Update: School District in Marin Backpedals on Disbanding High School MTB Teams & May Protect Teams from Future Threats

May 17, 2021 at 15:34
by Alicia Leggett  
Photos from the NICA event held on Trek s private trails.
The NorCal League set an example that led to the formation of high school race leagues all over the United States.

Update 5/20: In a meeting yesterday, the district chief financial officer pledged to present a solution to the board of trustees that would protect the district's three mountain bike teams from future attempts to dismantle them. If supported, the decision will be finalized at a meeting May 25th.

Update 5/19: The Tamalpais Unified High School District has reportedly rolled back the decision to eliminate mountain biking teams. After a strong public outcry against the decision to disassociate the three high schools from any club sports (meaning those sports are not sanctioned by the California Interscholastic Federation), the school district has instead requested that all students submit liability waivers, that all coaches go through background checks and safety training, and that teams file certain pieces of paperwork for field trips. All of those things already happen.

According to someone involved with one of the teams, the issue is still unsettled, and there will be a meeting today, another meeting tomorrow, and the regularly scheduled school board meeting next Tuesday. We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.



Marin County is no stranger to controversy around mountain biking. As the birthplace of mountain biking where mountain biking on singletrack is now largely illegal, the mountain bikers of Marin are used to pushing back. Still, over the last two decades, high school mountain biking has exploded and is one of the most popular and inclusive sports in schools all around the region. And the formation of high school teams has been one of the best things to happen to mountain biking in Marin, creating an unequivocally positive community that helps shape the attitude around the sport.

This spring, club teams at the district’s three main schools – Redwood, Tamalpais, and Archie Williams High Schools – received a surprise email that as of July 1, the schools would no longer associate with any club sports teams, including the district’s three mountain bike teams. The message was unambiguous said MTB Hall of Famer and former high school coach Otis Guy: there was no room for negotiation and the decision had been made.

Things became stranger when more than two thousand people signed a petition and hundreds of mountain bikers and others who value the teams contacted the school board to oppose the decision. The school district began sending out an email response that not only said that the change wasn’t happening, but that the decision hadn’t been made in the first place. The situation, the response said, was the result of a misunderstanding. The lack of consistent information, Guy said, is the worst part of the situation.

bigquotesIt’s very good that it went so big. It’s more upsetting that the response is 'that’s not what we said' – what we have in writing. It was extremely clear what their terms were. That the teams were done July 1st. No discussion, no warning, nothing.Otis Guy

The decision to scrap the teams was reportedly because of advice from a third-party insurance advisor, but the school district has not given an explanation of exactly what the problems are with the club sports. The National Interscholastic Cycling Association does provide insurance to all members of its affiliate leagues.

School administrators and coaches met today to discuss what might happen. Rumor has it that the parties have come to an agreement that would preserve the teams, but if that's the case, the details are not yet public. Even if there’s an announcement that the teams will live on, some of the district’s riders are hesitant to believe any statement from the district after the contradictory emails, and the stakes are high for riders who believe these programs changed their lives.

I would know, because I started mountain biking as part of one of the three teams in question. After joining the NorCal League as a junior in high school, my direction completely changed, and almost everything positive in my life today can be directly or indirectly traced back to those high school races. So, for full disclosure, I am not a neutral observer.

Photos from the NICA event held on Trek s private trails.
Hundreds of students gather for each race.

And I know I’m not alone in feeling that way. The Marin high school teams have had plenty of time to make a difference for teenagers. While many NICA leagues are just starting to spring up around the United States, the NorCal League is the oldest and has been around for two decades. It started across the bay from Marin County in Berkeley, where a high school teacher started organizing some his students and taking them to adult races in 1998. Over the next few years, the surrounding schools joined the party and the group named itself the NorCal High School Cycling League in 2001. The Tamalpais District gave the league three more teams, and by the time I joined in, there were more than 60 students on my team and more than 600 riders at each race (including Kate Courtney and some other pretty quick riders). The NorCal League grew so big that it had to be split into North NorCal and South NorCal. (To make it extra confusing, the SoCal League was also split into North SoCal and South SoCal. The State Championship races were nightmares to talk about.)

Kate Courtney pushing hard on her way to 6th.
Kate Courtney is the most decorated racer to come out of the NorCal League.

But I digress. The state of things right now is that nobody seems to know what will happen. If the school district does decide to abandon the teams, the teams will continue to race in the NorCal League but will have to re-establish themselves as separate entities from the schools. Riders will have to find the teams on their own, rather than through school, and things will become more difficult for students who try to leave class early on Fridays to go to the weekend races. There will be no more use of the school gyms, and the already prohibitive sport will become more difficult to access for students who don’t already have a mountain biking connection.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available. Updates will also be posted at https://www.savemarinhsmtb.com/.


273 Comments

  • 308 20
 Mountain biking causes cancer in California
  • 169 44
 California continues to suck...
  • 160 175
flag badbadleroybrown (May 17, 2021 at 20:14) (Below Threshold)
 California is a cancer on America.
  • 79 115
flag joshtuzyk (May 17, 2021 at 20:33) (Below Threshold)
  • 90 100
flag wda1wustl (May 17, 2021 at 20:44) (Below Threshold)
 @badbadleroybrown:
California spreads its cancer
  • 109 25
 You echo chamber haters suck. This story is about mountain biking youth who are propelling the future of our sport.
  • 77 1
 MTB is not a crime! Except in Marin County apparently...
  • 133 79
 @suspended-flesh: No... this story is about how bad politics are f*cking over mountain biking youth who are propelling the future of our sport. It's not an echo chamber, it's a valid criticism of the consistent poor governance California has seen at state and local levels for years under democratic leadership.
  • 28 51
flag suspended-flesh (May 17, 2021 at 21:16) (Below Threshold)
 @badbadleroybrown: That's why we need a Green Party government. What alternative do you propose?
  • 86 8
 @scottlink: I don't disagree in full but note that California is a huge and diverse state. The elites in places like Marin, and really all up and down the coast, are the ones primarily responsible for most of the suck in this state. They are elitist, egotistical, entitled a*sholes that seem to want to punish everyone that isn't them for some unknown reason. As a native Californian I dislike these people and their policies as much, if not more than most, but I also cringe when all Californians are lumped into a mono culture.There have been multiple efforts to try and split the state but those with power and those that don't understand the dynamic just laugh it off as folly. I love this state but god do hate the politics and elites responsible for what it has become.
  • 56 64
flag badbadleroybrown (May 17, 2021 at 21:23) (Below Threshold)
 @suspended-flesh: The green party is a joke and will be just as eager to shit on mountain biking as California liberals are... a sport beset by carbon production and waste, massive global shipping with almost no local production, that's nearly all recreational... there's nearly nothing "green" about mountain biking and those are the same a*sholes who think trails should only be for hikers and horses.

We need freedom, freedom for the people to use lands owned by the people at their discretion rather than oppressive restriction based upon whichever user group happens to hand over the most money to line the pockets of the elected officials that dictate policy. It's not hard to see that California's glory all came in the era when it was a free state that encouraged people to get out and enjoy the land and sea and to innovate, and that was all before the left took over and started jumping from one pet project to the next and one tax to the next, cutting off access and trying to eliminate independent enjoyment of public lands. We need to get back to what made the state amazing and I don't personally give a shit what the party that does it wants to call themselves but it sure as f*ck hasn't been the state of things under the democrats.
  • 67 28
 @badbadleroybrown: interesting and idiotic take there my dude. There is no doubt politicking going on behind the scenes but all indications from the albeit convoluted and confusing story are that it was some BS having to do with insurance. So unless you have inside info we are not privy to, there is zero indication it has anything to do with with actual state or local government decisions.

But you know, the fact CA is the 5th largest economy IN THE WORLD, must be because of “consistent state mismanagement” eh?
  • 30 10
 @badbadleroybrown: But I like jokes. You just don't get them. If you let the Left or Right get you so wound up about things that you don't have time to see that all the Power cares about is consuming resources for their short-term gain, then they are winning. All the distracted, polarized arguing is just helping them obscure that fact. It will be too late before we even realize it. Republicans calling for Freedom! are actually the hopeless Utopian pawns on a quest for a way of life that is dead. Just like the hippies.
  • 13 16
 @Whitewater49: 'Blame The Elites'. That is exactly what the Communists said. At least they murdered The Elites while y'all armchair political scientists jibber-jabber while the world burns.
  • 2 9
flag suspended-flesh (May 17, 2021 at 21:40) (Below Threshold)
 @badbadleroybrown: Jim Croce is dead.
  • 31 40
flag badbadleroybrown (May 17, 2021 at 21:44) (Below Threshold)
 @intensemack10: That was an innovative way to say you know f*ck all about government... newsflash champ, public school districts are a part of local government.

