Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Practice, Race, Jerseys, T-Shirts and more

PRACTICE SCHEDULE
The practice schedule for this week is updated on the team calendar at http://highlandmtb.wikispaces.com/.  Click on an event to see more info, including directions to the ride, some maps, and even trail video.

RACE UPDATE

Our next race is in Rochester this Sunday, October 5. Online registration closes Tuesday, September 30 at midnight!

Check the calendar for race day details. Matt Johnson and Mark Hooley will be coaching during the race because Erik Peterson and Paul Johnson will be happily rolling through the forests of Northern Minnesota at the Heck of The North. (Admittedly, this ride ends Saturday at dusk, but they will definitely need a recovery day Sunday. They'll certainly be with you in spirit and expect to hear a lot of great race stories next week!)

NUMBER PLATES!!  Be sure to keep your number plate - you will need to reuse it at all of our races.

WATER BOTTLES!
We are missing a number of our gray team NOW water bottles. If you have any, please wash them and bring them to an upcoming ride so we can get the set ready for the next race.

We have a growing lost and found collection. Talk to me:
-black River's Edge Academy t shirt
-black sweatpants

TEAM JERSEYS! - The Team Store is Open Until Oct 1
The new store front is now up and set to close on October 1st at Midnight.  The clothing should be ready by October 29.  

Password: Highland (the password is case sensitive)
https://www.podiumwear.com/team-storefront/highland-park-mountain-bike-team-reorder/

I will have a jersey sizing kit soon. Let me know if you'd like to try a sample jersey on for size. In general, these run a bit small. For example, I often wear a size M for a "race fit" - but in PodiumWear I need at least a size L.

TEAM T-SHIRTS
Contact Matt Johnson if you're interested in buying a team t-shirt for $10.

TEAM COMMUNICATION
The best way to get in touch with the entire team is through our Google Groups. If you are not already signed up, use these links to join the team discussions. The best thing about these groups is that you can choose how often you get email from the groups.

Team Group - discuss anything related to the team, find rides, offer rides, post links to photos

Coaches, Ride Leaders & Parent Leaders - discuss administrative details and team planning:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Highland MTB News and Practice Schedule 9/22-9/28

PRACTICE SCHEDULE
The practice schedule for this week is updated on the team calendar at http://highlandmtb.wikispaces.com/.  Click on an event to see more info, including directions to the ride, some maps, and even trail video.

Be sure to check the schedule soon -- our first ride (and pizza party) is Tuesday (tomorrow).

RACE UPDATE
We had 10 racers compete at the Jail Trail in St. Cloud. There was some amazing effort put forth out there. In particular, congratulations are in order to Abe, who completed his race in style, Taylor who completed his first race, Ray who fought through a terrible respiratory illness all the way to the finish, and, most amazingly, to Maggie, who completed her first race, and, truly, her first mountain bike ride, wearing a smile to the finish!

Our next race is in Rochester on October 5.

NUMBER PLATES!!  Be sure to keep your number plate - you will need to reuse it at all of our races. [jf: replacements cost $25!!]

WATER BOTTLES!
We are missing a number of our gray team NOW water bottles. If you have any, please wash them and bring them to an upcoming ride so we can get the set ready for the next race.

We have a growing lost and found collection. Talk to me:
-black River's Edge Academy t shirt
-black sweatpants
-Cole's jersey (that he kindly lent to another rider)

TEAM JERSEYS! - The Team Store is Open Until Oct 1
The new store front is now up and set to close on October 1st at Midnight.  The clothing should be ready by October 29.  

Password: (see your email or contact Coach Erik)
https://www.podiumwear.com/team-storefront/highland-park-mountain-bike-team-reorder/

I will have a jersey sizing kit soon. Let me know if you'd like to try a sample jersey on for size. In general, these run a bit small. For example, I often wear a size M for a "race fit" - but in PodiumWear I need at least a size L.

TEAM COMMUNICATION
The best way to get in touch with the entire team is through our Google Groups. If you are not already signed up, use these links to join the team discussions. The best thing about these groups is that you can choose how often you get email from the groups.

