That all changed in the spring of 2018 when Dan Thornton, a personal friend of ours, called to tell us that he wanted to start a Lassiter High School Mountain Bike Team. Dan held a meeting at his house with several of us that had kids who were slotted for Lassiter High School and asked if we would like to be involved. We were very excited and jumped at the chance. We loved hearing that the Georgia League was not about kids racing bicycles but was actually about teaching student-athletes the fundamentals of mountain biking and creating a solid mind, body, and character. Now all we had to do was figure out how to start a team!
We signed up to take OTB 101 (On the Bike Training) with Derek Boyd and Carrie Wilbur. Derek and Carrie were absolutely amazing coach supporters and made everything seem doable. We were both overwhelmed with everything that we learned about coaching student- athletes but were inspired to get started building our team. What we didn’t know that day was that the people teaching the class, as well as the others taking the class, would become part of our close-knit mountain biking family.
The first season was full of unknowns and a lot of trial and error, but we grew the team from 3 riders to 19. Now we are starting our third season and hope to have almost 40 riders! We never could have imagined how inspired we would become by the riders on our team. The student- athletes have become our athletes. We have a vested interest in each and every one of our riders. The friendships that the students have made with each other are special. These students have developed a love of biking, fitness, and being part of a team. Many of the students who joined the team did not have a sport. They had not found their passion yet. However, after spending a season on the team, they have THEIR sport and passion! They have found their mountain bike family!