Thursday, May 31, 2018

SoMont Frequently Asked Questions page updated!

Interested in SoMont but have lots of questions? We have you covered! 

Check out the fully updated frequently asked questions section here on the SoMont website. If you have additional questions about our program please feel free to message us on Facebook or through the website contact info section.

Sponsor Support Fuels Their Success

Dear Supporter of Youth Fitness and Character Development,

SoMont Youth Mountain Bike Team teaches southern Montgomery County girls and boys how to be conscientious, empowered, and self-reliant through the life-long sport of mountain biking. In an era where kids are opting out of sports in favor of more sedentary pastimes, SoMont’s program has grown exponentially, from 7 kids our first year (2016), to 27 last year, to a projected 40+ this coming fall season! We believe this is due to our focus on five core principles: Adventure, Exploration, Excitement, Friendship, and Fitness. And, most significantly, the fact that EVERY kid on the team participates, regardless of skill level. Our motto “No one sits the bench” says it all.

To help support this significant growth, we are looking for sponsorship partners for the fall 2018 season to join with us and help make the experience the best it can be for the kids and their families. Sponsorship is a great way to increase your company’s visibility, business, and community involvement. We work hard to provide you value beyond just putting your name on a shirt. We have an active social media presence and regularly feature our sponsors on Facebook, Twitter, at community events through signage, etc.

SoMont is entirely volunteer-led and is part of the National Interscholastic Cycling League and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League. We are fully insured through these governing bodies, and our coaches undergo significant training and background checks. Just as our athletes vary in age from grades 6-12, so does their skill level. Our experienced and enthusiastic coaches introduce total beginners to the sport, while also helping develop more seasoned athletes.

Our program is now gearing up for the 2018 season and we need your support! Attached is our sponsorship overview, explaining the different sponsorship levels and the corresponding promotional commitment from SoMont. Youth athletes are tough on equipment, travel costs add up quickly, active kids eat a lot, and performance uniforms cost much more than simple cotton t-shirts. Your sponsorship can help us keep costs as low as possible to encourage more kids to participate.

Thank you for considering partnering with us as a SoMont sponsor! For more information, please contact us.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

2018 Season Starts NOW!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick note to say HI and welcome you to the 2018 SoMont Youth MTB season! We've been working hard behind-the-scenes since Jan 1 to get things moving and we are really excited about this season -- our 3rd! 

Welcome also to those of you new to SoMont and youth mountain biking.

I'll keep this first email short and sweet.

- Our pre-season and main event schedules are live on our website and in Facebook. Check out the dates and times either below or online. We hope to see you all at either the Keswick (this Saturday) or Circle Cycle kick-off events!

- We are anticipating another season of growth this year as far as number of athletes . As such we are looking for your help with event planning, team coordination and other activities. If you are interested in being part of our new Parent Council, please get in touch with me. 

- We will be sending out a survey very soon to collect feedback and help guide us in 2018. Your feedback is important to us, so please fill this out when it arrives to your Inbox.

We are really looking forward to reconnecting with everyone soon. Let me know if you have any questions, otherwise we'll see you soon at one of our kickoff events.


1-2-3 SoMont M-T-B!

The SoMont Coaching Staff


Keswick Meet-N-Greet
Sat April 14, Noon to 3pm
Keswick Cycle Glenside

Circle Cycle Meet-N-Greet
Thu April 26, 6:30pm
Circle Cycle Bike Shop

MTBBQ PRESEASON KICKOFF: Meet-N-Greet, Beginners Clinic and Ride
Sat May 5, 10am-3pm
Lorimer Park

Philly PumpTrack Opening Day Jam 2018
Sat May 12, 10am
Philly PumpTrack

Arts in the Park Bike Corral Hosts
Sun June 3, 9am-4pm
Friends of High School Park, Elkins Park

Philly MTB Festival
Sun June 10, 10am
Salvatore Pachella Field
6839 Henry Ave, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19128

2018 First Official Practice
Sun July 1, 10am
Lorimer Park


- Sept 8/9 Michaux Family Camping weekend
- Sept 15/16 Fair Hill (Maryland/near Newark, Delaware)
- Sept 22/23 Gettysburg
- October 6/7 Johnstown
- October 27/28 Boyce Park (Pittsburgh area)
- Nov 1/2 Jordan Creek (Allentown)

SoMont Cycling Youth Mountain Bike Team Gears Up For Third Season

The SoMont Cycling Youth MTB team, a youth mountain bike team founded in Glenside/Wyncote, is looking for youth athletes to join their team. The team has local promotional events this weekend Saturday April 14 at Keswick Cycle in Glenside and next week Thursday April 26th at Circle Cycle Bike Shop in Huntington Valley.  

