Tam High's mountain bike club team heads to the NorCal High School Cycling League's championship race this weekend with the chance to ride on uncharted territory.
The race is being held at Stafford Lake County Park in Novato, which is not open to mountain biking. But with the future Stafford Lake Bike Park in the design phase, Marin County Parks has opened the park for Northern California's top high school mountain bikers.
Tam's team consists of a wide variety of riders in terms of age and experience but includes several riders who have been racing together for a number of years. That includes Dominik Cinka, Tam's top-ranked rider in NorCal after four races, as well as stalwarts Spence Peterson, Skyler Taylor, Dylan Kane, Bob Siegel, Dillon Charlton, all of whom are ranked in the top 45 of all varsity boys racers in NorCal after four races. All of them have qualified for the state championship in Los Olivos, Calif., on May 20.
Like most high school club sports, the Mountain Bike Club isn’t supported by the Tam Boosters and is funded by parents. It exists outside the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL). The NorCal League, which was founded in 2001, includes teams from 37 schools, from Salinas to the Sacramento area.
According to the Marin Independent Journal, more than 500 riders from all over Northern California are expected to compete in the race with more than 1,000 spectators expected to attend.
But before the race can take place volunteers have been working day and night to rejuvenate the existing trails to prepare for the race. Those working on the trails are the ones who will be riding them this weekend. Kids from schools not only in Marin, but from across the NorCal league have been working hard to ensure that this race runs smoothly.
Marin County Parks is open to the possibly of this becoming an annual event, the IJ reported. but park officials want to see how this event affects the environment. After the race, the trail will return to it's primary use as a hiking trail. The 17-acre bike park is slated to include a single track loop trail, gravity fed flow trails with jumps and berms, several pump tracks, north shore style elevated trails, a dual slalom course and much more.
The 411: The Tam High mountain bike club team competes in the NorCal High School Cycling League's championship race at Stafford Lake Park in Novato. Races start at 10 a.m. The race is free but it costs $10 to park a car there.