The Drake team captains provide on-the-trail and on-campus leadership for a team with an unparalleled record of consistency and excellence over the years. Drake captains are chosen for their integrity and leadership, helping the coaches with mentoring and support for such a large and diverse racing team. Perhaps most importantly, the captains are always available as resources for the other Riders on the Drake campus during school hours, something that coaches and parents cannot provide. And if captains are willing, they are encouraged to share their phone numbers so other Riders can text them for help.
The following individuals are currently Captains for the Drake MTB team:
Hey everyone! My name is Hannah Childress and I am a senior riding Varsity this year. I am so excited to meet everyone and get together to share one common interest, the love of mountain biking! I want all of you to know that it doesn’t matter how long you have been riding, or what bike you have, or what shoes you wear, it’s all about your attitude on the bike. This has always been something really important to the Drake MTB Team, because we know that this can affect the way you and lots of the people around you ride. This year my goal is to make sure that everyone knows that they have a place on the team (and to learn everyone’s names) Feel free to contact me anytime with questions, concerns or especially if you want to go on a ride! firstname.lastname@example.org It’s gonna be a rad year! Go Pirates!
Hey! My name is Ronan Goulden and I am a junior riding Varsity this year. I started mountain biking back in 6th grade and have been hooked ever since. I have had the pleasure of being on the Drake Team for the past two years and have improved leaps and bounds since I joined freshman year. When it comes to riding and racing, I have been pretty much through it all: major pre-race jitters, crashing into my friend at the start of my first freshman race (sorry Wyatt), racing with the flu and taking a header into a muddy stream, dropping my water bottle countless times, and even winning it all. Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions (parents included), I would love to help you out. Feel free to connect with me anytime at my email: email@example.com I am super excited to be one of your team captains and Go Pirates!
Alec Levy O’Brien
Howdy all! My name is Alec Levy-O’Brien, and I am a senior at Drake! Since the age of seven, I have been very active as a cyclist. Growing up in Marin County has been a privilege, with picturesque trails, roads, and paths providing endless opportunities to ride. I could not have asked for a better place to live. When I entered high school, I did not intend on joining the team, as I was deeply involved with road cycling at the time and was partaking in charity endurance road rides. But since I have, I have been able to create bonds and friendships that will last a lifetime, as well as harness the skills I will need to further my cycling prowess. I have been racing for three years now and I am excited to race with all of you in my fourth season. I have come to enjoy all sorts of cycling disciplines including track cycling, road cycling, XC, as well as enduro and downhill as well. As team captain, I hope to be a strong voice in the cycling community to better our public image, open new trails, and help you improve your riding in any way I can. Don’t be afraid to talk to me, I usually don’t bite. See you all soon!
Hi! I’m Elise. I’m a junior on the team this year racing JV for the first time! When I (reluctantly) signed up for mountain biking freshman year, I had no idea how much I would grow to love the people, places, and things we do together. I didn’t used to be athletic, but I learned that I’m very competitive and I can use that to help me go fast. Mountain biking is a great opportunity to get out and see the beautiful areas of Marin and California. I love cheering teammates on from hammocks suspended in trees, breathlessly racing to the top of Loma Alta, team dinners and playing cards against humanity in hotel rooms, and running up to the top tier of the podium with everyone. My goal as a captain is to help everyone feel the same joy and pride as I do. Drake mountain biking means so much to me and I hope that I can share that love with everyone on the team! Please ask me anything or let me know if I can help. Roll pirates!
Good day. My name is Lily Willis. I am told my name has too many “L’s” and too many “I’s”. I also respond to “Howdy Butt” (it’s a bike team thing, ask me about it), “the loud one”, “Willy Lillis”, and sometimes “Hermione”. I am passionate about many things, but Drake MTB is at the top of my list. Other things I am passionate about include laughing, books, people, and the ocean. It is my dream that as captain I will support every rider all that I can. This team has meant so much to me, and I hope I can show you exactly what I’m talking about.
Drake Captains also meet a stringent set of requirements above and beyond showing up to team practices and races:
Passion and excitement for the team and the sport
Great captains are passionate captains. The spirit of the team drives our success; captains are constant ambassadors for the team and the sport, so taking the time to talk to anyone about the team, mountain biking, trail advocacy, girls on bikes, etc, is important for the future of the team. Captains also show excitement for team rides and team events; if the people Riders look up to are excited about going to pelo and yoga and races, then they are too.
