I have been involved with NEHSCA...the New England High School Cycling Association since September. A bunch of friends reached out and asked if I would like to get involved. I honestly didn't know too much about NEHSCA. I had heard a lot of positive feedback but I have been pretty enmeshed in cyclocross and Lacrosse for the last five years. I have been coaching Girls LAX for a while. I love it. Youth sports are so rewarding. As my daughter headed to High School I knew my time as a lacrosse coach and board member were over. But I loved my time coaching and being involved in youth sports. So when the chance to be involved with a youth mtn biking league popped up I was all in. And it has been amazing. I have been so impressed by all the people involved. To me that is what life is about. Build community, give back, be involved, volunteerism.
I got into mountain biking in the early '90s in Northern California. One of my first lessons was bumping into Marylin Price the founder of Trips for Kids in the Marin Headlands. I have probably told this story before so I apologize if you have heard it. But I was flying down a fire road at warp speed. I came around a corner and there was a lady hike a biking up it. I got around her fine but it had bad optics. I was in control but out of control if you hear what I am saying, She yelled at me. I felt bad. So I walked back up and talked to her. She gave me a bit of a lecture but then invited me to tea. I met her that week for tea and learned more about life in that hour than I had in my years up to that point. And I became a HUGE Marylin and Trips for Kids fan, evangelist and supporter. And I became a better mountain biker that day.
So fast forward 15 years later to when we relocated to New England from Norcal and I thought my life and bike addiction were over. Who knew it was only getting started. But everything I learned I put to work here. It is how I became so adept at building community in the #NECX. And it has been my bellwether since. So when the opportunity to be a part of NEHSCA came up I was all in. I was so stoked to join an organization whose mission was to get more kids on bikes. I met up with my local team the Wild Ones for a cool night ride and a cyclocross practice. It was so fun. Made me feel like a kid again. Then I got a call from one of the co-founders that my friend had been in a motor vehicle accident. He is the promoter of Secret Squirrel and one of the raddest dudes in New England. His truck was totaled. He needed help. In my world when a friend needs help you jump at the chance.
So we put the word out. And the NEHSCA kids and parents and coaches stepped up big time. We met up at the course and helped rake and groom the course. Mike showed up and just was so amazing. I signed my daughter up and myself as a co-coach. I had promised Syd we would have a fun day and have hot cocoa. I didn't mention mountain biking. One of the NEHSCA girls let Syd borrow her bike and we did an impromptu NEHSCA girls ride at Secret Squirrel. It was beyond inspiring. Seeing these young girls and their moms shredding inspired me so much. This is how I see the future of NESHCA. Girl Power. Giving back. Being a part of the community.
And yes, I have a bias towards CX and gravel. I am sort of an imposter on the mountain bike. I can fake it ok. But my first love will always be CX and adventure/gravel. Seeing these kids shred on a CX course was so rad. We have been talking about doing a NESHCA CX Series. I think it would be beyond cool. CX and Mtb just go together. Like peanut butter and fluff.
I am so stoked to be a part of NEHSCA. We have a rad fundraiser coming up on Monday, December 16th from 7-9pm at Hale in Westwood. It is going to be a night with Jake Wells. We will have a film screening, Q&A and raffle. Rumors have it we will be raffling off two entries to Rapstutisa and a Lauf Gravel Fork! We hope to see you there! Register on Bikereg or hit us up and we will see you there! Here is the info Unknown Country