Gentry Stars Cycling
Our middle school and high school student-athletes have the opportunity to join the Gentry Stars cycling team that will be a member of the Minnesota High School Cycling League (MHSCL). The MHSCL competitions take place in Minnesota and provide competitive, equitable, and uniform opportunities for high school students to learn valuable lessons through participation in athletics.
The Gentry Academy Cycling Program is an integrated school-based development model with a focus on the endurance disciplines of road, track, cyclocross, and XC mountain biking, and the following provides the core elements, focus, and the planning and support framework provided to Gentry Stars athletes.
For student-athletes competing at the middle school (grades 7-8), freshman and sophomore levels, the program will focus on the fundamentals of cycling which includes training and cycling basics and sport-specific skills. Student-athletes will participate in track, cyclocross, and XC mountain biking, and they will receive an introduction to road biking.
For student-athletes competing at the junior varsity level, the program will be focused on training and learning to compete, and it will focus on building and refining skills, building stamina, and building competition skills. Student-athletes will participate in track, cyclocross, XC mountain biking, and intermediate-level road biking.
For student-athletes competing at the varsity level, the program will be focused on competition, and all training is geared toward competitive racing. Student-athletes will refine race skills and train with specific purpose. Student-athletes will participate in track, cyclocross, XC mountain biking, and advanced-level road biking.
Gentry Academy student-athletes are encouraged to participate in multiple sports and may play a sport as a Gentry Stars participant and another sport as a Gentry Galaxy participant with separate and distinct rosters for all teams. For example, a student-athlete may be on the Stars cycling team and on a Galaxy hockey team.
2017 Season Information
Join the co-ed Gentry Academy Mountain Bike Team! Cross-country mountain biking is a fall club sport in Minnesota with races occurring late August through October. There are now over 60 teams and 1,200 student-athletes competing in the Minnesota High School Cycling League.
Those registering in May and June receive access to summer fun rides, races, and mechanical skill sessions over summer break. Regular season practices begin July 10th. Practices are held twice/week on weekday nights for two hours between 4-8 pm (depending on where we are at in the season) and Saturdays for longer rides. When the school year begins practices will be held during W.I.N. time and one morning on the weekends at local trailheads. Five races are set throughout Minnesota during August, September, and October. The team is open to 7-12th graders. Beginners through advanced mountain bikers are welcome.
Gentry Cycling F.A.Q.
What if I've never mountain biked before?
No problem! We are thrilled you want to try something new. Come to the first practice with your bike, helmet and an open mind. You may discover this is the perfect sport for you! There are no try-outs to be on the team. All 7th-12th graders are welcome and accepted.
How do I know if I have the right equipment?
You will need a cross-country mountain bike with knobby tires, front shock and a certified helmet. Coaches will check athlete's equipment during equipment check events in June and July and throughout the season during practice.
Coaches will make recommendations to parents regarding equipment safety and suggest maintenance or upgrading at that time. Outside the equipment check events, riders will be responsible for their own bike's maintenance and safety. Prior to each practice student riders will review each others bikes for safety. This includes checking tire inflation, brakes, and chain and drive-train viability.
- Equipment required: Helmet and cross country style mountain bike (not BMX or downhill bike)
- Equipment recommended: bike gloves, eye protection, padded bike shorts, water bottle and energy/food.
*Emergency prescription medication like inhalers or Epi-Pens must be carried by student rider at all times on their person. Bike jerseys and cycling jackets have three rear pockets that easily carry these items.
Can I earn a varsity letter?
Yes! The Gentry Academy Mountain Bike Team is a high school sport and therefore allows for sports lettering.
Can I score individually?
Yes, there are both team podium and individual podium awards at each race. At the state awards banquet in November, there are individual and team awards based on season point totals.
Who is our competition?
