Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Happy Birthday to Coach Dan!

After yesterday's practice, we sang an impromptu Happy Birthday to Coach Dan. During the ride I thanked Coach Dan for coming to practice on his birthday. He made nothing of it and said... "John, I live every day like it's my birthday!" What great words to live by!

Thanks Coach Dan for being part of our team!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Marysville Epic Race Details Released -- PICL's 2016 Season Inaugural Event!

Sunday, September 18th, First Start Time: 9:30 AM
Oesterling Farm, Marysville, PA

The trails at the Oesterling Farm are true classics in the world of Mid-Atlantic mountain biking and we can’t wait to introduce the League to them this Fall. You’re in for a treat! There is a wonderful mix of open pastures and flowy singletrack that make for fun riding and fantastic spectating. What have essentially become our League Director’s fingerprint, the trails here have been perfected over a decade of races. Not quite Mike’s backyard, but it might as well be. It is a scenic setting to make history: the first ever interscholastic mountain bike race in Pennsylvania, just outside of the Capitol.
Riders will begin behind the barn and homestead, near rows of what used to be a tree farm, and ascend nearly a half mile of uneven grassy terrain. This should spread everyone out before the first stretch of singletrack at the top of the hill. Most sustained climbing will happen during this first half of the course. Singletrack is mixed with doubletrack and open grass segments for opportunities to pass or take a break. The course is often tight and twisty, and riders will come close to the infield before completing a lap. There are many places to spectate where you’ll see riders in all directions. Bring your cowbells!
High School Course Map can be found HERE. Middle School Course Map is HERE.

Course is open for pre-ride Saturday afternoon (2:00 PM–5:00 PM) and Sunday morning (8:00 AM–9:00 AM). We recommend all riders pre-ride the course. Please pass course workers with great care.
100 Country Creek Road Marysville, PA 17053 (717) 350-1029

Marysville is located just north of Harrisburg, PA on the west shore of the Susquehanna River. Marysville is exit 65 (for Rt.11/15 North) off of I-81. Take 11&15 into Marysville and turn west onto Route 850. Proceed 1.5 miles west on Route 850 and then turn left onto Holly Road. As Holly Road bends to the left, leave the pavement and go straight down the gravel road. Follow signs to parking and registration.
***Parking is available at the infield location.***

  • PitZone is open to vehicles for unloading/loading only (no parked vehicles allowed) during the following times::
    • Saturday: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    • Sunday: 7:15 AM to 9:00 AM and after last racer has crossed the line and infield in taken down
  • No Smoking in PitZone
  • No inappropriate language allowed in PitZone
  • Any conflicts and/or disputes with any race official or volunteer shall not be dealt with in the PitZone
  • Any violation of the above rules may result in a team penalty and/or expulsion from the PitZone and Infield area
  • PITZONE could become too muddy to drive. Please be prepared to drop off and walk-in from gravel driveway.
Hotels are available in nearby Harrisburg and surrounding regions.
Both tent and RV camping options are available at the farm for $10 per site Saturday night. Details to follow for camping reservations.
  • RV’s & Campers should plan to be self sufficient (NO electricity - Limited Water)
  • There are no showers at the farm
  • No Open Fires
  • More camp rules HERE.
Mad Dash Artisan Grilled Cheese will be on-site 3pm to 7pm Saturday & Sunday 9am to 3pm. Yum!

Volunteers make our events possible. If you’d like to contribute to any Pennsylvania League event, please e-mail

No gasoline generators inside the team pit area, please, and no open fires outside of designated campfire rings
No dogs off leash please
Those petitioning for exceptions to category placement must do so in the required time-frame before the race. Same-day petitions will not be considered.  
Please pack out what you pack in. No garbage receptacles will be provided.
Parking access in/out of the primary parking area will be closed from 8:30 AM to 2:30PM on Sunday. Vehicles arriving after that time will need to park at the over-flow parking lot. Signs will be posted along the route.


Start Time
Final Lap Time Cut-Off
Approx. Distance
Wave 1
Varsity Girls
9:30 AM
16.8 Miles

JV Girls
9:34 AM
12.6 Miles

Sophomore Girls
9:38 AM
8.4 Miles

Freshman Girls
9:42 AM
8.4 Miles
Wave 2
8th Grade Boys
11:30 AM
4.4 Miles

7th Grade Boys
11:32 AM
4.4 Miles

6th Grade Boys
11:34 AM
4.4 Miles
Wave 3
8th Grade Girls
12:15 PM
4.4 Miles

7th Grade Girls
12:17 PM
4.4 Miles

6th Grade Girls
12:19 PM
4.4 Miles
Wave 4
Varsity Boys
1:00 PM
16.8 Miles

JV Boys
1:04 PM
12.6 Miles

Sophomore Boys
1:08 PM
8.4 Miles

Freshman Boys
1:12 PM
8.4 Miles

Friday, August 19, 2016

Announcing our 2016 sponsors -- led by TryAd Personal Training

SoMont Cycling is proud to announce its sponsors for the 2016 season, starting with the premier, GOLD level sponsor TryAd Personal Training.

TryAd Personal Training will be playing a key role aiding coaches in the development of youth athletes by assisting in strength and conditioning, as well as flexibility and proper nutrition to help the athletes minimize injuries and maximize their success on the trail!

