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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
NorCal High School Racing starts this weekend. The League has gotten so big that they are holding two separate Prologue races, one at Fort Ord on the CCCX course and one at Granite Bay. The Prologue qualifies these racers to participate in the entire series. There will be no team winners or race points counting toward the season. Each participant will receive the same amount of points. There will be podiums, never fear, though I have never felt that was the most important part of our work.

I for one am looking forward to these smaller races. I have found the large races ungainly and very stressful. The smaller races are bound to be a lot more fun at 300 instead of 600 with entourage to boot. Parking alone will be a whole lot more pleasant.

In any case if you get a chance wheel on over to one of these races. I'm going down there just to keep an eye on my two old teams from El Cerrito and Albany to keep them honest. I guess I should help on the course as I've been to a few of these. Stop by and see your favorite team and just say hello and offer your support for the work that they're doing. As a coach I have to tell you that means a lot. We're all in this together.
 

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Like a boss.
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The b/f will be there representing Mike's Bikes; too bad my NorCal jacket doesn't fit him. Here's to the beginning of another successful season!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
In March of 2006 there was snow on all the surrounding hills in Fort Ord and we raced. The next week we raced at Granite Bay in the sleet and they were several ice cold water crossings back when the reservoir was full.

Nothing stops these racers. The coaches, volunteers, and families all show up to support them. If you go you will see tents and barbecues and Coleman stoves. You'll see tons of hot food. The most important person is the coffee Goddess.:thumbsup: This year I got Pete's coffee to support Albany High. The kids can't drink coffee but keeping the rest of us warm and happy goes a long way to keep things rolling.
 

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oh crap, where to I start....please, nobody cares that a bunch of privileged, with a hand full of not so hard off, kids and parents are going to tear up and clog up the trails and access at Folsom Lake and Fort Ord this weekend. When was the last time the League sponsored a trail work day on any of the trail systems that have hosted races in the past? Anybody? Silence.

And for the record, PLENTY of things have stopped these races in the past, many before they even got started: ski week (AKA Winter break anywhere outside of Marin county), Mother's Day, proms, weather (Bogg's last year?), lack of proper permits (New Melonies), paranoid and precious parents, ineffective and unqualified executive directors, brainwashed and self interested staff members, the list is large. Plus the homogeneous and selective fund raising techniques, it is astonishing this whole thing is still functioning.

Kids, keep riding your bikes and having fun, ignore the hype.

I expect a hasty, lengthy and emotional response.......
 

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Silent_G said:
I expect a hasty, lengthy and emotional response…...
DEALING WITH HATERS ONLINE. BECAUSE IF YOU'RE AROUND FOR LONG ENOUGH, YOU *WILL* GET THEM.
Shared On May 31, 2010
Be present, put yourself out there, be online for long enough and you'll very likely have to deal with haters. Haters are different from trolls, they're people who likely know you in some sort of capacity rather than the unknown, faceless, anonymous trolls. Sometimes you've worked with them, sometimes you haven't. Sometimes they've just decided they can't stand you or what you do, for no good reason whatsoever. Sometimes they really, truly think they're justified.

They're the kind of people who bait you with comments on your blogs, who directly challenge you to take action & respond to them in forums, who write inaccurate posts twisting events to their own version of what happened. They may even encourage (some might say "incite") others to leave negative messages & comments about you in various places. In short, they'll spread their negativity across the internet without a thought for what it actually says about them.

Over the past few years online, we've had our fair share of haters. In fact one situation got to the stage where we consulted a couple of lawyers (including the libel lawyer for The Sun, no less). While it was decided that we undoubtedly had a case against this particular hater, who clearly thought that refraining from outright using our names made it "ok", we decided we didn't need to take things that far (yet, at least). Instead, here are a few ways to deal with haters & their actions:

CONTINUE ON YOUR OWN PATH
Never let the haters distract you from your path; they'll do their best, even going so far as to try & sabotage what you're doing either directly or indirectly. Don't pay them any attention or you'll just give them more power. Instead carry on along your path, focusing on your own game and not theirs.

TAKE THINGS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Even better than carrying on along your own path, aim to take things to the next level. Not only will this focus your attention even more on your game and not theirs, it'll very likely exact the best revenge on your haters…growing, expanding and making more successful that which they want to destroy.

MAINTAIN YOUR DIGNITY & PROFESSIONALISM
No matter what accusations are made, nor how much somebody tries to draw a hasty, emotional response from you, take a step back and breathe. Even if you're threatened (we were), your haters lose all professionalism (they did) and they use language which should never appear in a professional relationship (they did), no matter what the issue is - maintain your professional behaviour. Even when you think no-one else is looking, how you behave online is important - you never really know who is looking or privy to your interactions or emails.

RALLY YOUR SUPPORTERS
Nobody likes being criticised, accused nor threatened in any format. It's important that you have some trusted advisors or friends to turn to. It's easy to respond in the heat of the moment - don't. Throughout all of our experiences, we've had our emails & responses reviewed by a number of people. What's been even more surprising for me are the unexpected sources of support which have come out of the woodwork to support us in private, behind the scenes.

