Sunday, January 13, 2019

January 2019 Season News and Update

Hello SoMont friends and family,

We are only 9 days into 2019 but I'm sure everyone is eager to hear what's going on with the team. :) I've had a few planning sessions with a few folks so I wanted to provide a quick update.

The big news I would like to announce is Danelle and Jason have accepted new Head Coach roles for High School and Middle School respectively (Danelle - HS, Jason - MS). As the team (both athlete and coach roster) grows, we need a bit more formalized structure. Danelle and Jason have both shown great commitment to the team over the past 2 seasons and have already demonstrated their ability to take this on. I'm not going anywhere and will be working closely with both of them on all of our programs. Please join me in congratulating them on these new roles -- both of them will have more to say about their roles as we move forward! More also on group structure later...

A full SoMont season calendar of events is below. Please keep in mind that some dates are tentative and/or subject to change. (These are SoMont events, not PICL race or adventure events)

We are currently looking for help in the following areas: Events, Registration and Sponsorship/Fundraising. If you are interested in helping in any of these areas please let me know.

A decision has been made that we will be practicing are more/different locations this season. Lorimer will always be our home base and we will have more than half of our practices there, but we'll also look to have at least one practice per week at a location other than Lorimer. We will also, at times, have HS and MS at different locations as well. Logistics and scheduling details TBD.

Some progress is being made on the Trails/TTC front. More on that when we meet in Feb.

For anyone interested in the whole Team Foster/Foster 100 events/causes please see the Facebook posts about the Team Foster 100 Ruff Ride where the SoMont MTB Community has a team -- all are welcome to join!

See you all soon and happy trails!

Coach John

  • Sat Feb 23 - Winter Warmer Social & Ride (tentative date, location TBD)
  • Thu Feb 28 - All Coaches meeting (current coaches)
  • Thu March 21 - New & Prospective Coaches Mandatory Info Session 
  • Sat/Sun Mar 23/24 - PICL Leaders Summit
  • Sun March 31 - Snowballs Chance Ride
  • Sat April 13 - Keswick Promo during spring Sale (tentative date)
  • Sun April 28 - LLWH
  • Sat April 27 - Circle Cycle promo event (tentative date)
  • Sat May 4 - MTBBQ and “TryIt Ride”
  • Sat May 18 - DirtFest, Raystown (not a team event)
  • Fri/Sat May 31/Jun1 - Team Foster Ruff Ride (not a team event)
  • Sun June 9 - Philly MTB Fest (Also Cancer ride bike-a-thon)
  • Sun June 16 - SoMont “TryIt Ride”
  • Tue July 9 - First practice of 2019
  • Sat July 27 - Nox day trip
  • Sat Aug 17 - Batsto Practice, camping/water weekend
  • Sat Sept 14 - Foster 100 (not a team event)

Monday, October 1, 2018

Crank it UP! SoMont Youth MTB Team Performs Strong at First Event of 2018 Season

On Sunday September 23rd, 30 local MontCo-based youth mountain bike athletes performed strong at the first race of the 2018 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League's season -- Grinnin' at Granite Hill event in Gettysburg, PA.

Photo credit: Brian Wasson
The SoMont roster includes local interscholastic athletes competing together, on one team, against other state-wide interscholastic cycling athletes and teams. SoMont youth athletes from Abington, Cheltenham, Jenkintown, Lower Moreland, Upper Dublin & Springfield squared up against athletes from across the state -- NE Philly, NEPA, Lehigh Valley, Great Valley and more, even as far away as Pittsburgh and Centre County! Over 450 youth athletes from grades 6 thru 12 competed in the event.

Wet conditions at the Gettysburg course, a new venue for the state-wide league, didn't dampen the mood of any athlete. The course was challenging -- muddy, slippery and a bit cool. But the athletes persevered, some taking the podium.

SoMont had 11 top 10 finishers and 4 podiums out of the 30 SoMont athletes who competed in the event.

