Video: Singletrack High

Jun 4, 2014
by Tyler Maine  
 
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About the Film
At the age of 16, many American kids trade in two wheels for four. Trusty steeds that once gave them freedom to explore on weekends now collect dust in the garage. For a growing number of high school students in Northern California, however, two wheels don’t get dusty, they get dirty. Their lives continue to revolve around weekend rides, but now those rides have a finish line. These are the student athletes of the NorCal High School Cycling League. This is Singletrack High.

The film was produced by Pedal Born Pictures and funded entirely by Specialized Bicycle Components, with the goal of showcasing the incredible impact of high school mountain biking and bringing more supporters to NICA and the movement. Additional support was provided by Sunnyvale VW and GoPro.

Nationwide Screenings
Singletrack High will be screening all over the USA in 2013 and beyond. Screenings are being hosted by NICA, NICA Leagues, NICA Teams, and other bike organizations looking to spread the word about high school mountain biking. For a current list of screenings click here.

Host a Singletrack High screening
Pedal Born Pictures and the National Interscholastic Cycling Association have screened Single Track High across the USA to grow the high school mountain bike movement and get more kids on bikes.

Virtually anyone can purchase a license to screen Singletrack High and join the movement. However, first rights are being granted to NICA Leagues and Teams. For more information about hosting a screening at your home, backyard, local theater, school or business click here.

Purchase the DVD here and help support the expansion of Interscholastic cycling.

About the National Interscholastic Cycling Association [NICA]
Founded in 2009, NICA is the national governing body that is making high school mountain biking a mainstream sport. With 13 leagues in 12 states and four more scheduled to launch in 2015, NICA is on a mission to bring Interscholastic cycling Coast to Coast by 2020.
Must Read This Week

56 Comments

  • + 45
 Yes! The comments at the start about the expectation of people nowadays that when you turn 17 you'll get a car, exactly the same as how I feel.

My friends and my friends parents and stuff are always asking: "When are you going to start driving then?", and I tell them that I feel no need, I've got 6 bikes and a train pass, I don't need a car. They seem to think that that's funny, and there's some kind of stigma around adults cycling to get places in the UK, like, people think that if you cycle around, you just can't afford a car.

But now I'm getting decent race results I can throw that back at them. I mean, how many teenage drivers are going to compete internationally in driving?

Rant over! Smile
  • + 10
 I agree with you (I'm one of those weird adults who cycles almost everywhere) and I left learning to drive quite late, but getting a car was one of the best things to happen for my riding as it meant I could easily take my bike on awesome trips further afield (like Wales and Scotland!) Also you don't wanna be that guy who's always trying to sponge lifts to races and events, and if you do make sure you offer some fuel money to the driver!
  • + 4
 I'm 33 and are just now getting my drivers license. Havent had the use for one before now. The moutains of Sweeden and Norway are just to good to ignore (And the rest of europe), and I can't wait to load my bike on the car and explore.
  • + 7
 I'm 33 and don't have a car. I have access to cars, but I don't need them. I've had cars since I was 18. I sold mine 2 years ago and it's great. Where I live (downtown Oslo), I can roll out my door, get on a subway and be at almost any trailhead within 30min. We even have subway DH-shutteling!
  • + 3
 i'm 42 and never had a car,there's just no need anymore,i'm spoilt where i live as far as cycling is concerned,i commute every day and go trail riding through the Dark Peak every weekend,i do all my shopping online and get it delivered,the trailhead is my doorstep,i love to hear about people giving up their cars for what i see as a better way of life,cycling should have always been promoted like that,now i'm not hooked on my smartphone,my computer and certainly not my TV,and when i look through a car window it's just like looking at another screen to me,cycling is part of life and i like to feel alive,looking though another screen to get where your going isn't feeling alive,it's stagnant and artificial,like i say i'm spoilt to have such good riding on my doorstep,i only wish more people could realise the benefits i do.
  • + 1
 I got "when are you going to grow up and get a car" all the time from everyone when I was in high school. I was into freestyle in the mid to late 80's and wanted to ride in other cities, like Chicago or Milwaukee. So I basically bought a car to drive to new riding locations. My driving friends would see me riding 40 miles away from home, ask "When are you going to get a car?" I say "I have one, how do you think I got here?".

