Some of the 2011 MTB Team

Monday, December 6, 2010

Prepare for Start of Practice!

Our new name is: Crescenta Valley Composite Team
Upcoming practices are:
Tuesday, Dec. 7th, 3:30 at Clark HS AND at Round Table Pizza @ 6pm.
Saturday, Dec. 11th, 10am at the Rose Bowl (Or starting at 9:15 at Descanso)
Sunday, Dec. 12th, 10am at Oak Grove Park across from La Canada High School
Tuesday, Dec. 14th, 3:30 at Clark HS.

These first practices will be basic skills ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT FOR NEW TEAM MEMBERS. Last year's students are encouraged to come to A) see if there is something they can learn and B) to help the new kids learn the basics. The quicker the new kids learn the basics, the sooner we will all be on the trail together and I will reward the students who are most helpful in accomplishing that.
See you there!

- - Banner

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Chapt. 1:
Chapt. 2&3:
Chapt. 4&5:
Chapt. 6&7:
Chapt. 9:

- - Coach Banner

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Final Pool Party... And Ride! - Sunday

Our final Pool Party & Lunch.
Date: June 13th
Ride Time: 10am
Party Time: Noon – 3pm Pool Party
1968 Meadowbrook
Altadena, Ca 91000

Please RSVP to by 6/7 for the party.

We will meet at the party location and then ride up the Mt. Wilson Toll Road to Henninger and for those who want to, a little farther up to a hidden trail that goes to a tunnel and canal dug through the mountain by the Henninger family.
Arrange carpooling to the party location ahead of time if needed.

- - Banner

Monday, May 31, 2010

May 20th Practice

Mountain Bike Racing (between now and next year's high school season)

GUSD folks,
If you desire to gain more racing experience prior to next year’s high school season…

There is one called Tapia Canyon Classic on June 26th at Castaic. Sounds like a fun one with music & food:


Also, below is an e-mail from the coach of the St. Francis team:

MTB Team -

Do you miss our mountain bike rides? I hope that all of you have continued to get on your bikes when you can.

I wanted to tell you about a perfect chance to keep racing your bike. This last Tuesday night, Sean and I drove down to Irvine Lake in Orange, Ca. for the Over the Hump series. These races are held at 6:00pm on Tuesday nights and are a lot of fun. Each lap is less than 4 miles so racing is less than an hour. The racing is very good...there were almost 200 people there this week!

Sean and I made it down in about an hour from La Canada using the carpool lanes. Check out their website for the complete schedule and more information.

Each lap takes about 15 minutes to do. So, I would suggest that you enter Men's Beginner 29 and under (2 laps) or even Men's Sport 29 and under (3 laps). The course is mostly fireroad with a little singletrack. It is not very technical at all.
- - Lee Bird
1st Half of Series
• Tuesday, June 1, 2010
• Tuesday, June 8, 2010
• Tuesday, June 15, 2010
• Tuesday, June 22, 2010
• Tuesday, June 29, 2010
*3 Week Break (No Races)
2nd Half of Series
• Tuesday, July 27, 2010
• Tuesday, August 3, 2010
• Tuesday, August 10, 2010
• Tuesday, August 17, 2010
• Tuesday, August 24, 2010
• Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And if you are interested in a 12 hour race, there is one June 12th at Vail Lake. Don’t be too intimidated by a 12 hour race. If you do it as part of a team, you race for about 1 hour then hang out and party for 3 hours and then get on your bike to race for another hour… and so on. It is some of the most fun racing on mountain bikes!


Plus there are the USAC races which have separate races for different ages and skill levels, including pro. Those of you who raced regularly in the High School league will be able to do these races though they will normally be more challenging than what you are used to. Some of the relatively local ones are below:

June 5-6 Elings Park, Santa Barbara
June 20 Big Bear Lake
July 18 Big Bear Lake

- - Banner

Monday, May 17, 2010


Only 2 more weeks till end of season!
Tuesday will be another relaxed romp around La Tuna Canyon. 4-6 pm.

Thursday will be different: Meet at Descanso at 4 - BUT I WILL NOT BE THERE. I will be at the top with trail maintenance tools. Ride your bikes up to the top with whatever coaches show up and then start down the singletrack till you find me. Wear clothing that can get dirty! I will put you to work doing some trail work and teaching you some basics of what to do. Then, when it is time to leave you will ride your bikes down the single track and I will drive the tools home.

Saturday - 9 - Noon; meet at Descanso. Jim will be in charge.

