With mountain bike racing continuing to grow in popularity with middle and high school students across the state, the Iron Giants Mountain Bike Team is excited to announce that team registration for the 2022 season is now open until May 31 to all Iron County students entering the seventh grade or higher next school year.
The team is proud to be affiliated with the Utah High School Cycling League, a nonprofit organization committed to providing a safe and positive experience for every rider, and the National Interscholastic Cycling Association.
This year, after continued growth, the Utah League added a sixth region and anticipates 7,000 student-athletes statewide to participate in the upcoming race season. The Utah League held its first race in 2012 and that same year became the largest first-year league in NICA history. By 2014, it grew to become the largest league in all of NICA.
“Mountain biking is one of the fastest-growing middle and high school sports,” said Utah High School Cycling League race director Ginger Hall. “We attribute this to our amazing volunteer coaches committing to the league’s five core principles of fun, inclusivity, equity, respect and community.”
The Iron Giants are holding two pre-season “Meet the Giants” rides to allow local teens the opportunity to ride with the team. The first one already took place on May 12, but the second one is scheduled for May 19 at 7 p.m. at the Southview Trailhead. Prospective team members and their guardians are invited to ride with the team with a functioning mountain bike, helmet and signed waiver.
“I’ll get to meet some of the kids I’ll be on the team with and get to know them before the season starts,” said Ren Knudsen, a new Iron Giants student-athlete. “I’m excited for the fun rides, to have the chance to race and cheer on my teammates.”
The team’s season starts June 1 and runs through mid-October. All levels of experience are welcome and the program is designed to offer a high-quality racing experience to all participants.
During the season, student-athletes are expected to ride trail with the team three days a week and spend additional time learning on-the-bike skills and bike maintenance. They will have the opportunity to race at locations across Utah, including Manti, Snowbasin, Price, Richfield and St. George.
The Utah League is scheduled to hold two races in Iron County this season at Three Peaks Recreation Area, bringing thousands of student-athletes and their families from across the state to visit and stay in the area.
The Iron Giants are currently looking for financial support from local businesses. Sponsorships will help the team offer scholarships for student-athletes in need, and provide support during the race season. A sponsorship form and list of associated perks can be found here.
The Iron Giants Mountain Bike Team is a composite team of middle and high school students in Iron County. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced cyclist, there is a place for you on the team. Student-athletes are encouraged to build strong bodies, minds and character through the lifelong sport of mountain biking.
The Iron Giants and the Utah League are affiliated with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). For more information visit the irongiants.bike website or send an email to [email protected].
Written by SUSIE KNUDSEN, Iron Giants team director.