Elkins Park Middle School athletes from Glenside, Cheltenham Township took 2nd and 4th in the 6th grade boys classification. This was the first mountain bike race for both boys!

Cheltenham Township scored another podium from a 10th grader with his 3rd place finish in the JV3 (one step down from Varsity) boys category. SoMont's podium was rounded out with a 3rd place finish by a Springfield High School athlete in the boys Freshman category. See podium photos below.

Head Coach John Raisch, a local Wyncote resident and 2016 team founder, couldn't be more proud of the team. "NICA, the national program teaches 'Strong Mind, Strong Body and Strong Character' along with mountain bike skills and endurance -- our team showed all of this and more this weekend. The conditions were tough, but we were tougher!"

Photo credit: Brian Wasson
NICA, the National Interscholastic Cycling League, is the governing body of the PA league as well as 20 other state-level interscholastic mountain biking leagues. NICAs program also stresses Inclusivity and Equality in their sport. SoMont Youth MTB is co-ed, with 8 females on the team of 40 youth athletes.

This weekend October 5 and 6 SoMont is headed to Johnstown PA for their second race of the season. SoMont will be Fair Hill MD, Pittsburg and Allentown PA to continue the season.

For more information, visit our website at


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.

Pennypack Park Pine Rd Cleanup

On Saturday Sept 29 before we hit the trails at Pennypack the team did a cleanup. The team picked 2 full bags of litter from the park. The time spent will be logged toward our Team Trail Corp credits.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Missed Out Ordering SoMont Supporters Gear? Never Fear!

The team purchased a number of additional items from the SoMont Supporters Store. If you are interested in any of the items below please contact Glynis Raisch at glyniseve [at] hotmail [dot] com.

Hoodie - Black
1 - Size Adult Large


Short Sleeve Mens
1 - Size Adult Medium
4 - Size Adult Large
1 - Size Adult 2XL


SHORT Sleeve Womens
2 - Size Adult Medium
2 - Size Adult Large


Thursday, September 13, 2018

SoMont/PICL 2018 Event Calendar including Lodging and Event Info

SoMont/PICL Event Calendar 2018 / LODGING + EVENT INFO 

Updated October 2, 2018.

Race weekends are fun! The vibe at the events is upbeat, friendly, and exciting. The actual races take place on Sundays, but we highly encourage athletes to arrive by Saturday early afternoon to be able to pre-ride the course with the coaches (no riding the course on your own on Saturday). Some race weekends also include “Adventure” programming, which takes place on Saturday afternoon, requiring arrival by Saturday at noon or earlier.

Most SoMont families make a weekend of the races that are farther away, either camping together or staying in nearby hotels. If you have not made lodging reservations, we suggest you do so ASAP as many nearby hotels sell out early.

Very important: In addition to registering for the race(s) on PitZone, please also set your athlete's availability in TeamSnap for the pre-ride, race, and adventure ride (when applicable). This helps us immensely when planning for coach coverage, etc. If you are new and are totally confused by all of this, no worries… just ask one of the coaches and we’ll do our best to help you get things sorted out.


Oct. 6-7 / Johnstown -- Event info sheet

Johnstown is a great venue for spectators, as the race course winds back and forth, making it easy to see the racers at multiple points without having to go too far. Bring your camera!

There are two camping options for Johnstown. Many SoMont families are staying at Quemahoning Campground, which is about 20 minutes from the race venue and has good rates. There will also be tent and RV camping directly on-site at the race for $5/person on Saturday night (portable toilets only). Register for that camping here. Others will be hoteling it in and around Johnstown. 

Event location: Highland Park, 213 Playground Dr., Johnstown, PA 15904. Tourist suggestion: the Flight 93 National Memorial (9-11) is nearby, and is well worth a visit.