But I didn't just get a car. I bought the biggest, cheapest car I could find that had the biggest trunk (boot for the rest of world) a Golden 75th anniversary Limited edition 1978 Lincoln Continental 4 door!! Everything was gold, inside and out. Best part, paid $120 for it in 1987. No rust, 460ci V8, 21 feet 6 inches in length. And the best part, could fit 3 bikes in the trunk and close it, even with a full sized spare tire.. I've since moved on to pick up trucks as my transporter of choice. Still ride if I don't have to drive. Ride my supermoto if I need to drive somewhere. America doesn't have bicycle friendly roads, so it's safer on a motorcycle, but if could, I could get a 5 mile mtb ride on the way to my 15 mile ride to work. But with roads with no shoulders, I don't trust cars and it's the same stretches of roads where cyclists are killed every year.
  • + 2
 or, you could turn 16, buy a car, and shuttle everywhere
  • + 2
 You know what you're talking about, padkinson. In 1991, when I turned 18, I rode my BMX around my neighborhood. Other kids would shout out their window, "get a car loser!"

I later moved to Portland, Oregon, and the table is surely turned. Bike commuting is at a all time high there, and I was proud to be one of them. Yay for bikes!
  • + 1
 You guys are lucky. I got "when are you going to grow up and get a job..."
  • + 2
 I bought a car so i could ride in more places that a train couldn't take me (public transport in Australia is terrible). so my philosophy is "Why Not Have Both?"
  • + 10
 I will always choose riding over my mates. My Bike has been there for me when my friends haven't, Its a brilliant release - just get out on the bike after a hard day and go for a spin and it clears your head. If only my school did this, brilliant idea, great vid!
  • + 21
 But riding WITH friends is good shit. Especially when you're faster
  • + 9
 My friends are all fast, way faster than me.

I'm just kidding I don't have any friends... :sigh:
  • + 5
 Uhhhh, might want to reconsider that... pretty sure people are more important than your bike. Think about it.
  • + 8
 "Won't back down"? I'm sure it's a good movie and I'll get to see it some day, but you would have to go a long way to find anyone who it is more apt to say about than this group of kids. You are all my heroes.
  • + 10
 I love this film! A must watch. Very inspiring. I feel lucky to be able to race in this great league.
  • + 6
 the Norcal and Socal league really took off when I was in about 10th grade or so and I tried to start a team at my local public high school in a wealthy to middle class area but the school refused to get behind it or give any support. All the money had to go the the football team because bashing your heads together is obviously much better for your body. -out
  • + 1
 You're lucky. There was no league when I was in high school. Just a biking club.
  • + 1
 I agree from what it sounds like the mountain bike league has come a long ways from were it was. I currently race in the socal league next season will be my third and the high school that I go to just made a mountain bike team (me and a couple of my friends) and it has taken off the 1st year we only had 12 kids and this previous season we are up to 20 kids. Hopeful the club will stay long after I graduate.
  • + 6
 I kind of wish there was this kind of structure in mountain biking in the UK. The racing here is brilliant, but it's almost all run by passionate volunteers and funded by sponsors, rather than any kind of government funding.
The high school mountain biking teams is what I really liked the look of, not so much for the support and racing (although that does look awesome), more just for recognition that mountain biking is a legitimate sport that quite a lot of people are participating in. I went through the last 2 years of secondary school competing at a national level (albeit not very well until right at the end of the 2 years), and I don't think anyone at the school (PE teachers etc) apart from my close group of friends had any idea that I did this. We'd just have a weekly announcement in form about how the football team have lost again.

Now I'm at a 6th form College, there seems to be much more recognition of people's specialities within sport. When I started the PE course they asked everybody what sport they do and what level they do it at, and it was fascinating how many people compete at a high level in relatively obscure sports (there's a guy in my class who does national level water polo).

UK high schools should be watching this film and taking notes.
  • + 1
 As far as I know, MTB or any kind of cycling club is not that common in US high schools.
  • + 1
 I do get your point about racing and recognition from schools and stuff (I'm in exactly the same boat nat/state level - no support from school) but in the end i couldn't careless about what some science or english teacher thinks about me riding mtb. They are more interested in watching over weight kids chase each other around a field wearing short shorts trying to jump on each other. When the odd teacher asks me about how my racing is going it inevitably leads to "oh isn't that dangerous? don't you get hurt?" my response "only as much as some half wit footy player".