Team Group - discuss anything related to the team, find rides, offer rides, post links to photos

Coaches, Ride Leaders & Parent Leaders - discuss administrative details and team planning:


You can also find us on Facebook and Google Plus at:

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hpmountainbiking/
Facebook Page (public): https://www.facebook.com/pages/Highland-Park-Mountain-Bike-Team
Gooble Plus:  https://plus.google.com (add highlandmtb@gmail.com to your sharing circle)

HIGHLAND VILLAGER STORY:

Finally, the Highland Village newspaper is running a story about us. Please contact me if you'd like to be interviewed or have a great picture or two we could send to them.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The number you were given at first race is supposed to be permanent - don't lose it

Tim and I didn’t know this, unfortunately he threw his away. The race numbers are supposed to be for entire season:

CHIP TIMING: All registered racers will receive a permanent number that has a pre-installed chip on the back
side. Racers will need to use this plate for all 5 races. Take precautions to minimize loss by removing the plate
before mounting on car rack. Replacement number plates will be available at the Registration Tent for $25.”

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Highland MTB email list subscription (managed by Google Groups)

Google has an old but still working product called “Google Groups”. For most users it behaves like a 1980’s [1] email list, but there’s also a web interface.

One advantage of Google Groups/Email list is that it works with … email. You can send emails out and everyone gets it (in theory). The problem with Groups is the modern email problem — many times email is lost, blocked as spam, filtered out, bounces etc.

Another advantage is that you don’t need to give away too much personal information. You don’t even need a Google Plus account. It will work with non-Google email, though I think it does require some kind of Google setup. Google Group/email is more privacy friendly than most of our current communication options.

There’s a web archive of past messages and conversations that’s password protected.

You can view the archive and accept invitations here:

https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!forum/saint-paul-highland-mountain-bike-team

I believe you can also go to that URL and request an invitation — useful if you wish to add a new email address or if you didn’t get an invite (probably filtered out by spam filter). It does work best with Google email of course.

As old folks know, group communication was probably easiest in 1994! Things are rather more challenging now.

I’ll try to keep the blog (mirrored to our Facebook Group(!) but not our Facebook Page(!) up to date, though I’ve been traveling lately and I’ll try to update our website to list what’s up.

[1] For most of our riders that’s so long ago it blurs into World War II.

PS. If you’re a super-duper geek there’s actually a no-longer documented way to follow Group activity with RSS feeds, but I don’t know if it works with private groups like ours.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

St Cloud Race - Sept 21

NEXT:
Race #2 - Jail Trail - Sun. Sept. 21

We’re heading back to Jail Trail for Race #2 in St. Cloud, MN. Get ready for flat singletrack, mixed with cross-country ski trails. Several small technical features await the MN League racers! 

Tues. Sept. 16 – Online Registration in Pit Zone closes at Midnight.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week of 9/8-9/14

We had an amazing day of racing at Buck Hill today. The course was incredibly tough - arguably the toughest we'll face this season. The next few courses will seem easy by comparison.
Please see practice details on the team calendar on our website:
http://highlandmtb.wikispaces.com -- Click on any event to see practice details.
I tried to work around riders' schedules and have generally shifted the practices to later in the day. Please give me feedback if the schedule isn't working for you.
Looking ahead, Race #2 is in St. Cloud on Sunday, September 21. You can check the Pit Zone now to get registered for it.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Race Weekend: Meet pre-ride 2pm Sat, be onsite at least 1 hour before your race.

Hi, everyone.  Coach (Paul) Johnson here.  We have 9 riders registered and race ready for this weekend!  We are racing Division 2. It makes a difference for knowing which wave you need to start with.  Middle School is the only category that does does not divide by Division.  Here are our riders!! 
MS Boys Race (9:00, 1 lap=2.8mi): Cole, EmmettSoph Boys Div 2 Race (12:03, 3 laps = 8.4mi): Luke, JulianFrosh Boys Div 2 Race (12:09, 2 laps = 5.6mi): MichaelJV Boys Div 2 Race (2:06, 4 laps=11.2mi): Abe, Thomas, Tim, Ray
Note that race day will be a long day.  It would be terrific if you are able to come and stay for the whole day and cheer on your teammates!  Bring homework, a camp chair, snacks and drinks.  If you really can't stay the whole day, we hope you can at least overlap with one other race to be there for your team.  