Knowing the rules
All captains are asked to read the NICA RuleBook so that they can help coaches and ride leaders with the task of keeping the whole team working within the specified league rules. This is important for training rides and races; for example, a Rider who accepts mechanical assistance during a race can accrue a costly point penalty, and a Rider who rides illegal trails can be disqualified from racing.
All Riders are encouraged to write race reports for each race that they participate in, so Captains are strongly encouraged to set a good example for the rest of the team. Race reports help new riders understand every aspect of the racing experience – training, nutrition, strategy, competitors, and nervousness. They are also fantastic tools for self-reflection for the writer of the report, and give parents and family a perspective on the racing experience that pictures or on-site viewing cannot provide.
Training rides give new riders ways to get to know their own physical limits in what are often new and difficult surroundings. By having experienced and WFA+CPR certified student riders with every training ride, the coaches and ride leaders gain crucial depth for on-the-spot training, coaching, injury triage, and mechanical assistance.
WFA and CPR certified
Captains are strongly encouraged to take the time to be certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR training, so that they can set an example for other riders to be self-sufficient, helpful and safe trail riders, whether on a team ride or on a mid-summer out-of-state vacation. There are opportunities in the fall and summer (off-season) for anyone affiliated with the Drake team to get trained in WFA and CPR; contact DrakeMTBCoaches@gmail.com for dates.
Organize one team event per year
One of the most difficult aspects of building team cohesiveness is finding time outside of team practices to get together and just be kids. Each captain makes an effort to schedule and organize one event that is outside of team practices to build togetherness, whether it be a Superbowl picnic, post-ride barbecue, or a movie night. Parental supervision is mandatory, but the captains schedule and run the events, and can request team budget funding as needed.
Captains and #DrakeMTBGirls
Getting more girls on the Drake team is a mission-critical initiative for many reasons. Mountain biking is a gender-neutral activity, but the sport is still heavily skewed towards male. When the composition of the team reflects the general demographics of Drake High School, then we can consider #DrakeMTBGirls a success, and shorten the hashtag to #DrakeMTB. Until then, all of the captains have a responsibility to recruit, retain, and promote girls on the team so that girls see it as an activity that they own, vs one that is “boys only”. Activities include appropriate social media postings (see example below), organizing rides with younger female riders, having girls-only rides at least once a month (in lieu of a regular Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday team ride), and having at least one girls-only Drake MTB social event.
Example of an “appropriate social media posting”
And finally, it is always good to check in with Title IX: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
Social media and #DrakeMTB
DrakeMTB is a powerful voice in the local social community and the global mountain biking community, and each captain shares responsibility to expand this voice. Trail access is a critical local issue and projecting the positive aspects of mountain bike racing to those in our surrounding area is an important long-term goal for future #DrakeMTB riders. See also “the spirit of howdy”… There is a reason Howdy is so prominently displayed on our team kit. DrakeMTB exists because of the the NICA and Norcal mission of “strong body, mind and character through the sport of cycling”, and Drake captains all share some responsibility for promoting these values in the greater social media community.
Each team captain can volunteer for pre-race talks to get the other riders ready to race. While adults can give guidance and suggestions for racing, over the years we have found that peers speaking about the pressures and strategy of racing can be more effective, though a rousing Roll Pirates! cheer is something that we encourage everyone in the Pit Zone to participate in.
Drake riders train hard before and during the season, and such strenuous training can lead to muscle development that needs complementary exercise for long-term health and physical balance. Thanks to one of our sponsors, http://www.marinpoweryoga.com, the team has an opportunity to engage in stretching-focused yoga. One of the Drake captains has responsibility for getting those who want or need weekly Yoga involved with these free weekly sessions.
Interval training is one of the keys to improving race performance, and we have yet another sponsor http://www.pelofitness.com who offers free weekly sessions for the Drake team. Because trail terrain varies and riders tend to spread out over time, true interval training is very difficult. Pelo training gets all of the riders in one room and helps them do true power-based cycling interval training and visualization. There is a very strong correlation between fitness improvement and Pelo attendance – ask any past rider. One of the Drake captains has responsibility for getting those who want or need weekly interval training involved with these free weekly sessions.