Basically i ride for fun, not to gain some medal or a comment from somebody. If you are passionate about mtb then you will ride regardless and you will ride for fun. It doesn't matter if there is a structured race schedule in schools because kids will ride no matter what. Having this level of competition makes the sport overtly competitive and thats not what I'm in it for.
  • + 6
 Should I start working or maybe just have a quick look on the video... and its one hour later
  • + 3
 "You have tried to access a web page which is in violation of your internet usage policy" I work...
  • + 1
 At least you can access Pinkbike
  • + 1
 Yeah, but it may very well have been the best hour of my day! Obviously here on PB bikes are cool, it's the rest of the world that needs to see this.
  • + 3
 I race in a team in the NorCal league and we had a showing of this movie a little over a year ago and Greg Minnaar came to watch it with his girlfriend. It was awesome, he talked about riding my local trails after the movie had finished.
  • + 4
 That kid Cody is awesome. I love his attitude! This is an awesome video and definitely proves that mountain biking has a place in high school sports.
  • + 1
 Cody is the man! I hope he goes far with the sport. He sure has drive.
  • + 4
 i often get saddened at how my friends all traded the bike for the car and how they never engage in stories about epic trail fun.
  • + 1
 Listening to these kids talk is like a flashback to running high school cross country, such a great experience. Obviously they're on bikes, but everything from learning to push yourself, understanding your training, having friends to push you to improve, and even being on fun trails (as opposed to running track) sounds EXACTLY the same. It teaches kids (and adults) so much about themselves, a lot of stuff you won't learn from normal 'team' sports. Team sports are cool too, and they have their own lessons to teach, but nothing can teach you to push yourself and learn your limits like the individual racing sports. You still get the team camaraderie, but there's so much mastery of your own mind and body that goes into being a good racer.

Loving the documentary!
  • + 1
 I have to say, coming from Sacramento born and raised and still lives here in carmichael, there are plenty of trails all over the county and the city to ride. For Officer Trejo to say that there are not is making it sound way worse then the city is. I mean you have the city trail that literally takes you from downtown all the way out to the edge of the "burbs" and farther into the mountains?!?! You have all sorts of types of trails downhill, enduro, to XC. i mean these may not be acclaimed tracks but they are definitly fun.
  • + 1
 that being said i think this video is awesome and although there were club teams when i went through high school here, i wish so badly that my high school had a cycling team!
  • + 1
 Humbling video! Great to see everyone working to achieve their goals and sticking with what they love even when it gets difficult. We're all so concerned with our top of the line parts and some of these kids were riding bikes with v-brakes and smiling like crazy... I miss being young and just "going out to play"... It sucks how highschool can so easily impact kids in a negative way if not careful...

Anyways sweet vid
  • + 1
 cool movie...2 more states added to the N.I.C.A. league this week I believe & my dad an other folk that are on a development committee for North Carolina are trying hard to make it the next state in the N.I.C.A. organization. They need help, gotta get the word out...so any others already in the league or wish they were, spread the word..Coast to Coast N.I.C.A. complete coverage by 2020 is the goal. BUT my state of North Carolina next....check the page, shooting for 1,000 likee's or more...https://www.facebook.com/NCHighSchoolMountainBiking
  • + 2
 A wide range of skill levels are introduced to our sport but they should be introduced to real mtb xc courses actual climbing and descending
  • + 1
 Did you race states? I won freshman and that course was sick, really fast and flowy with a gnarly climb at the end. Granite bay was awesome too. Really the only one that was kind of lacking was ft. Ord.
  • + 2
 a wide range of skill levels are introduced to our sport but they should be introduced to real mtb xc courses with actual climbing and descending
  • + 1
 mindblowing! raced my zaskar le 96 when i was 16. still luv to go out by bike. it could give so much aspecially in this difficult age. thanks to all the people makin this possilble for those kids.
  • + 1
 When I turned 17 I got a downhill bike rather than learning to drive, never needed a car over the past year and a half! So glad that I did it Smile .
  • + 2
 I have plans to mount car keys on my door, but why ditch the bike? They should enrich eachother
  • + 3
 Awesome video! I wish there was a team when I was in high school.
  • + 2
 Great movie! I'm glad that this league has grown so much and that I can be a part of it!
  • + 1
 This video, and sport is awesome! I wish I would have had a mtb team to join when I was in HS.
  • + 1
 This. Is. Nice! I wish I could go 10 years back in time and apply to this school and have a blast!
  • + 1
 amazing video. wish i had this in high school. But watching this make me love biking so much more.
  • + 2
 awesome! more schools should have programs like this.
  • + 1
 Beautiful documentary! Than you for this article, its great to see the positivity supporting biking! RideOn!
  • + 1
 I saw this on universal sports one morning, I was blown away. A very good and inspiring movie for sure.
  • + 1
 This is such an inspiring film. Bloody marvellous. Wish these kids all the best.Got to love their spirit.
  • + 1
 This was really uplifting. Awesome!
  • + 1
 ^^ agreed!
  • + 0
 I want a car so that I can go to bike parks whenever I want.
  • - 1
 norcal should make the courses better because except for boggs all the courses SUCK
  • + 0
 Haha really man? Personally I thought that, for the extremely wide range of skill levels that are introduced to the sport through norcal, the courses were pretty rad.
  • + 3
 they do introduce wide range of skill levels to our sport but they should be introduced to real mtb xc courses with actual climbing and descending.

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