The weather looks fantastic this weekend.  But we know races later in the season will bring us fun surprises.  It doesn't hurt to always be prepared with some warm clothes, rain gear, tights, full fingered gloves, perhaps arm warmers or a long sleeve to wear under your jersey, etc.  Even this weekend, the early morning races may still be a little chilly.  Having a race bag ready to go for the season can be super helpful.  Check the NICA sample equipment list below (link) for more ideas on what to bring.

Sat Pre-Ride:  Open 1-4pm.  WE WILL MEET AT 2:00.  Note that pre-ride opens at 1:00 but we will not meet until 2:00.  Coaches Matt Johnson and Paul Johnson will be on hand to help you get your race numbers and check out the course.  You must have your race number attached before you can pre-ride the course.  Take advantage of the pre-ride!  It is extremely helpful to know the course.  You will want to be looking for pass zones, places to make a strong move, the best line for corners and more.  Ride tricky spots more than once to dial them in.  Seeing all of this the day before allows you time to visualize rocking the course!

Sun Race Day: You should be on site at least a full hour before your race.  If you are there early to cheer on teammates, even better!!  We will have two tents at our site, a red-covered tent and a NOW tent.  Coaches Paul Johnson and Matt Johnson will be your primary contacts (Coach Peterson hopes to catch the races, if possible).  NOW will have a mechanic on hand and some extra supplies (if needed)!  If for some reason, you can't make the pre-ride on Sat, the course is also available for pre-ride on race day from 8:00-8:45am (can't start later than 8:15am).  

You will want to do some warming up starting at least 45 min prior to your start time.  Expect staging (lining up) to begin 20-30 min before your race.  Check the links below for more race day info (especially the race flyer and equipment checklist).  Don't forget your race jersey!


Coach Paul Johnson, 651-285-2970
Coach Matt Johnson, 651-470-7048

PS. races we have riders in are on our calendar (boys only at moment).

Keep up with Highland MTB at http://highlandmtb.wikispaces.com/


Thursday, September 4, 2014

No practice Friday 9/5

Coach Erik Writes:
 
We had a fun, challenging, hot, sticky practice today. Everybody is looking really strong.

We have a long weekend of riding ahead of us, so we are going to cancel our ride at Battle Creek tomorrow, Friday, September 5.
Our next ride will be the race pre-ride on Saturday at Buck Hill. I'm sorry to newer riders, but if you aren't racing Sunday (or won't be -- you can still register to race on-site if you get yourself listed as "race ready" by completing all of your paperwork on the Pit Zone) the official word is that they won't let you on the race course to ride.

When you arrive on Saturday, look for Coach Paul Johnson and Coach Matt Johnson who will be leading the pre-ride. See the team calendar for their cell phone numbers. Before riding, we will have to check in to get our race numbers and then attach those to our bikes.
I plan to make it to all of your races, assuming I get back from my race in Wisconsin at a reasonable hour.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Week of 9/2 to 9/7: Important race information, deadline to register without penalty is midnight 9/2.

See the team wiki https://highlandmtb.wikispaces.com/ for this week's practice schedule. Click on any event on the calendar to see more details, such as directions and coach phone numbers.

See the Single Track Times below for important information about Race #1 at Buck Hill: 

https://madmimi.com/p/1ada35?fe=1&pact=24779505957 (really, do read this. There’s lots of info in there.)

If you don’t already get Single Track Times, go to http://www.minnesotamtb.org/media-center/join-newsletter/ to sign up for league email newsletters.

RACE #1 REGISTRATION DEADLINE

http://www.minnesotamtb.org/events/2014-race-1-buck-hill/

Racer registration on Pit Zone for Race #1 closes on Tues. Sept. 2, 2014 at Midnight.

Please log onto the Pit Zone and be sure you are RACE READY! Avoid the long lines and take care of your registration online before the race: https://pitzone.nationalmtb.org/users/sign_in

Here is a Race Ready Checklist:

Pit Zone information entered and confirmed

MN League Fee and Race Fee paid.

Participation Waiver mailed, faxed or emailed (once per season)

Deadline to be fully registered online is Tues. Sept. 2 by Midnight. On-Site Registration will be available on Sat and Sun during Pre-Ride, but a late fee will be applied.

———

PS. We’re now sharing photos and videos by Google (better for getting local copies) and our Facebook Group. See our main web page for links: https://highlandmtb.wikispaces.com/