SoMont (Southern Montgomery County) Cycling Youth MTB Team is a chartered composite team of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League (PICL) and the National Interscholastic Cycling League (NICA). 

Co-founders, Wyncote/Cheltenham neighbors and friends, John Raisch and Thuong Nguyen are mountain biking enthusiasts.  Raisch, a Rockledge-native and Abington High School graduate, grew up mountain biking in Lorimer Park while Nguyen, who grew up in Lancaster, became an avid Fairmount Park rider while earning his BA at the University of the Arts. 

Today, both are also fathers with children developing their own affinity for cycling. During the league’s inaugural season in 2016, Raisch and Nguyen planned and conducted learning experiences, training, and practices for the youth in Lorimer Park, Baederwood Park, Tookany Creek Parkway, Pennypack Park & Rail Trail, Forbidden Drive, and at the Philly Pumptrack.  Along the way, they picked up new team recruits and supporters. For the 2017 season, the SoMont Cycling Youth MTB Team attracted over 25 student-athletes, spanning grades 6 through 10,  from public and private schools throughout southern Montgomery County (Cheltenham, Abington, Springfield, Lower Moreland and other areas).  The team is also enthusiastically and financially supported by many community businesses.  

Our athletes impress me every time we’re out on the bikes,” said Nguyen. He further added, ”Last year, their confidence grew off the charts, but, more importantly, they developed meaningful friendships. They’re just a great bunch of kids.”

“We have a fantastic group of dedicated community based sponsors, coaches, student-athletes and families. I am so proud of what we’ve collectively accomplished and I look forward to seeing our team race and represent Southern Montgomery County this season,” remarked Raisch. However, Raisch is boldly looking forward to this new season, “We are actively recruiting more student-athletes, preparing for a time when Abington, Cheltenham, Lower Moreland and other school districts adopt mountain biking as an interscholastic sport. This wonderful sport promotes physical and mental fitness, equality, inclusivity, and an appreciation of the great outdoors. We don’t think it gets much better than that.”

Founded in 2009, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) develops interscholastic mountain biking programs for student-athletes across the United States. NICA provides leadership, services and governance for local leagues to produce quality mountain bike events, and supports every student-athlete in the development of strong body, strong mind and strong character through their efforts on the bike.

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League (PICL) is a non-profit 501(c)3 NICA Project League. The league was organized in 2014 with the goal to provide fun, safe, and competitive mountain biking opportunities for middle (grades 6-8) & high school students in the Commonwealth.

SoMont Cycling Youth MTB Team is a PICL sanctioned composite team, organized in 2016.  It is an independent youth mountain bike team in the Cheltenham, Abington, Rockledge, Lower Moreland, Upper Dublin and Springfield areas of southern Montgomery County. The goal of SoMont Youth MTB is to introduce boys and girls (6th to 12th grade) to the sport of mountain biking and to help them use the sport as a way of developing a new life-long athletic interest.  The team and coaching philosophy is to use cycling, and the mountain bike itself, as a way-of-thinking to transport our riders to a sense of adventure, exploration, excitement, friendship and good health.

Learn more about the team at these upcoming promotional events:

Saturday April 14, Noon to 3pm
Keswick Cycle Glenside
408 N Easton Rd, Glenside, PA 19038

Circle Cycle Meet-N-Greet
Thursday April 26, 6:30pm
Circle Cycle Bike Shop
2525 Huntingdon Pike, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006

For more information please contact:
John Raisch, Director, SoMont Cycling Youth MTB Team

Monday, March 26, 2018

2018 PICL Leaders Summit

This weekend a number of SoMont coaches attended the 2018 PICL Leaders Summit. The league announced the 2018 schedule which includes the race calendar, new adventure events, summer camps and Teen Trail Corp. We'll be passing these details out soon. Coach John gave a presentation on How to Structure & Run a Mountain Bike Practice. You can have a look here

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Happy Living in MontCo Features Team on Facebook

On September 7th we had a visitor to practice -- Jeff Chirico. Jeff is a realtor, Emmy award-winning reporter and social media publisher. His "Happy Living in MontCo" Page is his Facebook-based social media platform for all things Montgomery County, specifically the areas of Glenside and Elkins Park.

Jeff stopped by practice to learn more about the team. He caught a glimpse of one of our skills-based practices and conducted some interviews.

We want to thank Jeff for stopping by to learn more about the team. Check out his video below and be sure to LIKE "Happy Living in MontCo" on Facebook.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

NICA Youth MTB League Thrives in VA - PA too!

PBS recently produced this great overview of youth mountain biking in Virginia. Pennsylvania, having started a few years after Virginia, has a similar story.