2020-2021 Season

What to expect this season

Due to COVID-19, this season will not look like previous seasons.  Gone are activities like indoor spin and core, driving to favorite trials, participating in big league races and parties. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun.  This season, we will continue to train.  There may still be league race we can participate in or riders might want to compete in non-league races.   Either way we will train for virtual races and time trails. Most likely we’ll be able to compete against other local teams virtually.  We’ll also do some fun adventure rides. The most important thing is to get exercise and stay healthy. Just because this season will look different, I do expect the same commitment from all riders. If you want to be part of the team, you need to come to all practices except for when ( and especially) if you’re sick or have a valid excuse.

As with everything COVID, expect things to change along the way.  And we’ll try to have as few Zoom calls as possible.

Guidelines for the 2020-2021 Season

COVID-19 is a serious and deadly virus. Our understanding of it and recommendations for handling it safely is constantly changing. These guidelines are designed to help protect our student athletes and coaches. The team will be flexible and will adapt as the season progresses if things change or we learn new things. Therefore this is a living document. Please take these guidelines seriously. Please be patient with us as we do our best to keep everyone happy, safe and healthy this season.

All riders & parents must read and sign this document.


Registration will open in October and must be completed before November 1st.

The season will begin on December 1st, 2020 and end on May 30th, 2021.  TBD: we may have a few practices in November.

We will ride on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday.

During the week, we’ll start at 3:30pm.  On the Sunday we’ll start at 9:00am.  End times will vary due to sunset.


All rides will start at end at the High School.  We’ll post more about specific meeting places later.  We are unable to carpool to ride locations this season.

As we are a mountain biking team, we’ll do most of our rides on dirt in Tilden.  But so we don’t get bored of Tilden, we’ll do rides on the roads and all around.

If you ride group and ride leader wants to do a longer ride, you can go further.  But this must be planned ahead of time and let your parents know.


We are a mountain bike racing team.  There may or may not be races this year.  But most of you have said you still want to train to get faster and work on your skills.  Therefore we’ll continue to  ride according to a training plan this year, but we’ll add in some fun.

Each week we’ll ride according to a training plan.  This training plan will help you get faster through the season.

Once a month we’ll hold a virtual race. This is your chance to see how you’ve improved over the season.

Each week we’ll do some sort of fun adventure ride.  See below for some ideas.

The team will post a core routine that you can do on your own time at home.  We recommend you follow this work.  Riders can benefit from building a strong core as mountain biking involves a lot of strength, coordination and balance.

Note: NorCal has stated the possibility of league virtual races, small regional races in time trail format or larger races.  We will adjust accordingly when this is decided.

Virtual Races

The team will hold virtual races.  We’ll compete against our own team or other local teams.


  • A course will be posted and segments identified.
  • Ride groups will pre-ride the course at practice get familiar with it.
  • Riders will be timed on segments using Strava.
  • The segments will only be uphills or flats.  No downhills.
  • The segments will not go through any stops signs or intersections.
  • Riders will ride the course and compete on the segments. You are only timed on the segments. So catch your breath on the untimed segments.
  • Your time on each segment will be added up.  Sprint segments are multiplied by 3.  The person with the lowest time wins.
  • You will compete against others in you level: Freshman, Sophomore, JV, Varsity.  Boys and Girls separately. You will be assigned a level early in the year. There will also be a coaches division (except Nate).
  • If racing against another team, the top score in each level will be added up.  If a level is unrepresented, the average of a teams level will be added. The team with the lowest score wins.

Here are 2 examples of virtual races.  The coach will work with interested member of the team to come up with other virtual races.  And hopefully we can have an East Bay virtual race series.

ECHS MTB Virtual Race – Around South Park

Our first race will be a ride on the trails around South Park. The loop is just shy of 6 miles.  Freshman and Sophomore will do 1 lap.  JV and Varsity will do 2 laps.

Route on Strava

You will be timed on Strava on 3 segments:

The route goes down South Park Road, but feel free to take South Park Single Track for more fun.

ECHS MTB Virtual Race – Shreddy Meadows Short Track

There are a few variations on the short track we can do here:

Time Trial & Smackdown & More

Don’t worry, we’ll still do the Time Trial this year 😎 The time trial is a great way to judge your change in fitness over the season.  This year we’ll add in the MTB Smackdown and a sprint session with repeated sprints on a short segment as a way to challenge and test riders across a few different dimensions

Time Trial

Distance: 1.12mi
Elevation Gain: 542ft



Distance: 3.82mi
Elevation Gain: 1,129ft


Adventure Rides

Adventure rides are an adventure on your bike.  They’re fun.  They challenge your creativity.  They encourage working as a team.  Here a are a few ideas.  The coach will work with interested riders to come up with more adventure ride ideas through the season.

Scavenger Hunt – Find Objects

We’ll have many scavenger hunts through out the season.  Before a scavenger hunt, the coach will pick 1 or more riders to come up with a list of things to find.  For example: a cow,  a fire truck, a redwood tree, a view of the bay, etc..

Groups will have have a set amount of time to ride and find these items.  At each place the group needs to take a picture that includes the item and the group and post it to the Slack Channel: #scavenger-hunt.

The best photos will be posted Instagram.

Scavenger Hunt – Follow the Clues

Team will be given a clue.  They need to solve the clue, ride to the location to find a clue to the next location.