And California's GDP may be the fifth largest but that's not any indicator of the quality of state management... it's a biproduct of the enormous tech companies that were created here prior to current leadership, and which are now fleeing the state for more reasonably governed states. But good on you for repeating dumb shit you heard online and aren't smart enough get through to the facts.
  • 29 2
 @badbadleroybrown: California is not Marin. Just sayin’.
  • 22 28
flag badbadleroybrown (May 17, 2021 at 21:53) (Below Threshold)
 @mmarkey21: No, but the issues facing Marin aren't exclusive to Marin... they're just a symptom of the generally poor state of governance throughout the state.
  • 68 38
 @badbadleroybrown: hahaha what a sad angry little assclown of a man you are. I’m well aware of public school boards and how they function and what they are part of. But they still operate fairly independently, relatively speaking. So again, while school boards are a part of local government, the decision of one school board has almost nothing to do,with the larger gov structure of the state.

As far as the state economy, the money comes from the sources you noted, but without competent management that fosters education, growth and innovation, those sources wouldn’t matter. All the income from those various businesses would be squandered and CA wouldn’t have nearly the place it does.

As an example, the 10 poorest states in the country, NM, OK, AR, LA, MS, AL, TN, KY, WV and SC, pretty much all consistently conservative run states. Could it be they’re poor because of their history of slavery and after the civil war, all the slave state governments cared about was staying in power and not helping their state economies transitation their economies away from slavery economy? Or is it the consistently low investment in public education typical of conservative run states? Or the relatively high teenage pregnancy rate in conservative run states? But naaashhhhh, gotta be that liberal government in CA that’s ruining (checks notes) mountain biking?!

So yeah brah, keep spewing your idiotic angry BS. You’re probably a hoot at parties. If you ever get invited.
  • 29 42
flag badbadleroybrown (May 17, 2021 at 22:24) (Below Threshold)
 @intensemack10: it's funny that you call me angry while you're the one writing long winded posts of ignorance and insults, attacking states that have nothing to do with the terrible state of governance in California... California, despite the 5th largest GDP, is functionally bankrupt. Sorry the facts got you in the feels but that's not me being angry that's just California government f*cking things up... and California hasn't innovated anything in decades, they crush innovation now. I mean, unless you consider shitting in the streets innovative.

Not to worry lil buddy, you'll grow up and get a clue someday... that Cali public school indoctrination wears off eventually for most folks.
  • 44 52
flag chicane32 (May 17, 2021 at 22:27) (Below Threshold)
 @scottlink: Liberals have turned this place into a shit hole and it's getting worse by the day. I'm guessing my comment will reach the 100vvv vote mark by all you sheep/ snowflakes.
  • 4 2
 @badbadleroybrown: Is Modoc County poorly governed? Have you ever even been there?
  • 30 24
 @chicane32: 'LIBERALS' waaaa-waaaa. Show me where the Liberal touched you on this doll.....
  • 16 19
 @chicane32: You're a boomer from HB. Sorry the Orange Curtain fell and you dbags have to face reality. Go down to the pier and see what wealth inequality has produced.

I love my job.
  • 32 29
 @suspended-flesh: California has been under Democrat control for decades and the wealth inequality has only gotten worse, and is among the worst in the nation... f*ck, name on area run by democrats where the quality of life for the poor has improved under their control? From Flint to Chicago, LA to San Fran... they make shit worse everywhere they take over. Sad that you clowns aren't even smart enough to know you're being lied to and just sit back and ask for more instead of ever demanding better.
  • 20 13
 @badbadleroybrown: maybe you should move out of CA and join you’re brethren in alamaba and complain to your hearts content.
  • 54 49
 @badbadleroybrown: Pacific Northwest has great quality of life and is mostly run by Democrats.

Fact is that Southern states run by Republicans are the absolute worst states to live in and are stuck in permanent poverty, primarily because of Republican policies:

www.salon.com/2014/03/12/8_disturbing_trends_that_reveal_the_souths_battered_psyche_partner

4. South has lowest per capita spending sy state government.

Given these private-sector proclivities, one might expect state and local governments to pick up the slack. While that may be true for education spending compared to other issue areas, at least as measured by high school graduation rates, the states that spend the least for their residents are mostly red states in the South and mountain west.

According to the Kaiser Foundation, per capita expenditures by states in 2011 averaged $5,385. At the very bottom were Nevada ($3,150), Florida ($3,482), Missouri ($3,858,Texas ($3,796), Georgia ($4,176), Idaho ($4,212), Alabama ($4,398, Tennessee ($4,743), and South Carolina ($4,797). Three Deep South states—Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana—spend more than the national average, as did West Virginia.


5. Forget about decent preventative healthcare.

When it comes to helping low-income households get access to healthcare, almost all red states, including most of the Deep South, have refused to do this under Obamacare. The U.S. Supreme Court gave states the option to open enrollment into state-run Medicaid programs for the unisured. Red-state Republicans have declined, although federal funds pay for more than 90 percent of this, with the feds paying the entire bill for the first few years. The Urban Institutemapped counties with the most uninsured people locked out of Obamacare. The result looks like a tornado track that starts in Oklahoma and Texas and goes into Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina.

6. One result: people self-medicate in response.

Human nature is human nature, regardless of geography. People will find ways to cope with life’s challenges. But public health statistics show the personal response in the poorest states produces some bad results. The Deep South has the country’s highest obesity rates, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The region has the most cigarette smokers. It has the highest teen birth rates. Now, other areas of the country take the trophy for other vices. But according to Gallup, the pollsters, the states with the most unhappy people are in that Deep South-Midwest swath: Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.

7. Forget the lottery, just pray to Jesus.

Unlike Brandy Clarke’s new song, “Pray to Jesus, Play the Lotto,” Southerners do not spend the most on lottery tickets. Massachusetts takes that honor. But the South (and Utah) has the mostevangelical Christians. In Alabama, the third most Christian state (56 percent of residents) and the second most religious state, according to the Pew Research Center, Republicans recently proposed a state constitutional amendment to put the Ten Commandments in public buildings. Rep. DuWayne Bridges said school shootings and violent crime was “due to the Ten Commandments not being displayed.”"

I'm not gong to bother debating you because I know you are a completely delusional Nazi sympathizing Trump supporter who believes the election was rigged against Trump and Derrick Chauvin was completely innocent and Fox News BS blah blah blah. Just wanted to call out your utter political stupidity, and I may return with a battle rap to destroy you if necessary.
  • 7 23
flag badbadleroybrown (May 17, 2021 at 23:35) (Below Threshold)
 @bertimusmaximus: I would... but some of us have to stay and keep paying the taxes.
  • 13 24
flag badbadleroybrown (May 17, 2021 at 23:36) (Below Threshold)
 @DoubleCrownAddict: you never miss an opportunity to say something stupid do you, double clown? I don't know what's better, that you failed to make a point based in reality or that you actually linked as salon article like it was a meaningful source. lol
  • 24 4
 This series of comments shows what a sad state the USA is in now. @badbadleroybrown:
  • 20 11
 @badbadleroybrown: Typical reply from you: Insult and make bad humor in weak, desperate attempt to deflect from having your ignorance put on full display, but do nothing to counter my valid points.
  • 8 28
flag badbadleroybrown (May 17, 2021 at 23:48) (Below Threshold)
 @DoubleCrownAddict: nothing ignorant about my points... and nothing worth replying to in your points. If you had a functioning brain, you'd long ago have realized how stupid your shit is and not be reading things like Salon for comically naive confirmation bias. It's great that the group home got your meds stabilized and you get computer time again but you're still not worth any meaningful discussion.
  • 12 24
flag badbadleroybrown (May 17, 2021 at 23:49) (Below Threshold)
 @paulwatt: well, what do you expect... the democrats are back in power.
  • 29 1
 @badbadleroybrown: just a quick little correction here, California has had a Democratic governor for only the past decade (singluar) before that was Arnold who was a republican, and before him the party control was switched back and forth between the two quite often going back until 1934.
  • 26 22
 @badbadleroybrown: Your insults are weak and predictable, but here's
another legitimate source which completely destroys your phony narrative and exposes the complete failure of Republican governance:

www.google.com/amp/s/amp.usatoday.com/amp/1694273002

"What you see is exactly the reverse of our cultural mythology: Heading into midterms, Republicans are very much the party of the poor and Democrats are the party of the rich. This seemingly sounds nuts. It isn’t. Thirty-two states have Republican-controlled legislatures.