Oct. 20-21 / Fair Hill, Elkton, Maryland (Gallaher) -- Event info sheet

(Rescheduled from Sept. 15-16) This weekend will feature an Adventure course on Saturday afternoon and the regular race on Sunday. Students can participate in the fun Adventure course on Saturday, the race on Sunday, or both. Registration price in PitZone is $40 for either event or both (i.e., one price covers all). The venue is only about 1.25 hours from our area, so most will likely commute both days. If not, there are a lot of decent, reasonably priced hotels along the nearby I-95 corridor near Newark, Delaware. There is no camping on-site, but Lums Pond State Park in Delaware is a very nice park with camping, about 25 minutes south of Fair Hill. Event location: Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area 300 Tawes Dr, Elkton, Maryland 21921

Oct. 27-28 / Pittsburg-Monroeville (Boyce) -- Event info sheet
> Hotel room block SOLD OUT

Although this race is called the "PA State Championships," note that it is just a normal race and any registered PICL/NICA athlete can participate. As the State Championships, the points for the high school-level races will be doubled (that's the only difference).

The Hampton Inn in Monroeville, Pa., is our designated team hotel for this race. As of 10/1 the hotel block is sold out, sorry. This hotel is VERY supportive of PICL; offers a good, hot breakfast buffet; has friendly cancellation policies; and last year had goodie bags for the kids, a bike wash station set up, etc. Reserve your room directly with the hotel by phone (412-380-4000; be sure to mention SoMont and PICL) or on the special hotel webpage set up for us.

This weekend will feature an Adventure course on Saturday afternoon and the regular race on Sunday. Students can participate in the fun Adventure course on Saturday, the race on Sunday, or both. Registration price in PitZone is $40 for either event or both (i.e., one price covers all). Event location: Boyce Park Dr., Pittsburgh, PA 15239

Nov. 3-4 / Allentown (Jordan Creek) -- Event info sheet

SoMont is a "home team" for the Allentown race, and is expected to help with course setup and tear down and other tasks. We need SoMont family members to sign-up to help. Please make sure to note that you are from SoMont so we get proper "credit" for our volunteers. The venue is only about an hour or so from our area, so most folks will likely commute both days. Plenty of hotels in Allentown if you want to stay overnight. Event location: Jordan Creek County Park, 1701 Scherersville Rd, Allentown, PA 18104

1. Grinnin’ at Granite XC – Granite Hill Campground, Gettysburg, Sept. 22-23
2. High Ground at J-Town XC – Johnstown – Oct. 6-7
3. Blur of Gallaher XC and Adventure Wknd – Fair Hill, MD – Oct. 20-21
4. PA STATE XC CHAMPIONSHIPS and Adventure Wknd at the Boyce Big Ring – Pittsburgh – Oct. 27-28
5. PA FINALS – Flow at Jordan Creek – Allentown, PA – Nov. 3-4

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Give BOOTCAMP a try with Coach Dan's TryAd Personal Training!

Free TryAd Personal Training “Bootcamp” training session!

SoMont’s “Coach Dan” is also a Gold-Level team sponsor as owner of TryAd Personal Training. He’s kindly offering SoMont family members a free Bootcamp Session ($20 value) on Saturday morning, Sept. 29, at 9:00 a.m. Tryad Bootcamps are a fun, challenging, and inexpensive way to work out.

They are held in Pennypack Park, three minutes from Lorimer Park. Drop your kids off at practice that day and head over. No experience required! Dan is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with extensive experience in the fitness industry. He works with clients of all levels and abilities. As all SoMont athletes know, his dynamic personality motivates you to achieve your full potential. Additional dates may be available if you can’t make the 29 th .

Please RSVP directly to Dan at dan [at] tryad-pt [dot] com. Learn more about TryAd Personal Training BOOTCAMPs here.

Here's a video of the team doing BOOTCAMP during a rainy day practice!

Monday, August 6, 2018

SoMont Supporters Store now open!

Looking for new SoMont swag to wear at race events or practice? Check out the SoMont Supporters Store where you will find hoodies, tech shirts and tanks in youth, male and female cuts. Order now -- store closes soon!

All orders ship to Coach John for distribution sometime in early September!