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Drake MTB Coaches




Drake Head Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Ride Leaders and Mechanics

pic of 2019 Coaches and Ride Leaders

In recent years, Drake has had more than seventy Riders on the team. Keeping such a large and diverse group of kids engaged across a variety of events, team rides, races, and volunteer engagements takes a dedicated team of experienced adults. This team of experienced and qualified adults are selected based on their being good role models, motivators, teachers, organizers, authority figures, risk managers, and perhaps most importantly friends and mentors. And they all have a love of the sport. In addition, all coaches and ride leaders have a responsibility to maintain a safe and harassment- and discrimination-free environment at all team events and rides, and are also expected to:

  • Keep safety top of mind in all team rides and events
  • Behave professionally
  • Use appropriate language
  • Model good sporting behavior
  • Model being respectful of others and of our environment
  • Be energized and upbeat
  • Cheer the team
  • Give specific feedback and praise
  • Celebrate effort and victories
  • Respect the land management rules whether with the team or not

Three Co-Head Coaches
The co-head coaches are involved with every aspect of the team, but have primary responsibility for the following:

  • Set up the ride calendar for the season
  • Select ride leaders and assistant coaches
  • Make sure every team ride has adequate coaching staff and ride leaders
  • Coordinate guest speakers and team volunteer engagements
  • Attend parent committee meetings
  • Work with Norcal on race scheduling and race-day logistics
  • Organize team workouts at sponsors Pelo and Marin Power Yoga

Ten Assistant Coaches
Like the head coaches, assistant coaches tend to be involved with every aspect of the team. They are most important, however, in helping the head coaches with the following:

  • Staffing every team ride and providing on-the-trail leadership for safety and risk management
  • Giving individual attention to Riders on team rides, helping them with technique, maintenance, encouragement, and feedback.
  • Acting as Pit Zone managers during races, making sure that each group of Riders knows their schedule for the day and follows it. This includes critical things like making sure the kids are at the Pit Zone on time, have the proper equipment for racing, have access to a trainer before races, eat properly, have a race plate, don’t fall asleep in a car before a race, have had their bike checked out by the mechanics, eat after a race, cheer for the team, etc etc.

Twenty Ride Leaders
As the name suggests, Ride Leaders are strong adult mountain bikers who work with the coaches to make sure that team rides are safe, organized, challenging, and fun. Each group of riders that goes on a team ride has at least one Ride Leader at the front and one Ride Leader at the back (aka “Sweep”) so that no riders within a specific group are without immediate assistance in the event of injury or confusion as to ride route. All Ride Leaders have been trained in Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and concussion identification. At the end of every team ride, Ride Leaders let the head coaches know that all riders have completed the ride and made it back home (or to Deer Park) safely.

Team Mechanic(s) in the Pit Zone during races
Mountain bikes are complex mechanical devices with many points of failure. Riders put in long hours of training to prepare for races, and mechanical failures can put their personal safety at risk. One of the best ways to minimize this risk is to train your Rider to know his her bike inside and out; as a back-up to that, the Drake team is extremely fortunate to have three team mechanics that check every single Rider’s bike in detail just before every race. In the pre-race Pit Zone, the Drake team has seen last-minute drivetrain replacements, wheel swaps, brake change-outs, shock servicing, and a host of other complex issues addressed under great time pressure to keep the Riders ready to race. The Mechanic’s Area of the Pit Zone is an amazing place, and staffed by bike mechanics with more than 60 years of wrenching… and more than 100 years of very entertaining bicycling-related stories. Please encourage your Rider to treat them with the highest level of gratitude – they, too, are adult volunteers and do their jobs for altruistic reasons, and a single fussy or impatient rider who does not know his or her bike can wipe the smile off of a Mechanic’s face.

NICA requirements for Head Coaches [NICA Level 3 Coach] (see http://www.nationalmtb.org/coaches-license-program/ for details on coaching requirements)

  • Background Check
  • CDC Heads Up Annual Concussion Certification
  • Annual Waiver
  • Wilderness First Aid training
  • CPR training
  • 80 Field Hours: actual hours spent in contact with HS students while engaged in MTB program
  • NICA On-the-bike skills training
  • NICA Student-Athlete Coaching Philosophy webinar and test
  • Annual Risk Management webinar and test 3

Assistant Coach and Ride Leader Requirements [NICA Level 2 Coach]

  • Background Check
  • CDC Heads Up Annual Concussion Certification
  • Annual Waiver
  • Basic first aid training instead of Wilderness First Aid training
  • 20 field hours with students
  • NICA On-the-bike skills training
  • NICA Student-Athlete Coaching Philosophy webinar and test
  • Annual Risk Management webinars 1 and 2 and tests

General Volunteer Requirements (like parents who occasionally do Sunday rides) [NICA Level 1 Coach]