Eighteen of the 19 poorest states have legislatures where both chambers are Republican controlled. New Mexico (46th richest, fifth poorest) is Democratic. But there isn’t another blue or purple state until you get to purple Maine (31st richest, 20th poorest) with its “split” legislature of one party in each chamber. All the states in between (such as Tennessee and Florida) are Republican, both chambers. So is Michigan, where Republicans hold all high state offices (where Donald Trump won in 2016). Above New Mexico, you jump all the way to middle of the pack Vermont (27th richest, 24th poorest) to find a state with both legislative chambers held by Democrats.


But all five richest states have both legislative chambers controlled by Democrats – Maryland, New Jersey, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Overall, Democrats dominate the 20 richest states.

Conventional wisdom has long proclaimed Republicans the party of the rich and Democrats the party of the poor! Forty years ago that was largely true. The poor almost everywhere elected Democrats. That is how most media portray it now.

But media are almost solely big-city based, where the conventional wisdom remains true. Democrats are the party of the urban poor – from Boston to Los Angeles. But at the grassroots level, overall, it isn’t so. Republicans, overall, own America’s low-to-no income vote. Media simply don’t report what they don’t live in and see."
  • 6 1
 One, two, three, forth i smell a civil war…number two is coming for you guys.
  • 10 17
flag badbadleroybrown (May 18, 2021 at 0:22) (Below Threshold)
 @Bobtheguy: Arnold ran as a republican only to get on the ticket... you have to get back to the 90's to get a legitimate republican and then back to Reagan to get a true republican.
  • 6 21
flag badbadleroybrown (May 18, 2021 at 0:23) (Below Threshold)
 @Almostredbike: one can only hope...
  • 13 16
 @DoubleCrownAddict: not sure how you still struggle to comprehend that state rankings on GDP have nothing to do with the well being of the state or even the fiscal stability of a state. California has a massive GDP and yet the state is effectively bankrupt thanks to Democratic incompetence.

Hey, how's your big Shimano lawsuit going? Did they pay you millions to settle yet or are you still living in your moms basement ranting about YT?
  • 32 0
 Does anyone remember when the internet was fun? I remember in 1998 downloading some stuff which I shouldn’t have and thinking ‘this net thing is pretty cool’.

Now…hatred and advertising…and porn.

I’m off to play with my new Fox 40 (which google said i needed)
  • 5 4
 @intensemack10: it could be 4th or 3rd, if government would stop stepping on everyone's dick.
  • 16 21
flag chicane32 (May 18, 2021 at 2:27) (Below Threshold)
 @suspended-flesh: This coming from someone who now lives in a human shit and piss infested city that can be smelt for miles. You want to see wealth, try going south one beach to Newport, where I work and you will see real wealth(you know from people who got off their ass and made something of themselves) and these people come in all shapes, sizes and races. Why is SF such a dump today, because it's run by DEMORATS and one of the most corrupt of all, Pelosi.

I love my job, too. It easily affords 8k bicycles!
  • 12 6
 @DoubleCrownAddict: You forgot Orange Man Bad.
  • 14 19
flag chicane32 (May 18, 2021 at 2:45) (Below Threshold)
 @thustlewhumber: Oh, Yes, Orange man bad, he send mean tweet. We elect an old elderly senile puppet, so Barrack can begin his 3rd term moving the strings.
  • 3 9
flag tylerd99 (May 18, 2021 at 5:59) (Below Threshold)
  • 5 10
flag tylerd99 (May 18, 2021 at 6:03) (Below Threshold)
 @badbadleroybrown: haha well said, so true I live in canadas California “Ontario” it’s almost as bad
  • 8 12
flag schofell84 (May 18, 2021 at 6:29) (Below Threshold)
 @badbadleroybrown: TLDR conservative nonsense:

I'm too lazy to look into actual nuance so I write off everything as "big gubmints" fault.
  • 17 3
 @paulwatt: God yes. An article about children riding bikes ends up with people baying for civil war like it's some casual sporting rivalry, not unfathomable death and destruction.

Really hope PB mods get busy with bans, idgaf what "team" they purport to follow, let's get some civility back in the comments and keep it focused on cycling please.
  • 5 2
 @caltife:
It looks like a session
  • 7 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: They want you to pick teams, if left or right was irrelevant and voting for competent people was top priority, things would get better. Instead, they get you all riled up with what the other side is screwing up.
  • 8 2
 @Whitewater49: I agree with you... It's why I left Cali 10 years ago... The same is slowly happening here in Colo-rad-bro...
  • 8 1
 @badbadleroybrown: It doesn't appear to be about politics at all but rather insurance company policies and fear of litigation. However, if you prefer to blame government for the abuses of for profit businesses it won't be the first time.
  • 10 14
flag Bushmaster123 (May 18, 2021 at 7:55) (Below Threshold)
 @suspended-flesh: Meanwhile how many murders were in SF this past weekend?
How many Asians were beat up, robbed, and raped?

#San Franshithole
  • 4 1
 @scottlink: unless your well off and can remain in a coastal or mountainous bubble. But, ya sad to see what's happened to California.
  • 4 0
 @Almostredbike: "Fox 40" would be a great porn video title. Big Grin
  • 3 0
 @shepridesbikes: that article was hilarious lmao, that woman sounds like a nutjob
  • 2 0
 @badbadleroybrown: It sounds like a liability problem with an insurance company? That’s just $, not necessarily politics IMO.

The politics do suck here though...
  • 3 0
 @Badler: They had insurance apart from the school so I think that was a poor attempt at inventing some BS line to cover their asses after it blew up on them. Regardless, it's not hard to find new insurance coverage if that were the problem and the school board preferred to just blow things up.
  • 1 0
 @badbadleroybrown: 10-4. Seems like a lot of details were left out of the article.

My buddy helps out the local HS teams down here in SoCal. Wonder if it will trickle down?
  • 5 1
 @badbadleroybrown: Wow the Dem's V's GOP furore even pollutes Pinkbike. Now as a Brit we've got enough problems in our own political system so I'm not going to get into the intricacies of American politics.

The article is regarding recent developments in kids mtb'ing in Cali and the larger more historical anti-mtb sentiment in Cali. I don't know enough about California state politics to have a debate about whether mtb'ing would be better served by a red or blue Governor but by all accounts both the Democrats and the Republicans have let bikers down. Obviously the current Democrats don't seem to be pro-bike but the speeding fines, singletrack bans and trail network demolishing was introduced in the 90's under the watchful eye of Pete Wilson, a Republican Governor.
  • 10 3
 @jim-the-saint: state level governance has very little to do with the local issues in this article aside from the massive restrictions on public land use from from democratic governors... the local government in question, and most of those in restrictive areas throughout Northern Cali, are overwhelmingly blue and overwhelmingly against mountain bikers. Things tend to be better in red areas of the state...

Ultimately, I really don't give a shit what party it is that unf*cks the situation but it's unquestionably been handily f*cked up by the democrats at this point.
  • 2 12
flag abzillah (May 18, 2021 at 17:10) (Below Threshold)
 @badbadleroybrown:
All the areas and residents of those areas that don't want mountain biking are horse riding country and republican.
  • 8 0
 @abzillah: lol Marin county is well over 80% Democrat... try again.
  • 6 1
 @abzillah: Marin republican? Hahaha. You've never been to California, amiright?
  • 3 2
 @Bushmaster123:

Keeps things interesting. I use the Citizen app to follow the mayhem. Defund the Police!

I'm off to a sideshow now...
  • 3 2
 @jim-the-saint: Well played! Pete sucked bad. We're a bit bored over here, as you can tell. We are, however, busy inventing the latest cutting edge cult-of-personality populism that the rest of the world will soon adopt. For that, I am truly sorry, old chap.

I wish I could just relax and #PICKFORBRITAIN for a few weeks and I don't mean that in a disparaging way.
  • 1 2
 @Bushmaster123:

LOL - I know who you are. I'll meet you at Buck's for breakfast and we'll hit Skeggs. Bring one of your 'guns' "Bushmaster" HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 @paulwatt: You’re right, don't come.
  • 10 5
 @badbadleroybrown: You come across as having the intellect of Donald Trump, the ethics of Matt Gaetz and the vagina of Marjorie Taylor Greene.
  • 4 2
 @intensemack10: I’d say the economic engine in CA is in spite of continued state mismanagement. As a resident of a neighboring state, I hear it from business owners on the daily and are fed up with it and are moving their companies out of state. It is declining to the tune of 1M residents per year, mostly high earning and well educated workers.
  • 3 2
 @Reno233: Worry about your own state - we'll be just fine.
  • 5 6
 @Reno233: Businesses are fleeing CA by the day and California is functionally bankrupt. They're ranked 40th in overall economic outlook, and 48th in economic policy... Therein lies the true tragedy of the liberal mismanagement of this state; despite an enormous economic engine they're a complete failure but they've successfully indoctrinated enough mindless puppets like lil mr fleshlight that they still win the vote. Texas has the best economic outlook thanks to Greg Abbott and 21 of the top 25 states in economic outlook, every one of which has a lower GDP and per capita GDP than California, are led by Republicans... while eight of the worst ten are led by Democrats. But the puppets just can't break through the indoctrination and keep on chanting "we'll be just fine" while the state circles the drain.

https://www.alec.org/app/uploads/2020/10/2020-Governor-Report_Final_R2_WEB.pdf
  • 5 4
 @badbadleroybrown:

Win an election. Stop acting like a victim. Or move on to a place that makes you happy. Stewing in your victimhood doesn't help you or the state you happen to live in become strong and fulfilled.
  • 5 4
 @suspended-flesh: lmfao... find one statement I made that had anything to do with being a victim.

