Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Friends of Cresheim Trail Recognize SoMont/Philly Wiss Trail Work

On July 31, 2021 Independence Youth Cycling’s chapter teams, SoMont and Philly Wiss, participated in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic League’s Teen Trail Corp Day at Cresheim Trail in NW Philadelphia.

23 student athletes, 10 coaches and many parents & siblings participated in the event, which was hosted by the Friends of Cresheim Trail.

The collective group performed a total of 66 hours of volunteer time.

The teams met at the outdoor classroom area on Cresheim Road and formed groups. The groups trimmed/resurfaced the single-track loop toward Germantown Avenue, trimmed the trail out to Allens Lane and  cleared the sidewalk along Cresheim Valley Dr/Emlen Street. Previously un-walkable due to overgrowth, the entire sidewalk along Cresheim Valley Drive/Emlen St was made walkable again as a result of the workday.

Teen Trail Corp is a program from the National Interscholastic Cycling League (NICA) and its state chapter the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League (PICL). Teen Trail Corps is a program that provides NICA student-athletes the opportunity to serve and give their time towards bike related advocacy activities. The program is designed to provide exposure and be a gateway for NICA student-athletes into the world of advocacy.

On September 3rd, Friends of Cresheim Trail Executive Director Susan Dannenberg presented the team with a Certificate of Acknowledgement and letter, and thanked team for their very important work in maintaining the trail network.


September 3, 2021

Dear SoMont Youth MTB Team:

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Cresheim Trail, I would like to personally thank you for your significant contribution to the August Workday on the Cresheim Trail. We are delighted that your group chose the Cresheim Trail as the beneficiary of your efforts. It is only through the hard work of volunteers like yourselves that we can maintain this special trail.

Please let your parents know that we appreciate their time. Guiding a group this large is not possible without adult participation.

During the workday over thirty SoMont Youth MTB Team members and their parents performed over 66 hours of clean up. Volunteers cleared vines from two segments of the Cresheim Trail and cleared the slate sidewalk on Emlen Street between Cresheim Road and Allens Lane. This was a major undertaking and will benefit all who use the Cresheim Trail or walk along Cresheim Valley Drive to say nothing of the aesthetic improvement! Cresheim Valley Drive is one of the Fairmount Park Drives and serves as a beautiful gateway. Your work on clearing and repairing the historic slate sidewalk makes this parkway truly worthy of the name.

Great work everyone. The Friends of the Cresheim Trail greatly appreciates your dedication to community service!


Susan Dannenberg, Board Chair

Friends of the Cresheim Trail


Monday, August 9, 2021

Supporters Store and SoMont Gear Bag

 The SoMont Supporter Store and Gear Bag orders close soon! Get your merch and gear now while the order window is open! Order window closes August 15th.

Supporter Store -

Gear Bag  -

When ordering you the gear back you will need to enter “somont” (all lower case, no spaces) in the coupon code section.  You may see a higher price at first, however once you enter your address and coupon code, the price should update to the price stated above.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Season 6 Episode 1 Coming Soon!

Last night we held a virtual meeting for all return riders and families. Our special guest was Derek Dureka, Upper Dublin Township Parks & Recreation Director. Derek gave us an update on Twining Valley Park!

The agenda included the pre-season timeline, registration deadline/cap, practice season approach - starting July 13, team composition (this year, next year), official event schedule and sponsorship/fundraising.

You can view the slides from the presentation here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

What it means to be a SoMont/NICA youth mountain bike coach

Interested in being a youth mountain bike coach? 

Well, that question is usually answered by asking another question! "What does it mean to BE a mountain bike coach?"

Here's the way we look at it. There are 3 basic "coaching" roles -- Ride Supporter, Ride Leader & Skills Instructor.

Participation as a coach starts at the Ride Support level. This role supports other senior coaches and consists of keeping kids in order at the beginning and end of practice, as well as managing during instruction sessions. During trail rides, Ride Supporters ride in with the pack to keep the group controlled and/or sweep the group. Ride Support requires a NICA Level 1 Certification. You do NOT need mountain biking experience to be a Level 1 coach. We’ll help you learn what you need to be successful!

Ride Leader is next. Ride Leader role is responsible for leading a successful group of athletes and coaches during a ride. There's a group ride protocol we follow, which is geared toward safety. This coach role requires a Level 2 NICA coach certification, mostly for knowledge on how to teach basic skills (NICA "OTB 101"), First Aid certification,  and NICA Risk Management.

