Frequently Asked Questions

Must I own a fancy mountain bike to take part with the Gear Grinders?
- A basic mountain bike with a front suspension fork is recommended; full suspension is not required. Good quality second-hand bikes can be found for sale on Craigslist and elsewhere. If you are really interested in mountain biking, let us know. We can likely find you a mountain bike. We also expect to have some bikes to lend.

Not sure I want to race.
- That’s okay. You can still join the Gear Grinders and come to the twice weekly rides and other activities. Many student atheletes come to the sport thinking they don’t want to take part in races but after attending a race or talking to other students, change their minds. Race day is lots of fun – and it is not all about the winning. Every student who participates is made to feel warmly welcomed and gets great encouragement from the community of mountain bikers happy to see you on a bike. We say, keep an open mind, but it’s still fine if you prefer not to race.

I’m a complete novice on the trails.
- No problem. Many students begin with limited or no experience riding on the trails. We’ll provide you with the necessary skills, boost your confidence and enhance your endurance. Our training rides go at a pace suitable for your level.

I take part in a school sport – will there be a schedule conflict?
- Our season is December-June, with the races typically scheduled 3-5 weeks apart between March and May. We ride twice a week – Wednesdays and Sundays. Many of our student riders also take part in other sports – so we understand that in mid-week, you may not be able to ride every time. If you are interested in riding with the Gear Grinders and take part in another sport, let us know and we can figure out options for you to ride with us.

Do the boys and girls train separately?
- No, we are truly co-ed. Boys and girls take part in the same training rides.

Can I get high school PE credit for riding with the Gear Grinders?
- Not yet but we are working on making participation in mountain biking eligible for high school PE credit.

Where do the training rides take place?
- Our midweek rides in the winter and early spring are always on the island, usually at the Grand Forest. Our Sunday rides are off-island, usually at Port Gamble. Early season rides take place after school on Wednesdays starting in December and are limited by available light – 75-90 minutes. Sunday rides are 2-2.5 hours, starting at 9:00 am.

Will I get wet?
- Yes. Most definitely. Early season rides involve a lot of mud. You will love it, or learn to love it.