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    My highschool had MrLords group for PE who let you ride your bike for the hour (MrLord commuted by bike). My BMX buddy was in MrLords group and rode the local sports centre Rareunit ramps for PE!

    My PE teacher – I’ve forgotten/blanked his name wouldn’t let us. I refused to do any sports/games in protest and did litter picking for 2 years. I got an F/Fail for GCSE PE!

    I also failed my cycling proficiency at primary school but that’s another story.

    reeksy
    Full Member

    We had Mtb as an option for PE at my comp back in the early 90s. It was actually a maths teacher that took us out, although there wasn’t much worth riding that was legal.

    In east coast Oz we have a really good mtb events company that run weekend races. Often the Friday is given over to school races. The turn out is massive, and getting bigger.
    As a consequence the schools are starting to take notice and several of my local schools run clubs- I’m in the process of linking a professional coach with my kids school.

    onehundredthidiot
    Full Member

    @DickBarton Scottish Borders Council. The problem is schools and risk.
    There is a high level group trying to do something but I’m currently not in the right gang to know what.

    Anyway my/our plan is to try and link a pumptrack club with a group of led MTB rides through the school. But I can foresee lots of red tape and no appetite to help, we can move bikes but not bodies, then there’s pvg and first aid for accompanying adults and do they become part of the led group for numbers if they don’t hold a ticket.

    reeksy
    Full Member

    I also failed my cycling proficiency at primary school but that’s another story.

    That’s impressive!

    I was on a bike too big for me, rode down a hill and straight out of a T-junction because I couldn’t squeeze the brake hard enough, and got a bollocking from the local cop because he saw me riding on the pavement on the way to school (Mum said I had to do that until I passed my cycling proficiency)… and I still passed!

    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    @reeksy

    I was cycling mad and had a BMX, tracker (road bike with Motocross handlebars) and a ‘droppie’ road bike. My parents made me do cycling proficiency on my droppie rather than my favourite tracker.

    Me and my brother were at the early stages of becoming the ‘Dangerous Brothers’ the small village we lived in would soon get to know us for our bmx, skateboarding and motorbike antics.

    I spent the entire cycling proficiency lesson doing wheelies, skids and generally not listening as I knew it all already.

    This was in the days before school sports days ‘everyone’s a winner / no losers’ and so me and my my BMX buddy ‘Flid’ as in Thalidomide (I now realize this was an awful nickname but nobody said otherwise at the time) were the only two who didn’t get the shiny enameled badges.

    Both of us are still riding bikes although I refer to him by his actual name when I bump into him nowadays. I’ve never had a bike related RTA despite years of commuting so the anti magnetic car repelling force field ability of that enameled badge are doubted.

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