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June, 2021 Newsletter

Back in November when the season was supposed to start and COVID cases were peaking, I didn’t know if we’d get a chance to ride at all as a team.  During this time, riders rode by themselves or with friends for fun and fitness. I was encouraged seeing their posts on Strava. In February we were allowed to practice. The season ultimately took shape with 3 league races in April and May.  I heard from many parents who said cycling was the one thing that kept their kids sane and happy during this unusual year.  I’m so happy we were able to have some semblance of a season. 

Our last race was at Six Sigma Winery in Lower Lake on May 16th.  Many of the team showed up the day before for a pre-ride and then camped for the evening.  I enjoyed catching up with riders, parents and friends from other teams.  The race started at 9am in the morning.  Like the others, this race was also a time trial format.  Each team sent all their riders, separated by 30 seconds.  This was the hardest course in the series — 8.2 miles and 1400ft of elevation gain.  It doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re sprinting in a time trial, it’s hard.  The last mile of the course included some brand new trail.  We had a great race.  No injuries, no mechanicals… All smiles. 

Our last practice of the season was a special ride.  We took the team to Soquel Demonstration forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  For most riders, this was all new to them and they were thrilled.  3 miles of downhill flow trail is the best way to end the season.  

Coach Peter May (former ECHS student)  is about to embark on a two month, 4,000 mile solo bike trip across America. On June 1st he’ll set off on a Specialized Diverge, loaded with all his gear, riding from El Cerrito to Massachusetts.    You can follow his progress on his website: Peter is using his ride across America to help raise funds for San Lorenzo High School’s environmental club. The environment and educational opportunities is something Peter is passionate about. Please consider donating to this cause.   Good Luck Peter! 

This summer I’ll be hosting coach rides.   We’ll ride in Tilden and also some fun places around the bay.  It’s a great way to learn the trails, so we can take the riders back next season.  If you’re interested in joining please let me know.  We plan to start the next training season with the full team in November. Thanks to the vaccine, we’re optimistic about having a full season.  We’ll kick off the newsletter again then.  In the meantime if you want to become a coach or donate to the team, please contact me.

Doug Diego, Head Coach

Six Sigma Race #3 - May 16th, 2021

Joaquin Chun - 1st Place Sophomore Boys (Podium)
Violet Reed - 2nd Place JV Girls (Podium)
Tobin Power - 2nd Place Sophomore Boys (Podium)
Elisabeth Cody - 4th Place Varsity Girls (Podium)
Tristan Schonfeldt-Aultman - 4th Place JV Boys (Podium)
Finn Kaste - 5th Place JV Boys (Podium)
Eli Tipton - 6th Place Varsity Boys 
Catherine Flowers - 7th Place JV Girls
Will Diego - 7th Place Varsity Boys 
Odin Simms - 8th Place Sophomore Boys  
Jens Hallock - 18th Place JV Boys
Jacob Abt  - 20th Place JV Boys
DJ Kang - 22nd Place JV Boys
Miles Hansen - 39th Place JV Boys

Upcoming Events

September 2021: Registration for the 2021-2022 season opens

Rider Stories - Six Sigma Race #3

DJ Kang

I did all 3 of the races this year. All 3 were very hard and intense and they got harder each time. In the second race my bike was having mechanical problems which deeply affected my performance. In Race 3, I put it all on the line and improved my position. In my senior year I have the goal to work even harder and improve my position even more. I had a lot of fun and am hoping for even more as co-captain now.

Senior Spotlight!

In this final newsletter of the 2020-2021 season, we want to thank and honor the leaders of our team, the Seniors! A warm shout-out and well wishes to these Senior riders:
CJ Johnston
Jake Abt
Elisabeth Cody
Lillie Frick
Simha Furaha
CJ Johnston
Eli Tipton
Zephyr Wu-Zucker

We were lucky to be able to get some interviews with a few of the Seniors. We asked them:

1. When did you start mountain biking?
2. What are your plans to keep on shredding after you graduate?
3. A few words of wisdom to your fellow riders?
4. What is your favorite post-race meal?

And they answered!

Jake Abt

I started mountain biking regularly last September of 2020. I hope to be able to keep biking during college, but I'm definitely going to keep riding when I'm back home on break. A word of advice, stay away from the cows, those things are crazy. I still have yet to race (at the time of the interview, but now he has completed his 1st race!), but an enchilada with some chives and sour cream sounds pretty good. 

Eli Tipton

1. I started mountain biking probably when I was around 10 but I didn’t take it seriously or do it a lot until I was a freshman and joined the team
2. I’m going to school in Santa Cruz which is a pretty big mtb destination so I don’t think I’ll have any shortage of trails, and I’m also going to join the UCSC mtb team so I’ll continue to do some racing in college.
3. just ride for fun
4. root beer float

Lillie Frick

I started mountain biking at the beginning of my junior year. I’m heading off to Indiana University Bloomington, which is a big biking town. I plan to join a club and explore the trails there! My only advice is to just keep stepping out of your comfort zone and have fun! 


Zephyr Wu-Zucker

1. I started mountain biking in the summer of 2019.
2. I'll probably end up going somewhere with a lot of mountain biking so I can keep exploring.
3. If you're going to do dumb stuff have a responsible friend nearby.
4. What is your favorite post-race meal? Probably chicken nuggets but really anything in my path.

Thank you Ride Leaders!

Our team would not be able to train without the leadership and commitment of the following volunteer ride leaders:

Gordon Gladstone
Peter May
Jamie Tipton
Neil Flock
Alex Borys
Jonathan Owens
Christopher Ward
Aiden Ward
Mike Conway
Brian Hill
John Sladkus
Cort Cooper
John Garrison
Matthew Reed
Adele Ho

Keep on Riding!

This is our last newsletter of the season, until then...

How to Get Involved

Become a coach
Without coaches, our team could not exist. NICA coaches are role models and teachers who are open to learning the best practices of youth mountain bike coaching and actively work to hone their leadership skills on and off the bike. Learn More:

Become a sponsor
Consider sponsoring the ECHS Mountain Bike Team! Sponsors partner with our team to provide much-needed financial support. Our team receives no funding from the school. In exchange for your support, our team will make every effort to support and acknowledge your business. Your sponsorship will help increase the visibility and awareness of your business amongst our team and the NorCal league community, while helping to contribute to the success of our student riders. For more info on how to join our community of sponsors go to

Donate your bike or gear
Donations to the ECHS Mountain Biking Team are always accepted and always appreciated. Please click on the PayPal link below to send payment with a credit card or your personal PayPal account. You may also make checks payable to Friends of ECHS Mountain Biking Club, Mailing address: c/o Dennis Cody, Sponsorship/Fundraising, 2721 Del Monte Ave., El Cerrito, CA, 94530

All donations and contributions are tax deductible for income tax purposes. We are a sponsored group of the El Cerrito Student Activity Fund, 501 (c) (3) Tax ID #911935426.

For more info on donations go to

Thanks to our Sponsors

Copyright © 2021 ECHS MTB Racing Team, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
ECHS MTB Racing Team
540 Ashbury Ave,
El Cerrito, CA 94530

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ECHS MTB · 540 Ashbury Ave · El Cerrito, CA 94530-3221 · USA

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