This weekend is a huge road racing weekend with the Tour of California in town. Consider checking out any of these stages:
Friday they will be racing from Palmdale up to Angles Crest and all the way to Snow Summit in Big Bear.
Saturday will be a time trial going on most of the day from Downtown LA with a large expo area full of bike stuff.
Sunday will be a circuit race in Thousand Oaks which will be 4 laps around a 21 mile circuit. Another expo at the start finish area.

- - Banner

Monday, May 10, 2010

This Weeks Practices

Tuesday, 5/11/10: For a final big workout before Sate Championships, Lets Meet at CV Park (Honolulu & New York) 4pm to try riding over to and UP Beaudry and then DOWN Whiting Woods - a loop. Finish may be @ 6:15 or 6:30.
Be sure and bring some food and water.

Thursday, 5/13/10: An easy ride with emphasis on fun at Cherry Cyn. 4-6 pm.

No Practice This Weekend. Many will be going north to the State Championships. Wish them luck!

- - Banner

Monday, May 3, 2010

This Week's Practices

The races went well last weekend. The weather was perfect, the course was fun, the competition was challenging and the pre-race riding and dinner was excellent.

Tuesday: Easy post race practice at Cherry Cyn. Meet at Descanso at 4pm – 6pm.

Thursday: Meet at CV Park for a Hill Climb Challenge! 4-6:30 pm.

Saturday: Meet at Descanso 9am -12:30 am. We might have some guest coaches for this practice. Stay tuned.

- - Banner

Monday, April 26, 2010

GUSD Folks,

Tuesday, April 27th - Descanso Gardens 4 - 6:15pm, as usual.

Thursday, April 29th - Descanso Gardens 4 - 6:15pm, as usual.

Saturday, May 1st - Solvang at the Los Olivos Race Course. I will be there late morning and early afternoon to lead anyone who wants a coach present on one or more pre-rides of the race course. (You can pre-ride on your own though make sure someone knows that your are out on the course.)
Some GUSD folks will be camping in Solvang (should you be interested, there are trails to ride on in the Arroyo near the campground), others will be in hotels and perhaps others will be at the primitive camping at the race course.
Saturday Night - GUSD Dinner @ 6 or 6:30pm at Firestone Brewery walking distance across the highway from Solvang - for anyone who want to come. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 2nd - Race day!
By the way, while I think of it: WHENEVER you mountain bike on your own, always let someone who cares know where you went... it can make a huge difference in case you can't make it back because you are out there hurt!

Here are Banner's Race Pre-Riding tips:
1) Try not to tire yourself out on the up hills; don't push too hard. You will not gain any racing fitness the day before a race. If they are technical uphill, try to decide if you will ride or walk or run it during the race.
2) Go just fast enough on the down hills that you have to pay attention, but do not go so fast that you might crash. Don't try to go race speed, don't try to "push the envelope".
3) Riding easily enough during a pre-ride that you can do one extra lap of pre-riding without getting too tired is much more valuable experience than pre-riding hard and fast.

- - Banner

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This weeks' practices:
Tuesday, April 13 - Descanso 4-6pm.
Thursday, April 15 - CV Park 4-6:30pm (NOTE: the different location - New York and Honolulu - and the slightly longer workout time.
Saturday, April 17 - Descanso 9am - 12:30 for something different!

- - Banner

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This week's practices:

Tuesday & Thursday; Descanso 4-6pm.
Saturday; Descanso 9-12:00.

See you there!

This will be our practice on the weekend of April 24-25. So it will be a SUNDAY practice - meeting at 7:30 am.
We will ride over and back from Descanso as we did last year.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010


This week's practices:
Tuesday: 4-6pm Descanso Gardens. We will separate into 2 groups: those racing this weekend and those not racing.
Thursday: 4-6pm Descanso Gardens. (Last chance to train before going to Warner Springs)
Sunday - The 2nd race of the season!
It will be beautiful at Warner Springs. It is an excellent race course for first timers if you are one. If you went last year, the course will be about 20% different and the weather will be 100% better!
If you go down there on Saturday, be sure to plan on trying the hot springs. If anyone is making a last minute decision to join us, we can fit you in the lodging somewhere. The cabins there are really nice and amazingly cheap. Talk to Mrs. Babingotn or Ms. Pettigrew if you haven't already.
- - Banner
Temecula Weather Forecast:
Hi 68°
Lo 41°

Hi 72°
Lo 43°

Mar 28
Partly Cloudy
High 75°F

Monday, March 15, 2010

GUSD Cheering Pam at the Races

This Weeks (3/16 & 18) Practices:

Days are longer so our practices will be longer; 4pm to 6pm. If you are getting picked up by parents, be sure to let them know.
AT A MINIMUM, Every Student should carry:
Plenty of water
A snack to eat
Warm clothing in case it gets cooler
An extra inner tube
A pump.

