More Kids on Bikes
How MMCF Supports Youth Mountain Bikers
Every summer, people from all over the world travel to Mammoth to experience the world class mountain biking trails in our own backyard. Despite the close proximity, there are still major financial barriers that can prevent our local youth from experiencing what the trails have to offer.
Here at MMCF, we work hard to break down the financial barriers to make mountain biking more accessible. We offer a bike lending program that allows students to borrow a mountain bike all season long, free of charge to the families. We also offer reimbursement scholarships directly to team families to offset the costs of team practice and traveling to competitions.
With the bike season well underway, we were excited to receive an update about the team’s progress this summer from Head Coach Lindsay Barksdale. MMCF’s efforts have allowed more students to join the Mountain Bike Team and enjoy what the mountains have to offer - such as improving technical skills, growing confidence, and having fun. Scroll down to read Coach Lindsay’s update on what the team has been up to this summer!
Mammoth Mountain Bike Team Updates
from Head Coach Lindsay Barksdale
The Mammoth Mountain Bike Team is a club team for Middle School and High School aged riders. This year we have 49 athletes on our team. We ride cross country as opposed to Downhill or Enduro, which means we ride up, down, and all around. Our athletes come to the team with a wide variety of experience on bikes. We work a lot on technique to improve skills and confidence.
Most sports have an athletic stance. On bikes, we call this our Ready Position with pedals level to the ground, pointer fingers on each brake (single finger braking), elbows bent, knees bent and eyes looking ahead. When we are not pedaling, we are standing up with pedals level so we are ready for any kind of terrain change. One mantra is Always Be Shifting. As we pedal, we are always thinking about our gearing and leg speed and whether we should shift easier or harder with the terrain to keep our leg speed consistent and snappy. Mountain biking is dynamic with lots of terrain changes so we are rarely coasting and relaxing. The ever-changing environment keeps mountain biking fresh and fun. With practice, our athletes make big improvements and it is obvious to them when they can ride harder trails and roll over difficult obstacles.
I work a lot with our Middle School athletes. My favorite thing is watching athletes gain strength and confidence to ride tougher features, climb steeper hills and descend faster. Hearing an athlete say, “That used to be hard and now it’s easy” puts a huge smile on my face. By the end of our 4-month season (July-October), all of our athletes make huge improvements and have fun on their bikes in all terrain.
Look for our mountain bike team on the trails around Mammoth. Our uniforms are blue with pops of orange and green on the sleeves. Say hi to us when we pass! If you have an athlete who would like to join the mountain bike team, please reach out.