We recently interviewed Emile Mulholland about a local mountain bike race for kids and adults, called the Summit Shorty Series. Emile is a local middle school mountain biking coach (San Domenico and Lagunitas), and employee of Sunshine Bicycles in Fairfax.
What is the Summit Shorty Series?
The Summit Shorty Series is a series of short track cross country races, on Wednesday afternoons, that Acme bikes has organized for the last eight or nine years (click here to read more from Acme). Local racers use the Shorty Series to get a good hard workout in the middle of the week and, at the same time, build on their racing skills, like a sparring match for a boxer. The course is a little over a mile long. Racers do multiple laps with most races lasting just under a half hour. There are multiple races held for people of different skill levels so that most of us can find a group where we can be competitive.
For our local middle school cycling enthusiasts the Shorty Series is special. Starting last year, the shorty series includes a race for middle school students at three of its six races. This gives our local mountain bike clubs a reason to come together and kids from schools without a mountain bike club, a place to meet other kids who ride (Younger kids are also welcome to race!).
Who should register?
For most of us, the Shorties are great for anyone who wants to get some racing in without having to travel or pay an arm and a leg. Middle Schoolers should register if they want to experience racing, represent their school's mountain bike club, encourage their school to start a mountain bike club or just have some fun and meet other middle schoolers who ride bikes.
How do I register my child?
Registration for the races is done on site before the start of the race. Kids can come without their parents but they need to have their parents sign the race waiver. The race waiver can be online. Here is a link.
How much does that cost?
Each race costs $10
Does that include insurance?
All questions about race insurance should be directed to Acme Bikes. I know that they do have some liability coverage but I don't know the details.
Who are you, Emile? What's your background, what do you do?
I'm the son of a life-long cyclist who was the first American journalist to be a part of the Tour De France press caravan and wrote the first nationally published article about mountain biking. As a kid, I mostly rode with my dad and always wished that I could ride with more people my own age
As an adult, I've been happy to help build on our local youth cycling community, when given an opportunity. For the last four years, I've volunteered to coach Lagunitas' middle school mountain biking club. This year San Domenico hired me to start a mountain bike club for their middle school. I've, also, coached for a couple high school teams.
I've been proud to coach high school kids to top places in the NorCal league and now watched graduates from my Lagunitas middle school club become successful high school racers. I've been even more proud to watch kids that I have coached develop a love for the outdoors and exercise. Middle school seems to be a great age to teach these qualities and that is why I'm so excited about helping middle schoolers get into biking.