Teams will have have a set amount of time to ride and find these items.  At each place the team needs to take a picture with the item with the team and post it to the Slack Channel: #scavenger-hunt.

The best photos will be posted Instagram.

Dirt to Burrito / Ice Cream

A location, such as a burrito shop or ice cream shop will be posted before you the ride.  Your goal is to get there under a time limit by riding as much legal dirt as possible.

Buy yourself a burrito or ice cream.  Everyone wins.

Climbing Challenge

How much can you climb in 1 hour?  In this competition we’ll use Strava to see how much elevation you can get in 1 hour.  There’s no competition here, it’s just for bragging rights.  But when we do it a second time, your goal will be to beat your last effort.

You can ride to any hill that you want and start your ride on Strava.  Plan ahead and pick a good starting location.  Make sure to start and stop your Strava to stay within an hour.

Strava Map Drawing Challenge

Did you know you can make art with with your Strava rides?

This challenge is to make your own art with Strava.

  • Your group will ride and record it on Strava.
  • Someone from your group will post the ride to the slack channel #strava-art
  • The winner’s will be posted on Instagram.

Tilden Scramble

How many checkpoints in Tilden can you ride to in 1 hour?


  • About a dozen checkpoints in Tilden will be identified before the ride.  Riders will get 10 minutes to discuss and plan their route.
  • Each groups starts and stops at the same point
  • Time Limit: 1 hour
  • Goal: gather as many checkpoints as possible
  • Scoring:
    • 1 point for every checkpoint gathered
    • Groups will have a handicap (For example varsity will get 1 point for checkpoint, while freshman may get 3 points per checkpoint)
    • Penalty = 1 checkpoint is deducted for every 5 minutes late (i.e., 1 second to 5 minutes is 1 checkpoint deduction, 5:01 minutes to 10 minutes is 2 points, etc.)
  • A photo of the whole group will be taken at each checkpoint (to ensure all riders made it)
  • All riders must finish before penalty is calculated. (Including your ride leader)
  • Trail etiquette must be followed, for instance:
    • Slow for hikers to conversational speed
    • Stop for horses and engage rider
    • Obey traffic laws and park rules (stay on legal trails)

The winner’s will be posted on Instagram.

Epic Rides

Can you make it to Joaquin Miller, Briones, Fernandez Ranch, Crocket, China Camp, Mount Tam or Diablo?  We’ll come up with some challenging rides that are appropriate for your group.  Pack a lunch, help plan a route and prepare for a long and adventurous day on the saddle.

Bling your Bike

Let’s decorate our bikes (and/or self) and ride.  Make sure the decoration are safe to ride with.  Photos will be posted on Instagram.

Your Idea’s Here

It will be more fun if the riders come up with ideas for Adventure Rides.

Team Bikes

The team has loaner bikes to give out.  Due to COVID-19, buying new bikes has become near to impossible.  The team will do our best to get bikes to everyone who needs one.  The priority for loaner bikes is:

  1. Students on scholarships or in financial need.
  2. New Students to the team
  3. Returning riders

Trail Work

As in previous years, the team will participate in at least one day of trail work if it can be done is a safe and social distanced way.


Due to COVID-19 we are unable to share equipment.  Therefore it’s more important than ever for riders to have all their own equipment this year.  The team will do bulk buys of the needed equipment below to make it more affordable. If you still have trouble affording all this equipment, please let your coach know.

  • Bike – All riders need their own bike.  If you have trouble affording a proper bike, let us know.
  • Helmet – Riders must wear a helmet anytime they are straddling their bike.  Riding or not. Riders without a helmet will be sent home.
  • Face Covering.  I recommend having at least 2 or more.  You should wash the face covering after each use. I recommend a neck gaiter, but that choice is up to the rider. Riders without a face covering will be sent home.
  • Gloves.  I recommend having at least 2 or more pairs.  You should wash the gloves after each use.
  • Front & Rear Light – Lights are required for weekday riders between December & March due to early sunset.  The team will do another NiteRider order this year. Riders without lights will be sent home (during winter months).  Don’t forget to change your lights.
  • Bike Bell – Due to COVID-19 there are many more hikers in Tilden this year.  Trying to call out that you are passing with a face covering is difficult.  A bell can alert a hiker from a distance (when they’re not wearing headphones) and it allows them time to put their mask on, therefore protecting you.  The team will do a bulk buy.
  • Water Bottle(s) – You will need at least 1 water bottle or hydration pack for rides. Depending on the temperature or length, you may want to carry 2 bottles.
  • Snacks – I suggest carrying some  sort of snack. Dates, nuts, dried fruit, Bloks or bars.
  • Saddle Bag – You need some kind of saddle bag to carry the equipment below.
  • Spare Tube – I recommend buying at least 4 tubes and putting 1 in your saddle bag.
  • Tire Levers – 1 or more tire levers to get the tire off the rim.
  • Multitool – You’ll need a multitool to get the tire off your bike.  You’ll also need it to tighten and adjust various other things on your bike.  I recommend one with a chain breaker tool.
  • Spare Chain Link – If you brake a chain, you’ll need a chain link to repair it.  Make sure you get the size that fits your chain.
  • Hand Sanitizer – For when needed.


Please see the team FAQ for general questions about the team.

[Answer other questions related to COVID-19 and the 2020-21 season here]