Wednesday, December 18, 2019

2020 Season Starts Soon!

With the 2019 season having come to a close, and the 2020 season just around the corner, we want to provide some helpful links to anyone interested in joining the team in 2020.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Registration for 2020 will start around April 1. We will also begin to have a number of preseason events starting April 1.
  • Official practice season starts in July of 2020. We will practice 3 days a week -- Tuesday 6pm, Thursday 6pm and Saturday 9am. Practice will be held at Lorimer Park and the new Twining Valley Park in Upper Dubin Township.
  • We are always in need of coaches to help lead rides, support rides and give skills instruction. Please reach out to us if you are interested in coaching or helping out the team in any way you can.
To learn more about the team, read our FAQ page.

Interested in getting a feel for the league and the team, check out the videos page.

You can always check out the NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association) page or the PICL (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League) Page.

Lastly, if you are interested in coaching or have any general questions for us, contact us using this email address:

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Gearing Up for the 2019 Season!

We are gearing up for 2019! Pre-season starts April 1. Practice starts July 7. Race and Adventure events start in September. Contact us now to sign up.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Youth MTB NICA Teams in Eastern PA Recruiting Riders & New Teams Now!

Do you have a son or daughter in grade 6 thru 12 who loves to ride their mountain bike? If so, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League, part of NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association), is for you and your family!

Teams all across southeastern PA are currently recruiting riders for the summer/fall season. In some regions, new teams are forming and are looking for youth athletes, parents and volunteers to help them grow.

PICL and NICA are "development oriented" youth athletic leagues where mountain biking experience is not required to join a team. Coaches will teach youth athletes all the necessary skills to be come proficient mountain biking athletes. In addition to race events, PICL programming also includes camps and adventure-oriented events, as you will see in the videos below.

To learn more about the league as well as teams in the southeastern PA region, use the links below the videos. PICL will also be hosting regional "Dirt Tours" in areas where new teams are looking to start. A number of Dirt Tour stops will be at local Trek stores. The Trek Store in Warminster will be hosting a Dirt Tour on Wednesday Feb 27 at 6pm.

2018 PICL Summer GRiT Camp (Girls Riding Together)

2018 Short Video - Gettysburg

PICL - Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League

NICA - National Interscholastic Cycling League

SEPA/Greater Philadelphia Region based PICL Teams
  • SoMont Cycling Youth MTB Team -- hey, that's us!
  • Northeast Philly/Lower Bucks County - Facebook
  • Bucks County Composite - Website
  • AIM Academy - website
  • Tredyffrin-Easttown area mountain bike team
  • Great Valley mountain bike team -
  • Lehigh Valley Area teams -
  • Stroudsburg/Pocono Are Composite Team - 
  • Owen J Roberts School District team -
  • Downingtown Area team -
  • Twin Valley Mountain Biking Team  -

Don't see a team near you or want to start a team? Check out this map or email PICL to get started at

Monday, January 21, 2019

We Support Accessible, Multi-use Open Space in Upper Dublin Township

January 21, 2019

Mr. Derek Dureka, Parks & Recreation Director
Upper Dublin Township
801 Loch Alsh Avenue
Fort Washington, PA 19034

RE: Montco 2040 Grant Application for Conversion of Twining Valley Golf Course

Dear Mr. Dureka:

As  a team with athletes within Upper Dublin township, we fully support your township’s submission of a Montco 2040 grant application to assist with the conversion of the Twining Valley Golf Course property from a golf course to a park/preserve. While being built by the Upper Dublin community and with your residents in mind, the size of this site and the uniqueness of what is planned will be an asset for our cycling team and community as well.

Access to open space is the single most important factor contributing to the success of the SoMont Cycling Youth Mountain Bike Team.  Similar to how we use open space, parks and trails in adjacent areas, we anticipate our team community will take full advantage of this new regional asset while learning skills at the graduated bike park, becoming immersed in the beautiful natural landscape, riding the mountain trails and exploring the natural playscape.

We are 40 youth athletes and over 20 coaches across eastern MontCo with the goal of getting #MoreKidsOnBikes! We applaud your vision and commitment to this evolved natural space.

Good luck with this exciting endeavor and we look forward to the grand opening.


John Raisch & the SoMont Cycling Youth MTB Team community

To learn more about the proposed idea, click here.

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.