A huge thank you goes out to Daniel Maialetti and TryAd Personal Training for their commitment to the success of the team. To learn more about TryAd visit their website or Facebook page.

Stay tuned for more posts about our other 2016 sponsors.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Evolution of Our Practice Format

If you've been a baseball, softball or soccer coach before, you pretty much know the drill (pun intended) when it comes to the format of practice. For most sports, practice is pretty much the same. We're finding at SoMont that cycling at our level isn't that much different than other sports in terms of practice format. The big difference is we're doing it on a bike and we need to think a bit about where we hold our practices.

As we have more and more practices our format becomes a bit more refined each time. Coach and manager roles are starting to crystallize. Team and personal dynamics are beginning to shine thru. Athletes are starting to get it and it is pretty exciting.

While we have 2 different types of practices, skill and trail ride (endurance) they all generally have the same flow.
  • everyone gathers up, light conversation
  • group hits critical mass, practice begins
  • team managers and coaches say a few things 
  • start with safetey checks (water, helmets, etc...) and ABCs of bike maintenance (Air, Brakes, Chain)
  • we start with an educational topic for the athletes, like hydration, and talk briefly about it. We'll continue to talk about it all throughout the practice
  • we jump on the bike and start shredding!
  • for skills based practice, we'll do a number of different purposed-based drills for 30 to 45 minutes. Then we'll transition to a Circuit Loop with lots of coach instruction if not a 1-1 coach-to-athete pairing (when available). For a trail ride practice, we'll ride 8 to 10 miles and start/stop with instruction along the way when appropriate
  • we finish the practice with some administrative items, talk of upcoming events and Q&A
While things are starting to gel, we've also acknowledged we need to do a better job with things like warming up/down & stretching. Our broader week-to-week and season long curriculum is something that's also in development. These are just a few of the things we'll be focusing on in the next few practices.

To give you some insight into how and where we've conducted one of our most successful skills-based practices, below you'll find an embedded Strava record of the activity and some pictures of the practice. What you can't exactly see in the map below is both a skills area and a circuit loop. We're finding that a small hyper-local park like Baederwood Park in Abington is a perfect location for a practice for us!

Check it out. Are you ready to shred with us? Email us at info at somontcycling dot org if you want to learn more about our team!

Coach Dan talking about the importance of hydration

Coach Thuong overseeing a carry-over drill

Collin charging over the obstacle

Ethan from an interesting perspective

Coach John and Coach Thuong talking thru the ATTACK POSITION during a small downhill of the Circuit Loop

Friday, August 12, 2016

2016 Inaugural Race Details & Course Map Released

Exciting news! The 2016 PICL Middle and High School course maps via GPS have been released. The loop is 202 miles with approximately 172 feet of climb/descent. One loop will take an athlete approximately 25 minutes. The middle school loop will be performed a least a few times with the final number of loops TBD!

Check it the middle school loop details below! Click here for the high school loop.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

SoMont Cycling sign up -- Here's how it works...

The SoMont Cycling 2016 mountain bike season is in full swing and we're off to a great start. We've held a number of practices and group trail rides in July and August. We've designed our jersey, did some fundraising and acquired our first round of 2016 sponsors! (more about that soon). The athletes are having a great time and the coaches are excited to see everyone's progression.

But that doesn't mean we're done recruiting. We're still out hosting events at local bike shops and other locations in the community. You might have even seen our posters around your neighborhood.

If you even wondered what the signup process might be like, here's what it entails from the athletes perspective.

After contacting the team directors, by emailing, you will be sent an invitation to sign in to the PitZone. The PitZone is the online portal supplied to us by the national organization, NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling League). The parent of the athlete is typically the registrant and the person who supplies all the personal information about the athlete and their family. As part of this process there are waivers, acknowledgement forms and the initial NICA and PA League fees are collected. At this point the directors of the SoMont team are notified and the athlete is registered officially on the team.

At this point, the SoMont coaching team will contact the family about other administrative items specific to the SoMont team such as jersey sizing, personal/emergency contact information, food allergies, parent volunteer opportunities and the collection of the SoMont fees ($150).

That's it!

Contact us at or 215 704-1556 to learn more about joining our team!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Practice Schedule Beginning to Firm Up

Our practice schedule over the past few weeks has been working out for our families and coaches so we are going to stick with it. We current have the following plans. Locations for each will be TBD and posted to the schedule hopefully a week in advance.

  • Sunday Afternoon: Trail rides (Potential locations: Lorimer Park, Pennypack Rail-Trail, Forbidden Drive, SRT, Pennypack Park, Rt 202 Trail and more)
  • Tuesday evening: Skills-based practice (Curtis Arboretum, Tookany Creek Parkway Trail, Baederwood Park and more)
We are also planning a number of special events. This of these as ROAD TRIPS to places like the Philly PumpTrack or RideNox.

For reference, we've put together this map of all the potential locations we'll use throughout the season. You can also view the map in FULL SCREEN.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Learn More about SoMont Cycling at Keswick Cycle + Keswick Summer Sale

We will be having another Q&A night to answer questions about the team this Thursday August 4th 7pm at Keswick Cycle Glenside.

Come by early to shop the Keswick Summer Sale where all 2014-2015 Road & Mountain bikes are 15% to 30% off! Plus everything in the store is 10% to 60% off?

Learn more about he Keswick Summer Sale >