Skills Instructor comes next. This is a senior coach who is comfortable getting up in front of the student athletes to do skills instruction. We have a really great skills development program provided to us by National Interscholastic Cycling Association and the  Pennsylvania Interscholastic Mountain Biking league. The Skills Instructor role requires a NICA Level 2 or 3 certification

Above that we have different senior level roles that make the organization run. 

The other part of leading a team is finding a spot where we can make you as a person, shine. We do our best to find roles where people can bring their individual strengths to the table. CFO types help with finances more than instruction. Comms people help with social media and email newsletters vs hammering with the fast kids. You get the idea.

Interested in learning more about coaching! Contact us today! We need YOU to make our program a success! E-mail us for more info at

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Gearing up for the 2021 season!

Hello and thank you for visiting the SoMont website.

Despite all the challenges we faced, we had a successful 2020 season. We were 45 student athletes and 25 coaches strong. We competed in a number of state time-trail events and even hosted our first ever SoMont produced event -- the Blue Comet Motorcycle Club Short Track race.

As we look forward into 2021, I want to share with you our general timeline.

January thru March - this is our official OFF season. The coaching staff meets monthly to reflect and plan for the season ahead.

April thru June - PRE season. We typically have a number of small off-the-bike pre-season events in April and May. Be on the lookout for promotional events at local bike shops and other locations. Every May we have our annual MTBBQ. We have a limited number of official pre-season rides (new and return athletes) in May and June.

July thru August - Practice and Training season. We start practice usually the first full week after July 4. Practice schedule is Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

September thru October - Race and event season. We typically participate in 5-6 statewide race event and any number of adventure/camping/social events.

If you are interested in learning more about joining the team, please contact us at

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Youth Sports in 2019 vs 2020

Just about on e year ago Coach John and a few local coaches did a talk at the Philly Bike Expo. 

Since that time, a lot about youth sports has changed. Cycling in particular has seen growth. 

This presentation, with video, tells a really interesting story about the health of cycling in 2019.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Practice starts tonight!

Final checklist for practice Practice day is here! 

Some really important notes as we start the season. 

Parents, you are required to read and observe the rules and guidance provided in our Return to Play/Covid Protocols document. If you have not done so, please read the document prior to tonight's practice. I have also pasted in the Self Assessment guidelines to the bottom of this email.

Regarding Covid self assessment, if your child even feels slightly sick and/or is demonstrating ANY of the Covid symptoms please keep your child home. 

Masks are required at all times. Only on a ride will we permit the student athletes to remove their masks. If a student athlete has a condition that prevents them from wearing a mask all the time, please let me know. 

A helmet and water (water bottle, camelback, etc...) are mandatory. Helmets must be worn any times an athlete is on their bicycle, even if for a short distance or standing still. 

Drop off in the main parking lot. Pick-up also in the main parking lot. DO NOT drive down to the ranger station. DO NOT let your child cross Moredon Road. Have them go UNDER Moredon road down by the creek. 

I will be with a few coaches in the parking lot to greet you. Please ask for me when arriving. 

Parents are not allowed to be in the immediate practice area other than walking down for drop-off. You are allowed to remain at/in the park to walk, hike or bike. 

Practice is from 6pm to 7:30-ish. Please arrive on time or early. I expect us to run long. Any questions call me. 

See you this evening. Please be on time. 

Coach John 
215 704-1556 

------ SELF ASSESSMENT ------ 

All athletes and coaches MUST perform the following self-assessment prior to coming to practice or any SoMont event: 

Do you feel unwell or have any of the above CDC-identified symptoms? 

Within the last 14 calendar days, have you been in close contact (within 6 feet) of someone who has an active case of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19? 

Within the last 14 calendar days, have you been in close contact (within 6 feet) of someone who is ill or demonstrates any of the above CDC-identified symptoms? 

 ithin the last 14 calendar days, have you received instructions from a public health authority to self-observe, self-isolate or self-quarantine?

Within the last 14 calendar days, have you traveled outside the United States or to a PA Dept of State identified high-risk state?  

If you answer “yes” regarding any of the symptoms, DO NOT come to practice. 

Please also consider contacting your family physician and self-observing, self-isolating, or self-quarantining as necessary.