I have never been much of a football fan so when I heard MCBC and NorCal MTB League were putting on the Dirt Bowl, it was the perfect excuse to get out the Super Bowl Party. Once I realized it was raising money for Safe Routes to School as well as the NorCal League, two programs to support the next generation on bikes, I was in! Being a mom living in Wild Inverness, Safe Routes to School is one of the top advocacy programs that I support. I want my little boy to be able to ride his bike to school so have vowed to do everything I can to assure that route is a safe one.
The ride itself was just social muddy fun. Since my husband and I had the pleasure of riding Specialized Demo bikes, we were like kids ourselves out there. the group consisted of a handful of MTB legends: Dave Weins being the guest celeb, along with Otis Guy, Ned Overend and usual Fairfax suspects. Then there was the group of less famous but just as influential group with the newly elected NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association) president, Gary Boulanger, who was admittedly dropped by his own two teenage kids. Overall everyone was there to celebrate the bike as a great sport for kids.
After a hot shower and some food everyone gathered to hear Matt Fritzinger’s quiet dry humor as he updated us on the happenings of NICA and Norcal. The crowd lit up as he explained, with a brilliant analogy, how he overcomes the huge task of presenting MTBing as an Interscholastic High School sport to the powers that be.
He started by saying, “I just pretend it is football that I am selling,” with a sheepish smirk he continues, “So I am thinking we put a bunch of kids in gladiator outfits and have them battle over a pigskin ball on this really expensive astro turf that we install at every school. Of course, its only for the boys, but we’ll let the girls get involved and stand on the sidelines in short skirts and jump around screaming with pom pom things in their hands. Yeah! That will sell!”
Of course, his point is no matter how logical MTBing is to us cyclists or how strange it is to others, it’s not logic that’s going to sell it. But our sport deserves to be recognized and needs our support to be accepted. I’m in! Are you?