I just pointed out the reality of the massive failure that is the liberal governance of this state, while you threw a tantrum because facts upset you. Take a seat buddy, come back and try again when you have an original thought.
  • 2 3
 @badbadleroybrown: LOL, show me one tantrum. I don't really care about politics other than siding with anything that helps disrupt this false 2-party system, which is really just 2 cheeks of the same ass. Facts.

f*ck the Liberals and their victims. Now put the phone on the nightstand and try to get some sleep.
  • 2 5
 @suspended-flesh: literally everything you've posted has just been mindless, ignorant tantrums... like your current sookery about the "false two party system." Grow up and come back when you're ready to deal with reality based on the facts instead of some stupid shit you read online.
  • 2 3
 @badbadleroybrown:

You can't win. Go to sleep.
  • 3 4
 @suspended-flesh: bitch please, I already won... you're just not smart enough to know it.
  • 2 3
 @badbadleroybrown:

That's what you came up with at 2:30 AM? LOL The only thing you might win is a stuffy from the arcade at Mulligan Fun Center during a trip in from Hemet.

PB isn't cool with name-calling, BTW.
  • 2 4
 @suspended-flesh: Not sure what's more amusing, that you think that was a winning comeback or that you're as bad at telling time as you are at life in general. Good shit on both fronts though.

Go back to the bridge you crawled out from and wait for your next tax payer funded handout, cupcake.
  • 2 1
 @intensemack10: West Virginia : never once a slave state, not consistently run by conservatives, and we have a wonderful mountain biking community with some of the best trails and riders in the country. Do you research, and don't demean an entire group of people just to defend your opinion.
  • 2 1
 @RossDiesel:
Says the guy who just demeaned all conservatives.
  • 5 4
 @fruitsd79: yup, as I said... Democrats ruining everything they touch, Snyder never should've made appointments across the isle trying to be bipartisan. And that's all before we even talk about the millions in federal and state taxes that were earmarked for fixing the issue that lined the pockets of Flint democrats instead.


From your link...
"Flint Mayor Dayne Walling declared to MLive.com that ‘it’s a quality, safe product. … I think people are wasting their precious money buying bottled water.’ "

..."Walling was a Democrat. So too was Andy Dillon, the state treasurer who signed off on the water changes"
  • 147 0
 Incredible to see our local story hit the pages of Pinkbike. The board's gross decision and poor attempt at a coverup has drawn incredible attention to the issue, and we're (parents, riders) thankful to see all the support. For long-term viability, it does seem best if we can get xc mountain biking into the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). We'll keep fighting.
  • 76 1
 One of the most shameful parts of the 'third party risk management's report' was the recommendation to cancel MTB, sailing and a few other sports...but ZERO mention of HS football - one of the MOST injury prone sports.

Smells like some anti-MTB $$ was involved with this. We're fighting back. HARD.
  • 21 3
 School Boards are generally made up of opportunistic proto-political scum using that first elected position to move up to Supervisor, House of Reps, and Senate. Most don't give a @!#$ about the kids. They can't win in the longterm - keep fighting.
  • 6 0
 @jobytapia: I played football for 13 years, and love the sport:

You are 110% correct.

Absolute nonsense.
  • 2 0
 Actually, we're in spitting distance of getting NICA recognized as our governing org, no CIF. Far better.
  • 99 0
 Concussion on a football field: cool!

Concussion on a bike ride: OMG CANCEL IT
  • 91 1
 Who else but Marin.
  • 28 1
 Marin is loaded with money. The locals probably see out-of-town mountain bikers as rift-rafts and trying to keep us out of their community.
  • 14 5
 Meanwhile the MTB hall of fame was bought from Colorado, and moved to Marin, so they can call it the "birthplace of mounting biking" #fakenews

Fun fact: Myles Rockwell had "MOB" on his helmets, it stood for Marin Outlawed Bikers, this is nothing new for the county. Stop trying to teach pigs to sing, it annoys the pig, and waste your time.
  • 8 26
flag scottlink (May 17, 2021 at 20:14) (Below Threshold)
 @racecase: mountain biking started in Colorado, Fisher and the kooks saw what they were doing around crested Butte and decided to make it commercial... And now this....
  • 23 0
 @femto505: There aren't many out of town MTBers in Marin. No on travels there to ride because everything is illegal. The secret is, it's some of the gnarliest, most european style tracks around. Which is why it pours out talent in Enduro by the droves. Illegally cultivated talent.
  • 3 0
 @normar: they have a skills park probably the best public ones in the Bay Area. But like every thing fun in California, the fun stuff is hidden around Marin.
  • 8 0
 @normar: Santa Cruz would like a moment to discuss this with you....
  • 71 1
 Good lord, let the kids ride! If I'd known in high school that bicycling in the woods was a sport, I probably would have chosen that over competitive underage drinking...
  • 2 0
 ^ This
  • 67 1
 NICA is the best thing happening to mountain biking in the US right now, and more importantly, cycling on and off road is one of the best things happening for young people in the US right now. As mountain bikers who have already "seen the light", we have a duty to help our young people, especially those who's parents don't ride, figure out how great this amazing sport is. Support Marin County high school mountain biking!
  • 122 0
 As a high-school and collegiate athlete, I have seen so many team mates and friends suffer depression and general loss of direction post competition and training once graduated. Nearly every traditional sport ceases meaning after scholastic competition unless you are the top 0.01%. Cycling and running are the only two sports that I see with a regular social and competitive following as a 30+ adult. You can move to almost any town and find a run or cycling group with a large social following that meets regularly for health and social benefits. There is no drastic end, only new friends and new challenges to be had.
  • 15 0
 @AccidentalDishing: Here here! I don't know what I'd do without Mountain Biking in my life. Such an amazing and healthy way to connect with like minded folks.
  • 24 0
 @AccidentalDishing: Exactly, im still in high school but mountain biking and NICA saved my life. I don't know if I would be alive without it. It needs to get to more kids and certainly not taken away from some.
  • 22 0
 @jaytdubs: it’s the worst.

I foolishly tried to go for a serious ride Sunday afternoon. Ran into so many damned nice people on the trail I spent like half my ride having delightful conversations with former-strangers.

Someone needs to do something about it.
  • 3 0
 @AccidentalDishing: Golf has to be easier to do than running and probably as easy as cycling for the majority of people. Golf and mtb also benefit each other surprisingly well. Both are also beloved by dentists.
  • 15 0
 @CuyunaHTmn: Golf seems to be an excuse for unhappy dads to drink.

Fight me about it.
  • 2 0
 @schofell84: yeah for most people this is true. It’s easy to participate in and hard not to suck at it, so most people look at it as a 4 hour window to crush beers. It kind of pisses me off but oh well, so long as they keep up with “pace of play”. Once you get good it’s a magical experience. It’s like learning to wheelie or bunny hop, some can’t grasp it, most need many solid hours of practice, and some were born for it. Most public courses will let you chip and putt for free if you ask nicely for those interested. But yes, you’ve identified possibly the biggest demographic of casual golfers and it’s a group I would be really happy to not see, but the course can always use their money.
  • 52 1
 Wow, sounds like the school board members are the same cranky elitist hikers/ town council that dominate the local politics. They decide what will and will not be "tolerated" in Marin. F that place..
  • 5 0
 @Bushmaster123 Sounds like typical bureaucrats, bean counters and lawyers at work.
Sucking the very life and fun out of everything they set their sights upon.
  • 16 1
 @Augustus-G: True! but it's also the status quo in Marin that see young mtbers as a threat to "their" precious trails, that somehow belong to only themselves. The same hypocrites preach inclusion and post BLM signs ( even though they have never given a black person the time of day...) in their yards. I run into the same type of fauxgressive virtue signaling jagbags where I live on the peninsula.
  • 6 0
 @Bushmaster123: for being such a beautiful place with so much potential it really sucks
  • 6 1
 as soon as old rich people are in charge or the majority of voters, such things will happen. Here in Germany the majority of voters is 50-70 years old and politics caters to them: Safety first, close all schools, no sports and while we are at it ban bikes from trails sub 2 meters. Boomers sh*ting on future generations to protect their comfort.
  • 2 4
 @optimumnotmaximum: Exactly! Boomers are incredibly selfish.
  • 1 0
 @optimumnotmaximum: are we talking about Covid
  • 36 5
 Despite my passionate distaste for NICA (as a former NorCal league racer) for their awful rules, boring and non-challenging racing (basically a road race on a flat dirt path), complete lack of any of the fun features of mountain biking (no jumps, no rock gardens, no roots, nothing harder than a green trail), and the fact that they once sent a race THE WRONG WAY UP A JUMP TRAIL; This sort of action by the school districts is unacceptable! Even though I think NICA is one of the worst ways to get into the sport, I can't deny that they keep and draw in thousands of kids into a productive and positive activity and for the school boards to attempt to ruin it for them for seemingly no reason whatsoever is despicable. Keep the kids on bikes!