It's hard dealing with people who don't like you, whether that dislike is deserved or not. Most of us have a deep-seated need or desire to be accepted, to be liked. It's tough when somebody actively dislikes you for whatever reason.

The best thing to tell yourself and to remember is this: You've clearly got under someone's skin badly enough to incite such a passionate response. That's quite the feat and is likely to affect them far more than it does you, no matter what they do to fluster you. Here's a quote which sums it up best…

"Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head"

~ Ann Landers
 

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Note to self...stay away from the 8th and Gigling side of Ft. Ord on Saturday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Roses and Thorns

Thanks for the insight on Haters. It certainly qualifies things nicely.

On this Forum a First Comment from a flamethrower is easily disregarded, though some facts might be in order:

It would be an understatement to say that race promotion and development is awful work, no matter who does it.

Boggs 2010 was cancelled due to a huge storm which dropped 4 inches there in one weekend. No would would have been served by riding there. It was the only race cancelled in 11 years.

Each of the 44 teams does its trailwork as is required by team leaders though in their own locales. The East Bay teams participate at Crockett Hills, Fort Ord, China Camp, Tamarancho, and Joaquin Miller. The impact of the entire CCCX series or TBF operations are far greater than a race at each venue by the League.

And, yes, it IS amazing how the League is still functioning, though not in the manner suggested. In fact it has expanded it's model, going national in the form of NICA, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. Through methods established by NorCal there are new Leagues in SoCal and Colorado, with Leagues in Texas and Washington ready to start next season and a League in formation in Minnesota.

On your left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Way huge thanks to Mike's Bikes

Piranha426 said:
The b/f will be there representing Mike's Bikes; too bad my NorCal jacket doesn't fit him. Here's to the beginning of another successful season!!!
The support is well appreciated.
 

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GrayBeard Pirate said:
Note to self...stay away from the 8th and Gigling side of Ft. Ord on Saturday.
By all means, DO check out the race. Very inspiring and worth showing some support. And once you ride out of the course area, you won't even know its going on. The rest of Fort Ord will be all yours.
 

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slop said:
By all means, DO check out the race. Very inspiring and worth showing some support. And once you ride out of the course area, you won't even know its going on. The rest of Fort Ord will be all yours.
Would love to check it out, but if I get the chance to ride, I only have a small window of time, so I want to be able to ride and not watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Riding is always preferred over watching people ride unless you're watching your own kid.:thumbsup:
 

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Berkeley Mike said:
Riding is always preferred over watching people ride unless you're watching your own kid.:thumbsup:
Yep...and my HS aged kid is too busy playing HS Soccer and Track to do the Mountain Bike Team, but I tried to get him into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
GrayBeard Pirate said:
Yep...and my HS aged kid is too busy playing HS Soccer and Track to do the Mountain Bike Team, but I tried to get him into it.
It is always nice to have athletes in the family. My son ran cross-country, if only to stay in shape for cycling, yet he also did well and I enjoyed the racing. It was nice to help out, too. It was a natural for me as I work with teens and understand coaches. I got to ride ahead of racers in several races to clear the way and such.

It's really great to be around athletes; I think of them in much the same way as I do musicians or people with other finally developed talents. Best wishes for your son's success.
 

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lassiar said:

blah, blah, blah

~ Ann Landers
Ann Landers? REALLY?

The problem with the Norcal League is the questionable ethics of its staff and former board members. Berkeley Mike -- you might be verbose, trite, and sometimes annoying as all he!!, but you have nothing to do with it. So rock on. The kids have nothing to do with it either. But as a parent, I would think that values are important. I wouldn't want to support something with dubious ethics -- something that wantonly lied to obscure its faults. I wouldn't want my kid involved with an organization that acted in a way contrary to how I wanted my kid to act. Plus -- the race series is enormously expensive. I don't think the kids (parents) get their money's worth. There are other sports that are much more affordable and offer the same health benefits and life lessons.

This league has survived because of the tremendous support of the parents whose kids want to race bikes. And that's why it is now in southern Cal, Colorado and Washington. NICA arose to ensure the founders of the Norcal League could make a living out of other states wanting the same thing. I have great hopes that the other leagues, in So Cal, Colorado, and Washington will have a better ethical sense and produce a better league.

So -- yes, by all means wish the teams and the kids well -- because its all about them. But I wouldn't give this league my support in any way until I knew their ethical failures had been corrected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I know that you have long been a critic of the administration of the NorCal League. As it is one of many perspectives I accept it as you apparently have reasons close to you and meaningful. I would never challenge that.

What you would or would not do for a child of yours is certainly your business. If you have a child involved or have had a child involved such a comment would be meaningful, too.

