Mountain biking teams surging at Minnesota high schools

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What began as a loose collection of a handful of enthusiasts has become one of the fastest-growing high school activities in Minnesota. Schools and athletes are picking up the sport of mountain biking at a rapid pace.

Click the video box to watch KSTP Sports’ story about the growth of high school mountain biking featuring the Lakeville mountain biking team – a co-op between Lakeville’s North and South High Schools

Mountain biking competes as a non-varsity club activity, but riders still rep their schools at meets all over the state as part of the Minnesota Cycling Association (formerly known as the Minnesota Interscholastic Cycling League).

Several schools often combine to practice and race together. Lakeville’s North and South High schools – heated rivals in most sports – work together to train and compete as a unified team.

Riders with absolutely no experience can train and race along with polished, experienced riders. Boys and girls compete in different classifications, but the teams themselves practice and gather as one. The Association uses mottos like "every finish counts" and "everybody rides" to emphasize inclusion in the sport.

If you know of a prospective mountain biker – or maybe are one yourself – check to see if there is an MCA team at your school or nearby.

According to the MCA website, if there isn’t a team at an interested rider’s school – "Contact a team that is close to your city or school. Ask if they can take on a rider from a nearby city. Many composite teams (which are made up of a group of cities) can take on new riders. Otherwise, riders can participate in races as an independent racer until a team in your area is organized."