Our High School program is open to youth entering grades 7 - 12 in the fall in the Duluth area. 

 

Did you miss the information meeting? View the presentation slides here! 

Ready to sign up? (new and returning riders and families)

The Duluth Mountain Bike Team is a program for middle- and high-school students (entering grades 7-12 in the fall) in the Duluth area. Currently students in public, private, charter, or home schools are welcome to participate in the program.

Our team is part of the Minnesota High School Cycling League and the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). Our season is organized around the League race season and runs from July through October.

We have program options for those who want to participate in the NICA races and those who want to focus more on adventure or pleasure riding. Both programs practice at the same time in combined groups, but have some different coaching focuses.

NICA Race Program - $150 (must also register through the PitZone – if you’re new you’ll receive an invitation from us after you register). You should choose this option if you plan to race in one or more of the NICA races at the Freshman through Varsity levels (we are not participating in the 6th – 8th Middle School races in 2019). This option also requires a fee to NICA of $100, plus $150 for all five races or $50 race a-la-carte, and a team jersey ($80).

DEVO Adventure Program - $175 (does not need to register through PitZone). This is the option if you know you will not be participating in any of the high school races.

All our practices are done as one team. Riders will be divided into groups based on ability.

For racing, students who attend Duluth East High School or Ordean East Middle School are scored for East, and students attending all other area schools are scored for the Duluth Composite Team. As participation from other area schools increases, they will be scored separately.

Students who are entering grades 7-12 in the fall are welcome to participate in the team. Prior mountain-bike experience is helpful but is not necessary. Students should be comfortable riding a bike for up to two hours. Students in 6th grade will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by Head Coach Brian Hayden.

The team has scholarships available for riders if needed. Please contact Board Chair, Erik Torch at chair@duluthmtb.org .   


Philosophy

 

DCT sees mountain biking as a great lifelong sport that helps build a strong body, mind, and character. Coaches work with students to help them meet their individual goals, be it learning to be a better biker to enjoy our great trails or to make the podium at the races.


Equipment Needs

 

A working mountain bike. Most students ride “hard tails” with front suspension. Almost all of our training takes place on purpose-built mountain bike trails, so a bike in good working condition that can shift easily, brake smoothly, and has tires with good tread will give the student a better experience. If you have questions about bike choice, speak with Coach Brian!

It is required that students wear a helmet whenever they are on their bike.

In addition to a bike and helmet students will need:

  • Water: One to two liters per training (more if it is hot). Don’t expect to find water at any of the trailheads.

  • A multitool

  • A spare tube (make sure it fits your wheel!)

  • Tire levers

  • A pump or CO2 cartridge

We also recommend riders wear bike appropriate clothing including padded shorts, a non-cotton wicking shirt or jersey, and cycling gloves. Some riders may prefer to wear protective eye glasses/sunglasses.  

 

 


Races

Each team competes in four races plus the State Championship. Races take place on a combination of single- and double-track trails with terrain varying from venue to venue. The trails we practice on are typically far more technical than what the riders race on. Races take place on a 3.5 - 4 mile loop and races range from one to four laps, based on a rider’s ability.

 

One race a year is in Duluth, all other races are around the Minneapolis - St. Paul area or in southern Minnesota. In past seasons the team has raced in Austin, Mankato, Rochester, and River Falls, Wisconsin.

You can find the 2019 League Race Schedule here. Races take place on weekends, with a pre-ride on Saturday afternoon or very early Sunday. Races are on Sunday and start with Middle School races and end with Varsity Boys in the afternoon. We encourage all riders to pre-ride the course. 

Our 2019 races are:

August 25 - Austin Trail (Austin)
September 8 - Lake Rebecca (Rockford)
October 6 - Detroit Mountain (Detroit Lakes)
October 13 - Spirit Mountain (Duluth)
October 26 & 27 - State Championship at Mt. Kato (Mankato)


Practices

Practices begin in July and take place on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 5:00 - 7:00 (we'll start at 4:30 later in the fall). Practices are not mandatory, but riders get out of it what they put in to it, and we recommend everyone participate in as many sessions as possible. 

Practices generally start with a team meeting, some drills to build technical skills, and a trail ride. Riders are broken up in to small groups based on their skill level. We have one licensed coach for every six riders, and ideally two for every eight. 

Most of our practices are based out of the Lester-Amity Chalet, however we do move our rides around town to take advantage of  the full diversity of trails and to help reduce our impact. 

It is important for student athletes to also ride on non-practice days. Talk to Coach Brian for recommendations on training outside of practice.  

If a rider is injured, or not feeling well, we advise skipping practice. Unlike field sports, we are out in the woods riding on trails and if a rider is isn't able to keep up, it is difficult for everyone.


costs

Costs to participate in the NICA Race Program are:

DCT Team Fee -     $150

NICA Fee -         $100

Race Fees -         $50 each (or $150 for five)

 

Costs to participate in the DEVO Adventure Program are:

DEVO Team Fee -     $175

Additional costs include purchasing a race jersey (approximately $80 and not necessary if the rider chooses not to race), and any travel costs to and from races, plus hotels, etc. Racing and the intensity of our practices is hard on the bikes, and will require more frequent maintenance than casual riding. 

Scholarships are available through both DCT and NICA. Speak with the Head Coach to learn more.

 


Volunteering

DCT is entirely volunteer run. Parents are expected to lend a hand to make the season a success. Help is needed in riding with students during practice, hauling gear to and from race sites for our pit zone, setting up and breaking down our pit zone, trail work on the Spirit Mountain race course, pre-race potlucks, etc. We communicate our volunteer needs at parent meetings at the start of the season and as the season progresses. 

If you have an interest in helping with practices, you will need to get licensed through NICA. You can find out more about the NICA Coach License Program here. You can also check out the benefits of being a NICA Coach. Volunteer coaches are essential for helping make practices run smoothly, consider helping out!