What I can challenge is what that has to do with the way the kids are managed and supported. I have 10 years in front-line experience with two fine teams in El Cerrito and Albany. I've been directly responsible for the development of coaches that have gone to support other teams and have been deeply involved in the development of coaches League-wide through our Summits and personal relationships.

I wish that I had one of the hundreds of parents whose young athletes experienced my guidance and that of my coaches and volunteers here to speak about the positive affect our work has had on the lives of their kids. It's interesting to see these kids come back when they graduate from college and come to visit me. They are all somehow bigger, taller, more handsome and more beautiful than when they left. Their voices have changed and their minds are stronger and show more power. Without exception they look back fondly on the times we had and the experience they had with the League.

Your opinion of the League and my experience are not necessarily at odds. Both things are possible. Yet the one thing that is at the forefront of all everyone at NorCal does is that it's for the kids. It's not always easy, people being what they are, but I stand behind it.

The images are a girl freshman and the same girl later as a senior.
 

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Berkeley Mike said:
I know that you have long been a critic of the administration of the NorCal League. As it is one of many perspectives I accept it as you apparently have reasons close to you and meaningful. I would never challenge that.

What you would or would not do for a child of yours is certainly your business. If you have a child involved or have had a child involved such a comment would be meaningful, too.

What I can challenge is what that has to do with the way the kids are managed and supported. I have 10 years in front-line experience with two fine teams in El Cerrito and Albany. I've been directly responsible for the development of coaches that have gone to support other teams and have been deeply involved in the development of coaches League-wide through our Summits and personal relationships.

I wish that I had one of the hundreds of parents whose young athletes experienced my guidance and that of my coaches and volunteers here to speak about the positive affect our work has had on the lives of their kids. It's interesting to see these kids come back when they graduate from college and come to visit me. They are all somehow bigger, taller, more handsome and more beautiful than when they left. Their voices have changed and their minds are stronger and show more power. Without exception they look back fondly on the times we had and the experience they had with the League.

Your opinion of the League and my experience are not necessarily at odds. Both things are possible. Yet the one thing that is at the forefront of all everyone at NorCal does is that it's for the kids. It's not always easy, people being what they are, but I stand behind it.

The images are a girl freshman and the same girl later as a senior.
It's this inane idea that allows all kinds of abuses and ethical corruption to flourish in America. When does it become okay to dismiss ethical violations because they don't hurt me personally? When does it become okay to look the other way because the benefits to me personally outweigh the harm done to others?

The Norcal League has left a wide wake of ill will -- but no one says anything because the overall idea is so warm and fuzzy, and you can't criticize that. Plus -- the KIDS! How can criticize something something so beneficial to the kids?

The kids are great -- the idea is great -- the heart of the administration of the Norcal League is in the wrong place. This is not the case with the Socal Leauge, or the Colorado League, or the Washington League, or the Sierra League. And lets hope it stays that way. But until their is serious reform in the Norcal League -- until adult egos no longer remain center state over kid well being -- I remain an open critic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
While I am not sure how you can speak for the Colorado and Washington Leagues I can appreciate your feelings about NorCal.

As for the Sierra League I don't know what your connections are there but I think it's worth noting that the Sierra League owes its robust start to NorCal energies which served to develop mountain biking in that area at a number of schools.

That influence in the locale of what I think is a fantastic program put on at Granite Bay by TBF has done much to build a wonderful community there dating back to Rocklin in 2002 with Woodcreek and Luther Burbank in 2007, Folsom and Roseville in 2008, Oakmont and the Trojans High team in 2010. I think it not unreasonable to suggest that the presence of Vista, Orange, Union Mines and Placer are a function of that development. Nevada Union is a founding team in NorCal from 2001 and the history of the area includes attempts to create teams in Colfax and others sites in the foothills.

The Sierra League would not exist without the efforts of NorCal to develop resources in the area to create fully developed teams which form its core, along with new and developing teams to assure a future. Keep in mind that the teams are more than just the kids but NorCal trained and enriched coaches and ride leaders and families sustained through their development and growth by the spirit and acumen of NorCal. That is nothing less than a gift to a group of hard-working organizers who have done a fine job to create a new and exciting series in that community.

In a similar way, NorCal has served to develop the mountain biking community in the Monterey area in tandem with the presence of the fantastic CCCX program. Local high schools there with the help of the knowledge and skills coalesced by NorCal resources have done much to build a foundation in an otherwise modestly connected mountain biking community. Just take a look at who is standing on the podium. Further compare those times to adult times; that will make you think twice for sure.

The value of the hand-to-hand and personal development energies that exists as a function of NorCal may be the place where we can agree. For the rest I cannot comment except to suggest that you paint with a broad stroke.

Top Photo is a coach during pre-race instruction about the course at Ft. Ord in 2005.
Bottom is the photo of the Coaches Summit in Albany in the fall of 2010.
 

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Berkeley Mike said:
T

Each of the 44 teams does its trailwork as is required by team leaders though in their own locales.
Mike, are you implying that is each team required to do some amount of trail work? :thumbsup:
 
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