We compete against all high school teams in Minnesota at every race. There are two divisions, based on team size. Teams with less than 15 student-athletes are classified as Division II and teams with more than 15 student-athletes are classified as Division I. A full list of schools and there divisions can be accessed by clicking here.
Will I ever have to race against kids older than me?
Typically students race against riders in their own grade level. Riders with previous race results may sometimes "move up" a grade level or two depending on their past race performances. Deviation from racing within your grade category is done rarely and on a case-by-case basis only.
Do boys and girls race against each other?
High School mountain biking is a co-ed sport and although we train together, races are always separated by gender. There is a separate race for boys and for girls and for each grade level.
What about transportation?
Transportation is not provided. We ask parents to coordinate transportation for their student-athlete to attend practices and races. This can be done at the informational meetings in June, at the orientation meeting in July or through our communications hub on Team Snap.
**Pick up your student-athlete promptly at the end of practice. It is often dark when we finish riding.
What if I'm going to be out of town and miss a lot of practices?
Contact Coach Martens to let him know the dates you will be gone. He'll update you on whatever training or skills sessions you've missed. He also needs to know if you will be missing any of the races so he can account for that when submitting start lists for that week.
Can I do another fall sport?
We are very flexible and believe now is the time to try new sports and activities to discover your strengths and interests; however, be aware that mountain biking is a physically demanding endurance sport and student-athletes who try to manage two fall sports need to be extra-diligent when trying to balance everything. If you have concerns, contact Coach Martens and he'll work with the coaches, parents, and student-athletes to coordinate a healthy approach.
Do you have an attendance policy?
We take attendance at each practice. Students who are sick or know they are going to miss practice, contact Coach Martens by email firstname.lastname@example.org or text message (507) 351-5375 prior to practice - (It's too late if you contact Coach Martens 10 minutes before practice). Athletes who miss two unexcused practices will have to meet with the coaches. Keep in mind parents and school officials report to us on school attendance and grades. Mountain Biking is super fun, but your first priority is schoolwork. If grades or attendance at practice start slipping, expect a meeting between Coach Martens, parents and student-athlete.
Is my privacy protected?
You will grow close to your teammates socially this season and share many experiences together. In the event of family or personal crises, school suspensions or other private developments in your life, make sure you let Coach Martens know. Coaches will protect your privacy and protect you from inquiries from your teammates.
Do students need to volunteer?
As part of the mountain bike team, student riders will be expected to help on Race Day. When not racing, student-athletes are expected to help with cheering, team communications, team tent management and supplies, team race food and course tear-down. Each year, we volunteer as a team cleaning and fixing bikes for FreeBikes4Kidz and occasionally we are called on to do trail-building work in the community.
Why do student riders have to volunteer?
The Gentry Academy Mountain Bike Team is as much about character development as it is about race competition. Our team members build character as they develop life skills together, leading by example, being loyal, persevering, encouraging and working together to meet challenges. The discipline they will earn in an atmosphere of good sportsmanship will serve them well as they develop into mature members of our society. This is not a superstar-focused team; it is a cohesive and caring group that happens to be developing great fitness, racing well, and achieving goals!
How do I sign up?
Registration is a two-step process. Registration is now open. Enroll by contacting Coach Martens. email@example.com or call (507) 351-5375. Once you've contacted Coach Martens, you will receive an invitation to register through the NICA Pit Zone. Follow the Invitation Link to NICA's Pit Zone. This online registration process assures you will be covered under the national insurance protection. You do not need to register for any races yet – just pay the registration fees and submit your online waiver form. Enrollment on the team is complete now. You will receive an email invitation to join Team Snap - our communication website. This website houses information on practices, races, forms, photos and team information. This website is private and only for paid and registered members of the Gentry Academy Mountain Bike Team.
Is other team apparel available?
Optional team apparel (spirit wear and team cycling jackets) will be available for purchase during the summer months. Team Members will be alerted through Team Snap and also at pre-season activities. (Need to be registered to get in on early apparel orders.)