Tuesday: 4-6pm, meet at the entrance to Descanso Gardens.

Thursday: 4-6pm, meet at the entrance to Descanso Gardens.

Saturday NOTE: MEET AT CV PARK, CORNER OF NEW YORK & HONOLULU, 9am to noon. We will conquer the Verdugos!

Monday, March 8, 2010

This Weeks Practices (and Race!)

Tuesday and Thursday Practices will be at Descanso from 4pm to 5:45pm - as usual. See you there.

Saturday will be a Pre-Ride of the race course at Vail Lake in Temecula! Different people may be arriving at different times, but I hope to be there towards the end of the day in time to lead a pre-ride of the course in the late afternoon daylight, if anyone is interested.

Sunday will be a few hundred of you, your friends, family and your high school peers camping, riding, racing and cheering. It will be fun and really good mountain biking experience. Even if you don't race, you should still come for the riding and to cheer on your team mates.

Here is the Temecula weather forecast:
Mar 12
High 70°F
Low 41°F
Precipitation 0 %
Mar 13
Mostly Sunny
High 66°F
Low 41°F
Precip. 0 %
Mar 14
Mostly Sunny
High 66°F
Low 42°F
Precip. 0 %

Monday, March 1, 2010

This Week's Practices

This Weeks Practices:

Tuesday 4-5:45PM Starting and ending from the entrance to Descanso.

Thursday 4-5:45PM Starting and ending from the entrance to Descanso.

Saturday 9am -12:00 Starting and ending from the entrance to Descanso.

Our first race is coming up soon in just 2 weeks! Be sure and see past postings or e-mails regarding registering if you want to come. Contact Ms. Pettigrew for coordinating camping, carpooling, meals, etc.
You should be practicing and getting in as much on-the-bike time as you can to be ready for the new terrain and experience at the race. Talk to anyone who did it last year if you want to know what it was like. It was fun!

- - Banner

Monday, February 22, 2010

This Week's Practices

Tuesday - 4 to 5:30pm starting and ending at Descanso Gardens entrance.

Thursday - 4 to 5:30pm starting and ending at Descanso Gardens entrance

Saturday - 9am to 12:00 starting and ending at Descanso. There is a chance of rain, but we will have practice as long as it is not raining TOO hard.
From now on, Saturday practices will be organized by Coach Jim (Lucas' father), and he will be making the decision regarding weather. If you have any questions about Saturday plans, you can e-mail him at:

Last Saturday at Bonelli park was a great day and we all got to ride on some unfamiliar terrain!

- - Banner

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Practice at Bonelli Park
in San Dimas

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Tuesday and Thursday will be on-the-bike starting at the entrance to Descanso Gardens at 4pm.
Saturday will be different than usual this week:
The Saturday practice will be at Bonelli Park in San Dimas. Pasadena Mtn. Bike Club is going to host a ride for local high school teams; GUSD, Foothill, San Marino & St. Francis. There will be rides for ALL skill levels AND refreshments afterwards. 9am to Noon. (San Dimas is @ 45 minutes away) It will ba an opportunity to experience new terrain, meet other high school student mountain bikers and have fun.
To carpool, meet at 7:45 at the entrance to Descanso, and you should let me or Ms. Pettigrew or Ms. Babbington know that you will need a ride. Organize your transportation ahead of time , if at all possible. Anyone who can help with transportation, including parents, should let one of the above coaches know.
You can meet us at 9am at Bonnelli Park in San Dimas (where raging waters is). 210 fwy to the 57 south. In just a few miles is the Via Verde exit. There is a park-and-ride right there at the exit if you want to park free and ride your bike over the freeway into the park . Or you can turn left at the end of the off ramp, pay to drive into the park and park close to where we will be starting.
Call my cell phone 213-792-8135 if you have any trouble finding us.

See you all there!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

At the Competition's Campus

Passing through the other local mountain biking high school team's campus.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This Weeks Practices

Tuesday will be Spin Class at Pedal Spin Studio with Coach Rick. Try to be there at 3:30 for a 3:45 start. Bring water, cycling shoes (with pedals if you have non-shimano cleats) or sneakers and dress to sweat. (East end of Honolulu just west of Anderson Pet Shop)

The first 12 students who ask me for it can have an MP3 CD with Banner’s “Exercise Mix” of music selections.

Thursday – weather Permitting – will be on the bike at the entrance to Descanso (not CV Park) at 4pm. There is a chance of rain so if it is raining practice will be Spin Class at 3:30 instead. I will try to send out an e-mail by around noon if Descanso on-the-bike workout is replaced by Spin Class, but use your judgment.

