SPORTS: Mountain bikers ready to defend title

Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — In only their second season, the Olympic Mountain Bike Team was crowned the Evergreen League’s high school mountain bike state champions last year.

Many of last year’s riders are back to defend the title this year. They have already begun training, but team manager Doug Ross said it isn’t too late to join.

The team practices on Wednesday and Sunday with coaches leading packs of riders depending on experience and ability.

Olympic Mountain has four races scheduled, the first on March 23 and the last May 18.

Phone Ross at 360-821-1802 for more information.

Ross notes that the Quimper Peninsula is blessed with an incredible variety of trails, which is a bonus for the already focused team.

Pete Sexton, one of the team’s coaches and owner of Broken Spoke Bike Shop, met and rode with another high school coach.

“He was blown away with the trails and said, ‘No wonder your team is so strong,’” Sexton said.

Ross said that the Olympic Mountain Bike Team is supported with an abundance of talented coaches.

“We have coaches who are Category 1 racers and former racers and people who just love riding and want to share that love and help kids,” he said.

Knowing they are now the team to beat, the riders have started their season not just with riding but with focusing on intangibles as well.

At an overnight retreat at Fort Flagler earlier this month, Jordan Pollack volunteered his considerable EMT experience teaching the riders and adults first aid and CPR, Peter Braden led team-building activities and a scavenger hunt around the fort, Sexton taught bike maintenance skills to the riders and coach Garth Gourley mentored the group in trail building and trail etiquette.

While the weekend was exceptionally windy, the weather finally calmed so the team could do what they enjoy most — ride. Coaches taught such things as bike handling skills, the physics of biking, downhill riding and race strategy.

Last modified: January 27. 2014 6:12PM
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