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Altadena High School Mountain Biking Team Seeking Members

A high school mountain biking team founded by Altadena residents enters its second year and is looking for team members from foothill towns across the San Gabriel Valley.

High school students from the San Gabriel Valley interested in mountain biking invited to participate in an Altadena-based team that will participate in a local mountain biking race competitions.

The team is now entering its second season; it was by Altadena resident and mountain biker Tom Lockhart and some other local volunteers.

The team had great success last year, Lockhart said, finishing as the top team in the Southern California region in a statewide competition.  The team competes against other high school teams across the state.

"It's modeled after traditional high school sport, and the season goes from the end of February to the middle of May," Lockhart said.

The team currently has about 14 or 15 members and students from across the San Gabriel Valley are eligible to join.  Team members come from towns ranging from La Canada Flintridge east to Glendora, Lockhart said.

Practices take place on different trails and move from Altadena to the East San Gabriel Valley and in between as a way of giving each student a chance to be near practice, he added.

The total cost in league and team fees is $500, and most students will require a mountain bike.  However, the team is offering two scholarships for  for students who don't own a mountain bike, Lockhart said, and also may have some additional bikes to loan out.

On race weekends, the team travels to various locations ranging from Temecula up to Kernville area, and Lake Arrowhead.  Team members typically camp out the night before races, and families are encouraged to join their kids on the trips, Lockhart said.

Ultimately, Lockhart said he hopes to increase participation enough to establish programs at local high schools: he said he is hoping to start a program at high schools in Monrovia and South Pasadena, and still have enough bikers left over to continue the current program of students mixed from schools that don't have their own team.

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