As a little message for NICA itself, please I beg you, make the courses fun! If I wanted to do a road race I would have entered a damn road race. Take us the correct way down a jump trail or throw a couple rock gardens in there, world cup XC courses are super gnarly nowadays I don't see any reason why a NICA XC race can't be even 1/10th of that. Maybe even branch out into different disciplines like Enduro that are more fun and more challenging for more advanced riders or even beginner riders. Give the kids an example of your average MTB trail to ride rather than a glorified dirt walking path. Finally, relax a little on the rules would you? Why the hell does there need to be a clause that doesn't allow the team to enter any other type of racing under the same team name? I've never been to any other race where the rules were more than: 1. Don't cheat. 2. Show up on time. 3. Use your timing device in this specific way. 4. Have fun. That's it! You don't need a Bible sized rule book that details in ultra-lawyer speak how to wear a jersey...

Thanks for coming to my Ted-Talk lol
  • 17 0
 After just finishing the most recent Norcal NICA race I cannot agree more with wanting even slightly harder courses.
  • 16 0
 Dude I just stopped racing in NICA out here in North Carolina because of the stupid amount of rules and lack of technical trails we raced on. Its like all the old people in the mountain bike world came together and said the kids can't do anything we can't do either. that means going down a slightly steep hill, or even look at a jump.
  • 7 0
 Exactly bro. Too many rules, no jumping being the worst. I thought the point was to have fun, you cant really do much of that on these flat ass 2 mile long courses
  • 8 0
 @chriscrisp: At least Six Sigma wasn't *too* flat.
  • 20 0
 You’re right on the fact that NICA courses tend toward boring and the rules are restrictive for many riders. I’m a coach and parent of a student athlete, and I feel your pain (we race enduro for our main discipline but do NICA more as a service and social activity to get more kids on bikes).

That being said: it’s intentional and helps to carry out their core values. It makes the sport accessible to anyone and keeps it from having an intimidating atmosphere. Contrast that with enduro which tends toward “bro” culture and has a pretty high threshold for entry.

I do think that NICA has responded to some of the complaints with a slight relaxing of the rules, but I also think they’re going to need to create an advanced league or another format if they truly want to cultivate and develop talent. If they just want to be a gateway to the sport, then they’re doing a great job. Maybe they’re just wanting to be an entry point to get “more kids on bikes.” If they want to actually support and develop competitive racers though, they’re going to need to expand their offerings eventually. XCO courses are no joke, and we have already done our youth devo programs a disservice by having very few courses in the States that compare to what they’re going to race abroad (don’t get me started on DH which has the same problem tenfold).
  • 16 0
 The courses are easy because they need to be mostly rideable by 11-year-olds on beater bikes. If you want a pipeline of new people into the sport, you need to make allowances for the beginners. My kids are on two teams, a NICA team and a local road/CX team. Both claim to have the same philosophy - give kids a love of cycling and make sure they have fun, to grow the sport.

Road/CX team's first announced practice for 8-12 years olds was 22 miles. Guess how many beginners showed up.
NICA first practice for 6th-12th grades was bike assessment and riding on a grassy field. A lot of beginners showed up, include a lot whose parents did not ride.

I don't know about the other rules. My local NICA teams go to non-NICA races under their team names. They just make clear that NICA's insurance doesn't cover it.
  • 9 0
 Yes, as a coach for a NICA program, I agree. I've lost good riders because the courses are "boring." My team hails from an area where we have very technical trails, and then we go race the flat-landers and my kids, who have far better technical skills, get roasted by kids who do most of their training on road bikes. Faster lines that require a little bunny-hop are taped off, as are itty-bitty *table topped* jumps. My kids hit black jump lines!

So NICA, if you're reading, thanks for all the hard work of organizing a league and bringing so many youths into the sport, but PLEASE: let mountain biking be hard!
  • 3 1
 @Lokirides: for reaaaaaall, i just feel like all of my hard work is going to waste when I'm getting passed by all of these kids that obsess over watts and train on road bikes every day when I am actually putting in a ton of work to actually improve my technical skills and become a better rider. oh well but I guess we cant expect them to change the courses just for the few of us that feel that way because at least where I am from the XC kids are the majority of the racers
  • 3 1
 @SJP: ,@Hogfly: I get what you mean by it needing to be beginner friendly, but that's my point... It's in a way TOO beginner friendly. If all these kids are introduced to mtb through NICA and NICA alone and that's the only thing they do, what is going to happen when they go for a ride on a real trail? These kids will go out to a real trail thinking they've got loads of experience and immediately hurt themselves because the courses they raced are so dumbed down. I've already seen something similar in my time racing. Some of these kids lack the most basic bike handling skills because they were never introduced to it on NICA courses. If they made the courses harder for everyone, not only would it teach the beginners the skills they need for real trails, it would also allow the advanced riders to have more fun!
  • 9 0
 @Bobtheguy: I don't know what your situation is like, but we tend to ride in different groups at our practices. An A group will do a longer ride on more advanced trails. B group will do a shorter ride on easier trails. C group may just stay in parking lot or skills park and work on skill development. You definitely need to set it up so that people can progress. But you're right that, at the end of the day, the race courses aren't really very challenging and some of the rules will turn off advanced riders (I would also argue that some of the advanced riders would be turning off "new" riders if those rules weren't in place by engaging in riding behaviors that might appear intimidating for a newbie. Not everyone sees someone jumping, manualing, doing wheelies and thinks, "That's awesome!" some people think "I'll never be able to do that, I don't belong here").

NICA's mission, though, is to "get more kids on bikes." It's not to "develop world-class cyclists" or even "to improve athlete's bike skills." It's only to "get more kids on bikes." And they're doing that mission.

Really, this is a great opportunity for a different organization who does have a mission like the above to come alongside NICA and capitalize on all these new riders who are looking for more challenging courses and more rigorous skill development.... but we can't really expect NICA to do it, when it's not their mission.
  • 1 0
 @Bobtheguy:
Our team practices on all kinds of trails. The advanced riders practice on advanced trails, and on race day they don't see much bike-handling challenge. The beginner riders are still learning how to shift and brake, and on race day they have lots of bike-handling challenges.
  • 1 0
 @Hogfly: Our local NICA (of which our family is involved) works the same way. We have different groups of different abilities and people progress. An experienced coach/rider can get complacent and think "that's easy" and shouldn't be a problem. Real life experience with kids of various abilities has shown kids will fall and kids will get hurt, even on stuff that is pretty easy.

The race course for our NICA aren't hard from the technical sense. But it is what it is, and the goal is to get "more kids on bikes" and like everything else in life, people will go on to have different skill levels and interests in mountain biking.

I think what everyone in the comments is overlooking is INSURANCE and RISK. I suspect the CA schools of concern have been advised that the legal risk from injuries/lawsuits in the sport are driving high schools to remove any association/endorsement from the school district itself. Our NICA teams are only Club Sports. We are required to follow NICA's rules for legal and insurance reasons. I think the problem lies that if our team were an official school sport, if a bad injury occurred, the lawsuits could be huge with lawyers going after the "deep pockets" of the school district and local taxpayers footing the bill.