Your Coaches, General Volunteer Ride Leaders, and Team Mechanics for the 2020-2021 Season

Co-Head Coach Chris Nelson

chris_nelson

Chris Nelson has been a competitive and recreational cyclist for over 35 years. He raced on the road at UC Berkeley and took up mountain biking in the mid 1980s. Mainly a lover of road cycling, Chris has recently fallen back in love with the dirt, especially since becoming a sponsor, parent volunteer and now Head Coach at Drake. He rides weekly with his other two head coaches and can often be found riding his MTB or road bike on many of the awesome trails and roads throughout Marin County. He played lacrosse growing up (and was coached by his father) but took up cycling while at Cal and hasn’t looked back. He is honored and excited to be helping out this amazing program of awesome student riders, parents and coaches and he’s especially proud to be following in his father’s footsteps of being a youth sports coach. He lives in San Anselmo and works in the residential real estate business. His son Liam races on the team.

Co-Head Coach Dylan Riley

dylan_riley

If traveling any sort of distance, Dylan Riley prefers to get there on two wheels whether it be by road bike, cross bike, cargo bike, tandem, e-bike, or mountain bike (mountain bike races excluded). A former safe routes to school coordinator in San Francisco, Dylan has been involved with getting kids on bikes for years. He is a builder of wheels, some of which are even round, a participant in races, usually not for last, and a father of two. A veteran elementary school teacher of 13 years, he enjoys challenging kids to be their best and in the process is just happy to be along for the ride.

Co-Head Coach Shawn Nelson

shawn

Shawn Nelson has been a ride leader and Shwag guy now for 3 years and after countless rides has stepped up to be an assistant coach. He grew up in Marin and has been riding these trails for a lot of years. Shawn is slow but only because he’s fat and old. If you are looking for someone to ride next to who will make you feel better about your riding skills he’s the guy. Fortunately, his one story always seems fresh, and his purple bike makes him easy to spot when he has accidentally rolled down a hill during a water break. If you see him during a ride say Howdy and possibly help him back up to the trail if needed.

Assistant Coach Bill Melton

bill

I bought my first mountain bike after I moved to San Francisco in 1990 for post-graduate education. I started off biking every dirt path I could find in Golden Gate Park and then eventually ventured across the bridge to explore Marin’s incredible terrain. Several years later I moved to New Mexico and my mountain biking world opened up wide as the Southwest became my playground. Eventually I found my way back to the Bay Area and have lived in Fairfax for the last 16 years and never tire of rolling on two wheels. I have coached youth soccer for 9 years and am continually impressed with the ability of youth sports to challenge kids in ways that promote self-esteem and resilience. Mountain bike racing and the Drake MTB team set the standard in this respect. The commitment of the riders, coaches and parents is truly impressive and something I am excited to be a part of. I really enjoyed riding with the team last year as a ride leader and look forward to serving as an assistant coach.

Assistant Coach Chris Kenton

chris-k

I’m Chris Kenton… I grew up in Sunnyvale, riding BMX bikes in the golden age of anodized alloy. Linda and I moved to Cascade in autumn of 1999, just in time to see the annual Appetite Seminar parade down our street. I was out raking leaves before our Thanksgiving guests arrived, watching hundreds of mountain bikers stream past. The next day I bought my first mountain bike to find out what I was missing and never looked back. I’ve learned more about myself from mountain biking than almost any other pursuit. The mental, physical and technical challenges never get old—and neither do the rewards of fresh air, adrenaline and alpine views. Unlike a lot of sports that you have to put on a shelf sooner or later, mountain biking is a life-long ride. I couldn’t be happier sharing it with such a dedicated and passionate group of people.

Assistant Coach Chris Miller

chris

Growing up in the Sierra, or growing older anyway, we didn’t realize we were mountain biking. We were just biking…. in the mountains. I can’t remember spending much time inside. Four seasons a year we were in the elements with our crew and it got ugly. Our poor parents, remember that, let us ride wild. When I moved to santa Cruz in the 90’s and found clipless pedals I fell in love. When I moved to Marin and began exploring trails I kept wondering how many people knew about these… Little did I know. I co-started the cross country and track team at manor school while coaching little league and girls softball, but in my mind there is no coaching like mountain bike coaching with these amazing drake athletes.

Assistant Coach Jeff Guild

jeff

Howdy gang! I’m Coach Jeff and I like mountain biking mostly because it’s fun, but also because it attracts cool people to hang out with. It’s also good for getting exercise and exploring places near and far. Besides all the fun, I really appreciate the opportunity biking gives me to challenge myself to improve skills and fitness, which in the end makes biking even more fun! Coaching on the Drake team gives me the opportunity to hang out with great people, support our student athletes in improving their skills and overcoming challenges, and generally share the stoke that comes from mountain biking. Roll Pirates!