A Typical Practice
The Minnesota High School Cycling League season begins after the July 4th holiday. Once the official season begins the Edina Cycling Team will hold regular weekday practices every Tuesday and Thursday. A regular weekend practice will also be held on either Saturday or Sunday with the day varying depending of the race schedule of the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series. The Minnesota Mountain Bike Series is a non-NICA Summer/early Fall race series that many team athletes and coaches race. Weekday practices typically begin at Weber Park in Edina. From Weber Park the team often rides to Theodore Wirth Park where there are mountain biking trails and then back. Wet weather can close a mountain bike trail. If the Wirth trails are closed and weather permits the team will do a road ride instead. At the start of the season these weekday practice start at 5:30 PM and end at 7:30 PM. They are moved forward by 30 minutes late in the season as the days are shorter. Weekend practices are held are various metro-area trail systems (there are several within 30 minutes of Edina). These practices start at 4:00 PM and end at 6:00 PM. Athletes are grouped by ability for practices and each group will ride with one or two coaches depending on the size of the group.
A Typical Race
While the season officially begins after the July 4th holiday, the first race of the season is typically late August or Early September. The complete Minnesota High School Cycling League is comprised of seven races with each team participating in five events. With the exception of the State Championship meet all races are held on Sundays. The State Championship is the one event that all teams in the league race. The size of the field necessitates that this race take place on Saturday and Sunday. Middle school athletes race in the morning of a typical Sunday race and high school athletes race the afternoon of a typical Sunday race. The first morning race starts at 8:30 AM and the last afternoon race starts at 1:30 PM with the progression of races determined by athlete grade/ability and thus varsity being the last race of the day. An awards ceremony is held at the end of each race. Races are festive affairs. Each team is given a camp site near the start/finish of the race course. Teams set up tents and bike racks at these sites. The team has a food coordinator that works with families to ensure the tent is well stocked with food and beverages so that team athletes and spectators are fed. The team tent is a home base for athletes and parents for the day. Most athletes want to pre-ride a course before a race. The league offers the opportunity for athletes to get on a course for pre-ride from 1:00 PM - 3:15 PM the Saturday before a race or from 7:30 AM - 8:00 AM the race day morning.