Saturday will be 9am (instead of 10) at the entrance to Descanso Gardens. 9am to Noon. Hopefully El Nino will let us get in our weekend workout in the hills.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

League Racing Info

Hello League Riders, Parents, and Coaches!With the 2009 Race Series beginning next month we wanted to give a friendly reminder regarding rider registration. To ensure that everything goes smoothly on race day, it is important that you register early so you can verify that all the information is correct.The full registration process includes filling out all the information online, mailing the forms back to us, then submitting payment via check or credit card.
Based on forecasted 2010 participation, 10% of riders have finished the online portion, and 5% have returned the required forms.Also, please remember that there is a special deal for first-time ever League racers where they can register for the first race only for $50 then pay the difference after they decide whether or not they would like to race for the rest of the season.
Thank you,
(510) 524-5464 x001

Monday, February 1, 2010

No practice Tuesday this week.
- Thursday, Feb 4th, meet at CV Park - 4pm - Corner of Honolulu & New York.
(Hopefully next week the days will be long enough to meet at Descanso Gardens on both Tuesdays & Thursdays.)
- Saturday, Feb 6th, meet at the entrance to Descanso Gardens - 10am - this time for a full, fun, uninterrupted workout!

- - Banner

P.S. Mark this in your Calendars and start thinking about transportation for yourself and your team mates:

On Saturday, February 20th, 9am, the Pasadena Mountain Biking Club ( will be hosting a Training Ride with experienced coaches and refreshments geared for ALL SoCal High School skill levels. That will be our GUSD practice ride on that day. It is at Bonelli Park in San Dimas (@ 45 minute drive) so we will need to line up transportation ahead of time.
The Foothill Composite & St. Francis teams are invited too.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Start of
Saturday Jan. 30th Practice

Thursday, January 28, 2010

January 23 Practice:

Cherry Canyon with snow in the background!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Last of our January Practices

Thursday, Jan 28 - 4pm
Meet at CV Park at the corner of Honolulu & New York for an hour of slow speed cycling games and practice.

Saturday, Jan 30 - 10am till @ 1pm
Meet at the entrance to Descanso Gardens for more scenic riding in the hills.

Our first race is only a little over 1 month away, so any students who are taking part should be cycling as much and as hard as possible between now and then. Have fun, Be safe and Ride.

- - Banner

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Upcoming Practices

Tuesday, Jan, 19th; Spin class at spin studio in Montrose just west of Andersons Pet Shop; be ready to go at 3:45 - 4:45.

Thursday, Jan 21st; WEATHER PERMITTING, On-the-bike practice at CV Park 4:00 - 5:15. We will play "follow the leader" in the park.

Saturday, Jan 23rd; Weather Permitting, 10:00am - 1:00pm, meet at the entrance to Descanso for on-the-bike practice.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Practices Jan 12, 14, 16

Next week our practices will be Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I haven't decided for sure yet (when the days get a little longer) if we will have our on-the-bike practices on Tue/Thu or Mon/Wed.
- This Tuesday we will have an introduction to "Spinning" which is a structured cycling workout on stationary bikes. Meet at 3:45 at the spin studio in the heart of Montrose. It is near the 2200 block of Honolulu just west of Anderson's Pet shop on the south side of the street. Spinning can be fun, good cycling exercise and a great alternative for us on rainy days.
- Thursday at 4:00 I will teach some basic bicycle maintenance. It will be at Clark High School in a covered, illuminated space - I'm not sure yet exactly where, but if you show up in front of Clark we will direct you. This will be basic stuff everyone should know to do most every time they ride plus some other maintenance know-how that will be important to know sooner or later. I will make sure to teach something that even experienced mountain bikers might not know.
- Saturday at 10:00 am we will meet at the entrance to Descanso Gardens (La Canada) for an on-the-bike practice. We will ride over towards JPL to practice in the Hahamonga wash area and should be back around 1:00 pm.
See you there; comments or questions to

- - Banner

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First Practice of 2010

First "Practice" of 2010:
Trail Maintenance in Alta Dena

Mountain Bikers need to help maintain the trails we ride on and coincidentally this is our first chance. CORBA and the Forest Service are organizing a trail work day on Saturday, Jan. 9th.
I will supervise any GUSD riders who come to help out. It is an all day activity, although you can hike back down to the road any time if you need to leave early. A late lunch will be provided to those who RSVP after the work around 2pm. Bring water and a snack to carry with you.
Meet at the entrance to Descanso at 7:15am to carpool
Or at the top of Cheney Trail Rd. in Alta Dena at 8:00 am.

See the e-mail I sent out for additional details.

- - Banner