Blame needs to go towards both the personal injury lawyers AND from the participants themselves who's parents would likely the 1st to file a lawsuit if their kid got injured. Despite any waivers and understanding that the sport has inherent risks.
  • 2 0
 @Lokirides: Same here. My 9yr old son hits jump lines bigger than most people are comfortable with and rides DH nearly as fast as my crew of buddies. I want him to learn to be a decent climber but he would be bored stiff at a flat XC course and I have zero interest in getting him into NCIA under the current format.
  • 2 0
 @kwcpinkbike: Sports can be risky. Schools have football, lacrosse, soccer, all of which have frequent concussions and broken bones. And I think courses being a bit more challenging (or at least not taping off any obstacle whatsoever) would actually support NICA's goal of getting more kids on bikes. Progression is addictive, and if the only way to improve is with fitness, and not skill, NICA is cutting off a very rewarding part of riding.
  • 2 0
 @Reno233: Speaking as a coach that has been in Northern Nevada NICA since its first year it is a bummer that you have that opinion about not getting him involved in NICA. There is a lot more to it than just the "flat XC trails". The community for these kids is amazing. Sat and watched a group of 20-25 kids from other teams go out to the course to cheer on an obviously new rider struggling to finish the last lap. Being able to watch kids from competing schools make friends through NICA and still be in touch many yeas later. Seeing the stud HS Senior give tips and encourage the 7th grader. We have a several kids on our team that focus on enduro but still ride NICA for the friends, the team environment and some training.
  • 26 0
 This is a darn shame. I feel like part of the reason Europe kicks our ass at the world cup level is because they have such good youth development. I hope we can keep this high school league thing going and compete at a world level in the years to come.
  • 19 2
 Genuine question: why is it so possible for European hikers and bikers to share trails, but Americans struggle so much?
Ref: “Bellingham hiker stabs biker over right-of-way dispute”
  • 3 0
 @erikkellison: Euclidean zoning maybe? Just doing some googling.
  • 16 0
 @erikkellison: I think it's a general collapse of social collectivism and moral/cultural values here....America likes to lead the way at everything...just now that includes more negative things than positive....
  • 7 0
 @erikkellison: Kinda crazy to think Jello wrote Peeling Back the Foreskin of Liberty nearly 25 years ago, pretty applicable to present day youtu.be/wQLIJtpCmKM
  • 1 5
flag trollhunter (May 17, 2021 at 20:03) (Below Threshold)
 @erikkellison: duh Europe doesn’t have hikers. They all ride bikes. Hikers need take hiked to pub and quit whining - F em.
  • 2 0
 @zanda23 If I could figure out how to give you 50 thumbs up you'd have them.
NICA is just now starting to bear fruit and it would be a damn shame if it died.
Kids that aren't into the usual Letter Sports really need club sports like this.
BTW, I hope this stays localized and doesn't spread to other communities.
  • 3 0
 @erikkellison: I think it's entitlement and closed mindedness that is a strong factor. People need to chill and not go 10 shades of aggro when put in a situation where they might have to interact with others doing stuff out of their realm of what is ok. Also I find a lot of people just lack common courtesy and respect for others in addition to being clueless on what trail etiquette is.
  • 8 6
 @erikkellison: there a some idiotic anti mtb people as well in Europe (and more and more idiotic mtbikers and e mtbikers) that can't share trails but yeah it seems generally better over here.

I guess when a country is built on constant violence and hate of difference, it ends up having long term social consequences
  • 1 0
 @zede: Funny, isn't Austria one of the most restrictive countries in terms of Mtb trail access?
I think it boils down to the elitism and money. MTB can really be a source of money, but there are communities too rich to care. At some level rich people simply want to separate from others and a hord of young people on bikes are simply not welcome. This is what happened to Marin. Austria is a bit similar, they make money on skiing and German hikers with kids.
  • 10 1
 @zede: genuine question, is the second part of your comment just what the press wants us to believe over here in Europe?

I know many Americans who live in peace and harmony regardless of their political standing.
  • 2 0
 @erikkellison: Here in Spain mountain biking on singletracks is actually illegal unless it's officially designated (usually done by rural local governments to attract visitors). The thing here in Spain is that the rules are not enforced.
  • 2 3
 @lkubica:
It's not so great here but it still is really fine, there are only few hunters and old grumpy people complaining, most of hikers are friendly. It's better in France and in Italy but it's also very different people on the trails in each countries.

@danielstutt: so the press would be manipulating for which reason? I have been in US and it was "weird" to say it nicely.
All the europeans people I know who were in US either stayed their for their career, or went back in EU after some years because career and $$$ werent worth the trade off. This all must be because of the EU press
  • 4 1
 @zede:
The sheer irony of anyone from a European country ragging on any other country about being founded on "constant violence and hate of difference" is hilarious. Pick up a history book some time.

Happily, your fellow countrymen in the US don't share your snotty, bigoted, hateful, ignorant attiitude and are generally pretty chill. Turn off the TV and try to be like them.
  • 2 1
 @zede: You got some good backfire effect out of a few people. Its unfortunate that those people dont realize they embody the mindset we both described.
  • 2 0
 @zede: Lol. Well, you guess poorly.

Before 1945, Europe was pretty much at constant warfare and most countries were founded to provide the greatest possible amount of power to the military leader who was the ruler. While it still involved conflict, the American revolution was one of the least violent in terms of death for centuries.

And hate of difference, ya that was/is kind of the whole world worked--especially back in those days. Not an unique phenomenon to America, and, in fact, the American constitution has several protections against legal and government intolerance.
  • 2 2
 @tsheep: cute attempt to teach history. Remind me where In EU happened the 600years long genocide of a native population over an entire continent ?

Yeah I will turn off the TV I don't have, and I will stop hating something/someone (not sure what your are talking about) I don't hate. I guess I have to open the Bible as well so that I stop being ignorant ? I suppose I also have to arm myself with as many guns possible because I'm free and not violent right? I will also pay attention to all these explosive trees I heard we have

Thanks a lot kind sir for all these good advices.
  • 2 0
 @zede: because believe it or not the majority of the worlds media is anti USA for one reason or another. Maybe not in Austria but a most press here in the UK is never too complimentary of the US and they pick on the negatives because thats what gets readers.

But no not all because of the press, people move back maybe because of cultural differences? I know several people who have moved to the USA from Europe and other continents and got on just fine and are living there after several years still.

I too have been to the US, i did not find it "weird". It is "different" but so was Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Australia, Argentina, UAE, Switzerland, Denmark and Canada.

I do agree that America seems more divided than I can remember in my lifetime but I still dont think its as bad as we are lead to believe it is. Muricans, tell me otherwise.
  • 2 0
 @zede: oh and, the 600 year genocide of native population over an entire continent. Just because it wasnt "in Europe" means it wasnt done by "Europeans"? Who went to the continent and did these things? Yep. Europeans.

Applying that mindset to a new world continent is daft. We are all from the same thing. Yep. i was born in Africa. But my descendants? European.
  • 2 0
 @danielstutt: It's always been divided, just way more widespread. Where you used to have people that didn't agree, but they didn't realize they didn't agree, so they got on just fine, now those people know they don't agree so they denigrate each other rather than try to find common ground. I read this interesting article on a recent scientific report about parasites in ant colonies, it's fascinating and I think there's some real metaphors in the findings for us humans. www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/05/ant-tapeworm/618919 (we're the ants)
...
"Only when the researchers took a closer look did that tapestry begin to unravel. The uninfected workers in parasitized colonies, they realized, were laboring harder. Strained by the additional burden of their wormed-up nestmates, they seemed to be shunting care away from their queen. They were dying sooner than they might have if the colonies had remained parasite-free. At the community level, the ants were exhibiting signs of stress, and the parasite’s true tax was, at last, starting to show. “The cost is in the division of labor,” Das said. The worms were tapping into not just “individual [ant] physiology, but also social interactions,” Farrah Bashey-Visser, a parasitologist at Indiana University who wasn’t involved in the study, told me."
  • 1 0
 @chacou: yeh that does figure. Is it as bad as it seems though?
  • 1 0
 @danielstutt: If you're looking for a binary response, I can't really say.
  • 31 3
 What is it about California that they invent and innovate the coolest shit out there and then proceed to f*ck it up 15-20 years later?
  • 19 60
flag badbadleroybrown (May 17, 2021 at 20:12) (Below Threshold)
 It's the liberals... they took over the state and proceeded to work hard at killing everything good about it.
  • 47 5
 @badbadleroybrown: Gary Fisher was a hippie who hung out with the Grateful Dead as a teen. Who do you think the early MTB crowd in California was, the Stanford Young Republicans Outing Club?
  • 10 35
flag badbadleroybrown (May 17, 2021 at 20:49) (Below Threshold)
 @sfarnum: what exactly does that have to do with the factual reality of the damage done to this state in recent years or the factual reality that overwhelmingly liberal leadership has consistently lead to restrictions on land access to mountain bikers throughout this state?

