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Healdsburg on Bikes Day to Show Off the Sport

With a documentary at the Raven, a group bike ride and benefit dining at Campo Fina, April 25 is a date to circle on your calendar

The Healdsburg High School Mountain Bike Team is only three years old, but they’re attracting notice from other mountain biking schools as a team to watch.

With their season half over – three events in the past, three to come, with the next one Sunday in Monterey County – the 8-member team has already placed riders on the podium twice this year, says engaged parent Stephanie Guyer-Stevens.

It was Guyer-Stevens who drove the presentation of a proclamation of the City Council calling for Healdsburg on Bikes Day as April 25 this year, a proclamation presented to her and three members of the mountain bike team at Monday’s city council meeting.

“We’re hoping that businesses in the area come up with something bike-related for the day,” she told Patch.

“One of the biggest hurdles we hope to overcome is finding out about the sport, and how cool the mountain bike scene is.”

The competitive sport of mountain biking at the high school level is not only recent, it’s also relatively local. There are currently 53 teams in the Northern California Cycling League, quite a lot – which makes sense, because Mount Tamalpais in Marin is frequently pointed out as the birthplace of competitive mountain biking (although Crested Butte, Colo. also claims honors).

Perennial powerhouse schools in the Nor Cal leagues include several Marin schools, including Sir Francis Drake High, Redwood High and San Rafael High.

Healdsburg High hopes to join their ranks, but it’ll take more support and recognition from local businesses and organizations to make that possible, said Guyer-Stevens.

And that’s what Healdsburg on Bikes Day is all about. Spoke Folk has been providing bike tune-ups and service for free, and equipment and materials only slight above cost.

The Raven Theater is hosting a benefit screening of “Singletrack High,” a documentary about the NorCal League, on that day Thursday April 25, at 7 p.m. for a $15 donation.

Campo Fina is helping out too, donating 25% of profits to diners who show their ticket to the Raven benefit,  and 10% for anyone who eats there that day.

Guyer-Stevens is hopeful the Kiwanis or Rotary will step up, too, and she encourages other downtown businesses to take part in the recognition, as well.

Her own interest, of course, is focused by her son Jasper’s presence on the team. But she’s disappointed that the 8-man team is exactly that.

“There’s no girls, and that’s a shame,” she said. “We actually lose points because we have no girls on the team.” They don’t actually have points taken away, she clarified, but miss out on bonus points for affirmative action.

Current team members are: Michael Beard (sophomore), Beau Besancon (JV), Ryan Grutze (JV), Jasper Guyer-Stevens (JV), Jona Holty (freshman), Camden Inman (freshman), Harry Hubbell (freshman), and Rolando Joachin (freshman).

Boys – and girls, too – if you’re interested in joining the Healdsburg High Hounds Mountain Bike Team, contact coach Bryan Davis at the High School (he doubles as a math teacher) and ask about signing up for next year’s team.

Despite the rugged image of the sport, serious injuries are rare, though there are the usual scrapes and bruises one would associate with teenage bike riding.

You can find out more about the sport, and the young athletes on the team, at the April 25 Healdsburg on Bikes Day. You can join the filmmakers of “Singletrack High” at Spoke Folk at 4:00 for a group bike ride, and get tickets for the film on the NorCalMTB web site.

Most important of all: Attend a race and cheer on the local team. If you can’t make the April 7 Ride at the Raceway at at Laguna Seca, make plans to attend the NorCal Championships at Bogg Mountain in Cobb on April 28, or the State Championship at Stafford Lake County Park in Novato on May 19.

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