Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make the team? Are there team tryouts?

The Granite Bay Grizzlies Mountain Bike team does not have team tryouts. Everyone who shows up with a positive attitude, is willing to learn, and can participate regularly as a team member (attend practices and races) can join the team. The beauty of mountain biking is that no one ever sits on the bench and every single rider can participate in every practice and every race!

I am new to the sport and I have little experience. How can I integrate into this team?

The Granite Bay Grizzlies Mountain Bike Team is here to accommodate all levels of riding ability and experience. We have a minimum of 3 different ride groups which train at levels appropriate to the rider’s ability and experience. Anyone who knows how to ride a bike can quickly learn the basics of safe mountain biking. If you are new to the sport, be sure to ask your coaches, as there are no questions not worth asking!

My son or daughter doesn’t know much about mountain biking or cycling. Will they be taught preparedness, safety and the basics of bike mechanics?

Yes, many of our ride leaders and coaches have been riding mountain bikes and other bikes for decades. Athletes will be taught what to bring to be prepared and how to ride safely on the trails and on the surface roads to reach trail networks.

What if I don’t know if this sport is for me and I want to give it a try? Do I have to commit to the full season?

We will have a series of fun rides in the fall where interested riders can come and see what our team is all about. Full commitment is not necessary until regular practices start in December.

Where, when and how often are team rides?

Our team training rides are held 4 times a week, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Wednesday rides start from the parking lot of Cavitt Jr High, 3:30-5:00pm (Dec-Mar) and move to Prairie City SVRA in April. Tue/Thurs spin bike workouts are in the Spin Room at GBHS, 3:00-5:00pm. Sunday rides are 9:00am-12:00pm starting from various locations and local trailheads.

How do practices work?

The TeamSnap app reminds team members and volunteers about practices. Please sign up and download to your mobile phone when you get the invite.

At the start of each practice ride the team is divided into three groups based upon ability – A, B, C.

Each group needs to have a NICA-certified coach or Ride Leader accompany them.

Ride volunteers are distributed throughout each group (ideally), and there is always a ‘Sweep’ ride leader taking up the rear.

What do I need to bring to team rides?

  • A well maintained mountain bike designed for trails and fire roads- a hardtail is the preferred type of bike
  • A certified mountain bike helmet meeting safety requirements- see Norcal website for more details
  • Proper clothing for potential weather changes, especially an appropriate lightweight rain/ windbreaker jacket
  • Water, either in a water bottle or a hydration pack worn as a backpack
  • Snacks and nutrition bars
  • A repair kit, an extra inner tube, and pump to repair flat tire
  • Gloves and glasses are highly recommended

What is the Pit Zone?

The Pit Zone is an online resource that the team uses. It is administered by a team coach as well as by the Norcal cycling league. This is where your athlete gets registered as a Norcal racer and pays for each race, It is also where ride leaders are registered and certified to become Ride Leader Volunteers for the team. Once you decide to join the team, you will receive an invitation to the Pit Zone.

How many practices am I required to attend?

Our team policy is 3 out of 4 practices a week. If you feel that this expectation will present a challenge, please communicate with a coach prior to signing up for the team. Some athletes can only make one team practice a week but train on their own due to other commitments. This is important because if you only train once a week, you will find it increasingly difficult to stay with the group and your experience will become less than satisfying.

How much will I have to pay for a season?

The Mountain Bike Team is not a sport financially supported by the Athletic Department of Granite Bay High School. Therefore the team supports itself through sponsorship money and dues paid by individuals who are members of the team. At minimum, families should expect to pay these amounts for their involvement with the team:

  • $400 – Granite Bay Grizzlies Mountain Bike Team dues 
  • $50 - NorCal Registration Fee
  • $300 - NorCal Race Fees ($50/race, 6 races)
  • $80 - TBF Race Registration Fees ($40/race, 2 races) - these are races that take place on the same trails where we practice. We use these as practice races prior to the start of League racing
  • $155-$165 - Team Kit (Jersey - $65; Shorts - $90 or Bib shorts - $100)
  • $0-$200  - Other cycling gear (jacket, vest, arm warmers, leg warmers, gloves, glasses)
  • $0-$100 – Helmet (not optional)
  • $250 - Lodging, campsites, etc, for away races
  • $200 – Bicycle maintenance (tires, brake pads, chain, etc)
  • $0-$2000 - Bike:  If you are investing in a new bike please consult with a coach first.

What is the right type of bike for training and racing?

This is a very common question for incoming Freshmen or new riders. Based on the terrain and trails we train on, and the courses we race on, the hands down choice is a hard tail 27.5” or 29”. The hard tail means it does not have rear suspension, only front suspension. A 29” wheel size will be suitable for most, although some smaller riders may prefer the slightly smaller wheel set such as 27.5”. If you are investing in a new bike please, consult with a coach first as every rider's needs are different. We also highly recommend clipless pedals/shoes.

As a parent, how can I be involved with the team?

Involvement with the team is one of the most fulfilling parts of this sport for any family. Parents have many opportunities to get involved with the team on multiple levels. This allows parents to stay connected to their kid’s athletic pursuits while interacting with many other like-minded parents. The feeling of camaraderie created by this team is unlike any other high school sport. Parents can become involved by:

  • Becoming a ride leader and riding with the team during team training
  • Volunteering in the dozens of positions available during race day
  • Cheering from the start, finish and on the course during races
  • Providing assistance with your talents that may include videography, photography, team party planning, meal planning, etc.

When do the races start?

There are generally 6 races in the season. The races begin in the spring - usually the first week of March. Races continue with one very two weeks until mid-May. The State meet is in late May and this is the final race of the season. Once the race schedule is published it is available on the Norcal site.

What are the Norcal races like?

They are very exciting events, run much like a professional bike race. There are multiple categories for girls and boys and the courses are fun, challenging and diverse. They vary in distance from 12 miles for the Freshmen races to up to 24 miles for the Varsity races. The courses are set on a circuit that allows for multiple laps so you can see the racers coming around multiple times. The courses have varied terrain with uphill and downhill aspects which require bike handling skills and good endurance capacity as well.

Where are the races and how does the team get there?

Race venues for the 6 races are generally between 2 to 4 hours drive from Granite Bay.

We anticipate that the races this year will take place at Laguna Seca (Monterey), Fort Ord (Monterey), 6 Sigma Winery (Lake County), and Granite Bay. 

The State meet will be in Southern California in 2020. The course location is to be determined.

Each athlete is responsible for their own transportation to and from the events. Athletes may carpool, arriving the afternoon before the event to pre-ride the course.