I spent two summers following the Dead around the country partying with hippies too... then I grew up. As John Adams said, "A boy of 15 who is not a democrat is good for nothing, and he is no better who is a democrat at 20." California needs to grow up.
  • 13 25
flag Axxe (May 17, 2021 at 21:25) (Below Threshold)
 @sfarnum: You confuse libertarians with modern day liberals - who have more in common with Stalinist goons and Chinese commies than with the Summer of Love.
  • 19 3
 @badbadleroybrown: okey buddy, we heard you the first time. Now go toot your horn over at Fox News
  • 6 1
 I mean, Oregon, Washington state, Colorado, Vermont etc are not exactly libertarian hot spots, but they manage. It seems that California is unique in its ability to come up with super cool shit and then proceed to ruin it right as people get on board.
  • 9 3
 @sfarnum: In California and the US, political spectrum has shifted so far left that moderate Democrat views are now considered Republican and conservative views. Just look at what Democrat policies were and what they were saying in past few decades.
  • 11 7
 @tacklingdummy: Exactly. Liberal/Libertarians are considered "far right" by the Progressives. Hell anything to the right of Stalin is far right to these Marxist A-holes.
  • 10 3
 @carters75 @tacklingdummy

Exactly! By traditional standards, I'm a classical liberal... by current democrat standards, I'm far right.
  • 28 0
 Can the select few commenters who insist on bringing politics into every article please take that Facebook or something?
  • 19 0
 Crazy. Seems to me that insurance is a BS excuse, especially when sports like football are no issue. NICA is really blowing up all around me here in Arkansas. These kids are absolutely crushing it and the parents and schools are supporting them 100% so far. Sad to hear of this, but for some reason it doesn't surprise me that it's happening in California.
  • 14 0
 Teacher here. Starting a club on campus is harder than you might think. Things like this happen all the time, usually much earlier in the process. If it's not a traditional sport or traditional extra-curricular, you're usually spending hours, days, months, trying to convince one person at a time to support it. Fingers crossed for these clubs.
  • 6 1
 "usually much sooner in the process"

Nailed it. The real issue is that mountain biking wasn't recognized by the CIF, and that the school district technically shouldn't have MTB teams to begin with, and this should have caught way earlier. The district is just catching up with how it should have been. Yes, the announcement and the subsequent rebuttals are messy and were arguably handled poorly, but the bottom line is that a step was skipped in not getting MTB into CIF, and the school district is really just applying to MTB the same standards as all the other approved clubs\sports.

This will piss some people off, but I honestly put some blame on NICA for this being so messy. Why did they not know that they needed CIF approval?
  • 2 0
 @justinfoil: I agree, some of the blame should be on NICA. Considering the absolutely mountainous rulebook filled to the brim with complexly worded rules and regulations covering every single minute detail of absolutely anything to ever concern or include NICA, one would think they would have gone through the CIF for this right?
  • 18 1
 The comments in this reveal how effective the divide-and-conquer strategy has been.
  • 13 0
 As a career public servant there is no administrative problem that can't be fixed by people who truly want the problem fixed. Put the children first, not the Kens, Karens, naysayers, and bureaucrats. I had the pleasure to ride with NICA groups a few times and they were stoked on racing.
  • 10 41
flag badbadleroybrown (May 17, 2021 at 20:10) (Below Threshold)
 The "public servants" are the problem... they're far left democrats that ruin everything they touch, way too much freedom and not enough taxation in mountain biking for them to support it.
  • 7 0
 @badbadleroybrown: Political leanings aside, I have no doubt that this is another time when your country's mantra of 'for the people' has inserted 'some of' between words one and three.
  • 3 4
 @iamamodel: that's basically the slogan for land access in California... "for some of the people" and mostly just the ones with the biggest checkbook to pay the "public servants"
  • 3 0
 Please, as a career public servant you recognise the separation of powers is dead, and Agency with a mandate for independence on behalf of the people has become party political, controlled by the interest groups and minorities with the biggest voice, with politicians scared of the 24 left leaning news cycle. Its broken mate, you just too used to the teat.
  • 2 0
 @FoesKnows: And that's why I made specific qualifications in my comment. I understand what you say, but I'm not giving up. I'm not banging on the door yelling to be let in - I'm in the room trying to make a difference. There's many of us.
  • 11 0
 So the district sent a "Dear John" letter breaking up with the bikers and claim they are taking it wrong...???

...we still like you (and want the federal and local tax dollars and usually a portion of the state funds allocated for each child), but we just don't love you anymore...it's not you, its us.
  • 10 0
 High School MTB is exploding, I've been in and out of my local league since its inception and it's miraculous how big it really is and how much people enjoy it. It's to the point where all of our races dwarf any adult races in the area, save for the enduros. I can't imagine having a situation like this arise in my league, but I guess that's CA for ya. Overall, the feedback has been pretty positive for High school mtb, so hopefully it continues to grow all over the place.
  • 10 0
 Well that's Marin, California for you. If it doesn't make money, or get in the way of their pinky out hikers. It's not going to work. It's a shame, like zanda23 said, they really incourage their youth to bike, and get out.
  • 7 0
 For the record, the other schools in Marin also had teams from at least 2003 and still do, and we are damn proud of our North Marin homies out there. But ya, this is bullocks, mountain biking is obviously gaining steam here in Marin and the best way to stop that is stop access for kids. Classic bay area.
  • 6 0
 The lack of transparency and democratic representation in this matter is a shame. Reminds of a similar event where a group want to shut down mtb in Waterdog Lake Park. Not in Marin but 40 miles south in Belmont, San Mateo County. Luckily in Belmont the topic got openly surveyed and debated.

www.reddit.com/r/BAbike/comments/mn216p/bay_area_riders_waterdog_trail_access_threatened
  • 15 6
 As a California resident, I am accustom to misinformation and outright lies.
  • 3 16
flag racecase (May 17, 2021 at 20:03) (Below Threshold)
 Yeh, I feel ya! CA was not the birthplace of MTB, it was Colorado!
  • 8 0
 Who calls the shots on whether or not to capitalize the prepositions in headlines?
  • 1 0
 Real heroes don't wear capes.
  • 7 0
 Dang they can leave school early for mountain biking and use the school gym. I don't even think my principle knows that her school has a mountain bike team.
  • 5 0
 My daughter races in the NorCal League and I am really disappointed to see this kind of mismanagement by the school district. This program means a lot to many families and to throw it out based on a limited understanding of the liability makes me feel like I am back in the 90s. When I tried to start a high school mountain bike club in the 90s I was literally laughed at by administrators who cited liability issues. Get your shit together, get proper insurance and go race. Enough with the bureaucratic BS, do right by the kids and figure it out!
  • 6 2
 You guys are couple few days late on this, and seem to have completely ignored the info that came out from the School Board indicating that MTB was never sanctioned by the group (CIF) that sanctions every other sport that has school-linked teams (in CA). So they're not trying to ruin MTB, they're just trying to hold it to the same standards as their other sports. And yeah it's probably a bit to do with liability but such is the way of capitalism ruled by litigation: you have to cover your ass to make sure someone else doesn't take advantage and burn your ass.

www.vitalmtb.com/forums/The-Hub,2/3rd-Party-Risk-Report-Allegedly-Causes-Tamalpais-School-District-to-Part-from-High-School-MTB-Club-R,11176
  • 4 0
 Right but for whatever reason things have been just fine for years. So what changed? Not claiming it wasn't a "rule" before but why was it important to enforce it with such haste? I hope we find out but at least it seems like the district is backpedalling and realizing they f*cked up the process. You don't just kick 150 athletes to the curb without any discussion or explanation beyond "result of 3rd party risk management assessment". I know some of the coaches, parents and athletes who have all been asking for access to this assessment with zero response. The whole thing is highly suspicious.
  • 2 0
 @awaite: The answer to this question will only be brought to light when an attorney files a Freedom of Information Act request to the Tam District Board. This is the only way to determine how this suddenly became an issue and seemed to have a pre determined outcome.
  • 2 0
 @DaveySImon: Bet I know that answer without filing a FOIA request (though they should do that and publish everything they get). Anti-mountain bikers view the rise of high school mountain biking as threat to their continued attempts to prevent mountain biking. We've seen emails here (MN) sent out schools discussing liability with links to "studies" about mountain bike injuries. When I read the words '3rd party risk management" and my nose started twitching.
  • 1 0
 You make too much sense and you read and comprehended the information.
  • 4 0
 I'm part of a NICA team in New Jersey, Camden County MTB Crew. The attitude towards these teams in California is disgraceful. I started in 7th grade and now I"m a junior in high school. If we're comparing this to other high school sports I don't know how there is any argument against mountain biking. In football basketball, baseball etc. you're trying out and worried about making the team and what if you're not good enough for varsity, what are my friends going to think.
How about everybody is on the team, everybody makes friends, nobody is excluded. The younger riders are learning from the older and more skilled riders. The older kids are happy to help teach the younger ones. Practices aren't every day and mandatory, there is no pressure to be good and win like other sports. Everyone is there to be happy and have fun on mountain bikes. This has been my experience with our NICA team. Our team adopted the sportsmanship and camaraderie (arguably better than most sports) without the toxic environment focused on success and winning.
The races were never about who was the best and trying to be better than everybody else, the races were about meeting other kids with common interests from all over our state and getting to ride bikes together in cool places.
These NICA teams are more healthy for children than normal sports especially in difficult times like we are gong through right now. I'm looking at it from a mental health aspect. Physical health, forget it, how many kids do you know that got a concussion from playing football? Nobody on my team has suffered a concussion in the last five years of riding bikes. Now that I think about it there has been almost no serious injuries, maybe two or three, over the years. Mountain biking should be one of the first choices for kids that want to get into jr high and high school sports.
  • 4 1
 NICA needs to hire an attorney, file a freedom of information act request and get to the bottom of who orchestrated the “consultant” that determined that mountain biking is unsafe. Likely a pre determined outcome. More unsafe than tackle football? I have so much to say about this. For now I’ll just say this is a defining moment for Marin mountain bike advocates. Failure in this case will define Marin mountain biking forever. Success will mean changing tactics and getting to the bottom of this issue. Something Marin advocates sadly seem incapable of doing.
  • 1 0
 When MTB starts dumping Billions into programs it will be as 'safe' as football.
  • 3 0
 This was a good article by Alicia on something that may be taken for granted. We're hoping NICA expands a little further in the Northeast as there's a few teams but very separated.

