Who is eligible to join the Keystone Mountain Bike Team?
Girls and boys entering grades 6-12 at the start of the school year are eligible to join.
Is mountain biking experience required for my child to join the team?
No. Mountain biking experience is not required, although the student should know how to ride a bicycle without assistance. Throughout the season, we teach basics of mountain biking, such as shifting and braking, as well as more advanced trail riding skills as the student-athlete progresses.
My child attends a private school or is homeschooled. Can he/she join the Keystone Mountain Bike Team?
Absolutely! We welcome students from all schooling situations in our team area.
When does the season start and how long does it run?
The season starts in early July and ends in late October. We wrap up the season with a team celebration in early November.
When and where do you practice?
We practice 3 times a week - typically Monday and Thursday evenings, as well as Saturday mornings. The majority of our practices take place Lackawanna State Park, however we occasionally take "field trips" to other area parks/trails to change things up.
Is attendance at every practice required?
No. While we encourage student-athletes to attend as many practices as possible, we realize there are other commitments that compete for time. We're flexible and don't want this to be something that prevents a student from joining the team. It is not required to attend every practice, but be aware that, if the student-athlete's skills have not developed to a certain degree, they may not be able to participate in certain practices or events for their own safety. Please talk to the Head Coach if you have questions or concerns about practice attendance.
Can a student practice with the team without officially registering?
Due to insurance regulations from NICA, students may only participate in one practice without officially joining the team. A parent or guardian will need to sign a one-time waiver to allow this to happen. After the "trial" practice, the student must be registered through NICA to attend additional practices or team activities.
Is race attendance required?
No. Although NICA/PICL is a youth mountain bike racing league, athletes are NOT required to race. Keystone's primary goal is to "get more kids on bikes" and teach the lifelong skills of mountain biking while building community and character. Some student-athletes attend every race, some attend one or two, and a few do not attend any. But we highly encourage all student-athletes and their family to visit a race, even if they don't plan on racing. You have to experience a race weekend in person to fully grasp how exciting and energizing it is for the kids (and adults)!
How much does it cost for my child to join the Keystone Mountain Bike Team?
The 2022 PICL fees are TBD - we will update this as soon as we have those details.
The Keystone Mountain Bike Team does not charge a team fee. Through fundraising and sponsorship, we are able to offset most team costs. If the student-athlete plans to race, they will be required to purchase a team jersey at a discounted rate.
What kind of bike will my child need?
Student-athletes should have a properly fitting, good quality bike in good repair. High end mountain bikes are not necessary to ride successfully, but cheaper bikes may not be up to the task. At the first practice, a coach will look over your child's bike to make sure it's safe to ride. Minor adjustments might be made, but for big issues, we will refer you to a local bike shop.
What equipment will my child need to participate?
Some basic equipment is required for your student-athlete's success, well-being, and to handle basic bike repairs on the trail. If you have any questions, please talk with a coach before purchasing any items.
A safe, properly functioning bike
Intact helmet, shoes, eye protection, proper clothing
Enough water to get through practice and then some
Spare tube, bike multi-tool, tire levers, inflation
What are the risks? Are you insured?
As with any youth sports activity, inherent risks are involved. Our trained coaches go to great lengths to keep our riders safe and reduce the risks in our sport. Keystone Mountain Bike Team operates under NICA's national insurance program.
Are coaches trained?
Yes, all coaches with Keystone Mountain Bike Team have passed background checks and completed NICA training at one of three levels, covering such topics as coaching philosophy and concussion protocols. Higher level Keystone coaches have training in first aid and CPR, as well as advanced mountain bike instruction.