High School Racing Season: August thru October
Welcome to Highlands Ranch Mountain Biking!
Did you know that Mountain Biking is the Fastest Growing High School Sport??
Boys and Girls from the Highlands Ranch area high schools (Rock Canyon, Thunder Ridge, Mountain Vista and Valor) will make up the team. We even have a few folks who reside in this area but attend other schools/home school.
Both experienced and beginner riders are welcome. In fact, we have many riders who barely rode a bike at all before joining the team! Don’t be shy. Your skill level will increase tremendously after a few weeks of practice.
The team is affiliated with NICA, Colorado High School League, and the area high schools.
A great deal of information is over on the high school league website: www.Coloradomtb.org, and we will have more information here on our website very soon. Please free free to email Coach Ryburn for more info: Bikeman1964@hotmail.com
The Colorado High School mountain bike league is a fall sport. Typically, the season starts around the beginning of August, and ends at the end of October, with a team celebration finishing up the season at the beginning of November.
Our Highlands Ranch High School team travels to 4 conference races, as well as a state championship race. Athletes from all Highlands Ranch High schools are welcome to train and race. While racing is not mandatory, it is encouraged. All Highlands Ranch high schools will practice, travel, and race together. The heart of the High School team is skill development embedded in a culture of fun and team camaraderie. Talk to anyone on the team, and they will tell you: the season is so much more than a handful of races!
All riders will need to register with the Colorado League and are responsible for all race fees. Scholarships and loaner equipment may be available through the Junior Development Team.
2017 Dates: July 31 thru October 27
Practice Days: 3 days per week
Practice Time: 5:00 -‐ 7:00 (adjusts as days get shorter)
Minimum # Riders: 6
Rider # Cap: 70
The team rides together three times per week, of which two are mandatory. All high schools ride together as a team in the Highlands Ranch Backcountry. We break up into 4 to 6 groups based on skill level, and always have a great time. The times for practice generally fall from 5 to 7pm, though it moves up a bit later in fall because of failing sunlight.
Some Saturday rides are available, as are half-day and day-long clinics (sometimes for ladies only, or for younger or older riders…there are a lot of great options).
Team get-togethers include spaghetti suppers and trail maintenance days. The season culminates in an evening of food and celebration just after the state championship.
While the team enjoys practicing as one large group, we all race for our respective high schools on race day. It is a wonderful experience to be cheering on not only for your own school, but for the other schools that are in close proximity to your own. Together, the Highlands Ranch Composite team comprises one of the larger groups at each race.
Each high school rider wears their own jersey and colors. Points are scored for each high school.
Races are not mandatory, though certainly encouraged. The fee for entry is about $60 per race. The locations range all over Colorado, and become a weekend event. They happen every other week in the fall, totaling four races, plus an additional 5th race in Eagle, CO for the State Championship (for qualifiers).
Each rider is required to wear a helmet, goggles/sunglasses, and needs a mountain bike in good working order. Team jersey for races are required (purchased typically during your first season with the team). Gloves are also highly recommended.
Do not let the state of your mountain bike deter you from joining the team!! You will see crazy $10k bikes, and you will see Walmart specials. Just get out and ride… you will quickly find that no one judges you for the age or wear of your bike (well, maybe if you are riding the $10k bike…then we’ll judge you if you don’t buy dinner for the team).
There are a few separate fees to pay to get you through the season. For first timers, it can seem a little confusing.
$150 — First, there is the team fee, which covers the costs of our Highlands Ranch team, and includes your jersey. We are lucky to be subsidized by some great sponsors, which keeps your costs lower than they might be.
$65 — Second, there is the “league registration” fee that is paid to the Colorado High School Mountain Biking organization… the fine folks who run the races and promote this sport. As you’ll see on race weekends, this is no small feat. It is quite an organization!
$60 — Third, there is the per-race fee, which technically is optional since racing is optional. But when you enter each of the four races during the season, you pay this $60 fee (4 races = $240), which adds your name to the racing roster for each race.
All fees are paid online through “The Pit Zone” — which we provide a link to, and is accessible from www.coloradomtb.org. It’s pretty easy to navigate once you do it the first time.
Our forthcoming website will detail all of this and provide guidance for all the first timers!
Coaches and Volunteers
This team is supported by an amazing set of volunteers, starting with our coach, Roger Ryburn. We couldn’t ask for a better leader for these kids, and his investment in each of their lives is immeasurable. And he doesn’t get paid a dime. This applies equally to Coach Todd Stouffer, who along with Coach Ryburn, never misses a practice or a race, and donates incredible amounts of personal time to keep this team running.
As much as we love our coaches, Coach Ryburn’s wife, Julie, is the glue that keeps the whole organization together. As the team has grown exponentially since its inception a few short years ago, her work has become more and more complicated. But she does it with an incredibly fun and encouraging attitude.
Our Ride Leaders are critical volunteer staff that allow us to have a ratio of adult leaders to student riders hovering around 6-to-1, which is amazing. Three nights a week, a large group of parents saddle up and ride the trails with our student athletes, and develop a camaraderie with the team that is nothing short of magical.
Finally, each of the parents give back to the team throughout the season, through managing our hectic race days, hosting team dinners, bringing food for the team tent, etc. etc. etc. We couldn’t do it without the parents!