Perhaps Pinkbike could consider having a regular cadence article regarding Regional NICA news. This may even be a good opportunity for a younger intern(s) (not Mike Kaz) to contribute some words/pics and perhaps get excited to work in MTB Media. Hopefully they don't just do it for the money and glamour though.

Whichever bike company is focused on increasing market share in the U18 range can sponsor.
  • 2 0
 Hey, I am a big fan of NICA and am happy to write any NICA news that comes up. I also like the idea of having the next generation get involved! A good place to start is through the blog system for anyone who wants to contribute. Here's a submission guide: www.pinkbike.com/news/pinkbike-content-submission-guide.html

Everything that comes through is looked over and considered for the homepage, and that could be a good way to test the waters. That's how I started contributing to PB before they hired me Smile

Though fair warning that uh if someone is looking for money and glamor, the bike industry is probably not the place to look. As cool as the bike industry is.
  • 1 0
 @alicialeggett: Nice info Alicia and indeed the money and glamour was a joke. Appreciate your contributions to the site and information on NICA. Our town just committed to a rec area which will include bike trails next to the middle school. Shortly after this my local NEMBA president provided details on the Riding for Focus Program and other grants available. Would love if we could develop something like this and move into a "feeder" for NICA. It really is impressive to see all the good things people are doing for MTB. Believe this is a positive for communities as much as making the industry a more sustainable place to build a career.
  • 2 0
 My blood level just rose by 300 points. Golly what is wrong with California?!!!

Awesome to see issues coming to light tho. I wish pinkbike would post the article about "The Jumps" in Berkley so we could get more support behind that.
  • 1 0
 How many blood points in a healthy level?

JK, But I'm still mourning the loss of the Shady 80's jumps off frontage road by the Sea Breeze. A long time ago.....
  • 2 0
 In some other NICA leagues, being disconnected from the school is the norm. I'm a coach in one of those leagues, and, while there are certainly perks to being a true school sport/club, not being so is not the end of the world. If the teams are disconnected from the schools, these teams have plenty of other teams across the nation to look to in order to reorganize.
  • 4 0
 Sounds prime for a Disney pickup, Cat 5 The Mighty Ducks. Where’s Charlie Conway to take on all those cake-eaters.
  • 5 0
 I don't know what disenfranchisement means.
  • 9 4
 As I understand it, it's something only liberals do, especially in California, and definitely not part of Republican electoral policy.
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: I see you.
  • 1 0
 Typical California mindset, eliminating anything that's considered "fun"! These kids need to be exposed to the outdoors. So many are tied to that damn cell phone without any concern from like-minded parents.

I've lived in So Cal my whole life, I know first hand the way this state works. I'm 50 now, with a house that's almost paid off. I obsoletely will not be retiring in this state! Peace out!
  • 2 0
 The members of the school board are elected to their position. While the kids can't vote, the parents can and will. Voters will vote. Absurd (& disgusting) decision...
  • 3 0
 Fake news - a few houses on part of Boy Scout - maybe. Believe it when I see it. Meanwhile we ride - they hide.
  • 4 0
 Man glad I got the popcorn out for this.....
  • 3 1
 CaLiFoRnIa bReEdS cAnCeR... ffs look at yourselves and you'll see the real problem... bad people will always be bad people... REGAURDLESS OF POLITICS...
  • 2 0
 Parents only like sports where they can watch their kids, sitting down, with a case of beer, and no more than 20 feet from the parkinglot.
  • 2 0
 Moved from Marin to Ohio in 2018. I have never been happier. One park in Central Ohio (Horn's) has built more trail in the past 2 years than Marin CO has in 15.
  • 1 0
 good good lee roi brown needs to eat sh*t and shut the f*ck up. The article is about the greatness behind high school mountain bike racing. Keep you bitter right wing political rants to your sorry ass self.
  • 26 27
 As one born and raised in Santa Cruz rider, this is why I left Cali after 55 years. The politics are an absolute joke. The Socialist State of California is alive and well with wealthy elitists telling the “masses” what to do while they do whatever they want. F*** California!
  • 5 2
 You ain't never been to kern county have ya?
  • 4 3
 @ryd-or-die: haha NorCal folks are scared to come to Kern
  • 7 5
 Pretty much everything inland CA is republican. CA goes democratic because of the huge populations in LA and SF. That’s why NorCal wanted to succeed and form the State of Jefferson. You guys talking trash on CA being liberal are doing a disservice to your republican brethren.
  • 5 0
 @ryd-or-die: Nobody voluntarily wants to visit Bakersfield. Lol.
  • 6 0
 @tacklingdummy: Tehachapi and Lake Isabella are Kern county too, nad significantly more conservative than bakersfield. That's all I'm saying. Well, that and treating any geographic region/group of people as monolithic will always make OP look like an ass, but you get my point.
  • 1 0
 @ryd-or-die: Cannell Plunge - love it. What I really want is to find a Megalodon tooth.
  • 2 1
 @tacklingdummy: There is sick riding right up the hill and the Mojave is right on the other side of Tehachapi.. Pop in some REAL old outlaw Country music and enjoy. This a a great state. F@#$ the haters.
  • 2 1
 @ryd-or-die: As a born-n-raised coastal (Monterey County) I am embarrassed by that fool. Good riddance. Who lets 'Politics' ruin their life?
  • 2 0
 I guess it's easier and safer for the kids to play soccer and not count the goals scored.
  • 1 0
 "As the birthplace of mountain biking where mountain biking on singletrack is now largely illegal"

I didn't realise that. Bonkers
  • 3 0
 So basically in Marin County; Road bikes good. Mountain bikes bad.
  • 6 7
 Honestly I could care less about California or it’s issues. Californians for decades have set themselves apart from the rest of the country in one way or another and have continuously elected officials that are in that California State of Mind? Californians are reaping what they’ve sewn. Just do us all a favor, stay home, don’t bring your cancer to me. Clean up your mess. You made it, deal with it.
  • 2 0
 I wouldn't doubt if this whole thing is the behind-the-scenes work of a Subaru Forester-driving Sierra Club board member.
  • 1 0
 Every state is f*cked up according to somebody. This is working out well. Why so much hate? Leave your politics in your living room and definitely keep them off the trail.
  • 3 1
 And Boulder County as well.
  • 2 0
 Bourgeois sport anyway...
  • 6 6
 Isn’t California where Specialized is headquartered? Probably California taxes is why a top spec bike from Specialized is $13,000.00 USD.
  • 1 0
 This is probably one of the reasons that AICL (the Arizona league) had a name change
  • 2 0
 Today, I came for the comments; I am very pleased!
  • 3 1
 O DIS GUY
  • 1 0
 Welcome to the party, pal.
  • 2 0
 This is America
  • 3 5
 Thx Pinkbike clones. I’ve had two cups of coffee and consumed a good portion of this rainy morning reading the responses to this article. Wonderful to see I’m not alone in my disdain for California.
  • 1 0
 Is there anything that you do like?
  • 1 0
 Who put the adults in charge - they've got no idea.
  • 1 0
 Come on Marin! Need more MTB love
  • 2 2
 give that to groan up to fnck things up
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