About the Gear Grinders
The Gear Grinders were formed in 2011 to promote mountain biking on Bainbridge Island, with an emphasis on encouraging and supporting the sport among young people. Students who attend middle school or high school on Bainbridge Island are eligible to join the Gear Grinders. The Gear Grinders teams are co-ed, we train at least twice a week from January to May and students prepare to take part in the series of four races held by the Washington Student Cycling league in April May and early June. The Gear Grinders is governed by a dedicated group of volunteer parents and other adults who make up the steering committee. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Powered by volunteers
The Gear Grinders is powered by volunteers – and student athletes. We welcome your participation. Perhaps you have a special skill – photography, web site, trail-building, coaching, riding etc. – that you would like to bring to the organization. There are some formal requirements set by the Washington Student League in order to work with young people, but those are straightforward and inexpensive.
We value your input, your time, your energy, creativity and, yes, some of your money, to make this effort sustainable.
I’m an experienced mountain biker but I can’t come to every ride – can I still help?
- Absolutely. While we need a few adults to make a regular commitment there is still a place for those adults whose family and work pressures limit their time. It’s fun riding with the students and with differing abilities on the team rides, we can always use additional help. If you make an occasional commitment, say, once a month, that allows us to schedule you into the ride support calendar.
I’m a competent rider but not very fast – would I be of use?
- Certainly. We have beginners as well as more experienced youth athletes and a number of our adult volunteers have gained riding skills along with the students. We are particularly interested in hearing from women riders to provide a better gender balance in our ride leaders and assistants.
How do I become an official ride leader?
- The Washington Student League has some specific requirements after you have completed the mandatory background check. These include obtaining or holding First Aid certification and completion of ride hours as an assistant. http://washingtonleague.org/coaching/ for more details. Adult ride volunteers need only complete a background check to get started.
I have a student on the team – will that be weird having mom or dad along?
- No, not at all. We have parents riding with the team regularly. And what other sport do you get a chance to practice with your son or daughter? Of course, you still have to compete the adult volunteer paperwork to ride with the team, even if your child is on it.
Is there a cost to being a volunteer?
- To work directly with the students, all adults must undergo a background check, which costs $30 and can be completed online. W
I’m not available to ride with the team but I’m reliable and have other skills – could you make use of me?
- Yes, of course. We’re a newish organization in the process of incorporating. We need a host of talented people. Let us know what you can offer – we’re always looking for enthusiastic people to help out.
I love what you are doing to get kids active – can I make a tax-deductible donation?
- The Bainbridge Island Mountain Biking Club is a IRS 501(c) 3 organization taht handles fundraising. Go to their page on this site to make a contribution.
I want to volunteer – how do I get started?
FEES AND REGISTRATION
All student riders will need to:
Register their interest with either the middle school or high school team head coach and then:
1.) register with the Washington Student Cycling League at www.washingtonleague.org.
Register for either the Bainbridge HS team or Bainbridge MS team. The program fee for students is $195 (includes insurance and race fees).
2.) Pay the team dues for students of $100 (includes spinning classes in January and a jersey every 2 years). We prefer you pay the team fee through Pay Pal
We strive through fundraising to make our program accessible to any interested students.
Please contact a coach if the fees are a barrier to participation.