Name: Legacy Coach Sarah Bender
Team: Cedarcrest Dirt Riders
Years with League: 2010-present
Why are you coaching?
Mountain biking is a lifelong sport that speaks to the needs of so many different types of people. Getting kids to fall in love with cycling as well as the outdoors is what makes me happy.
How long have you been involved?
I’ve been involved since the very beginning, 2010. That group of freshman kids are all adults now. It’s cool to see some of those riders now helping as ride leaders and giving back!
What do you like best about it?
The camaraderie that the kids develop with each other and all the memories made.
What’s the hardest or most challenging part about it?
Logistics. Getting kids to rides, Getting kids good, workable gear, etc.
Describe inspiring moment for you:
Seeing one of my girls last year go from being very timid on the trail to riding Whistler.
Why do you think this program is important for students?
Physical fitness is so important. Enjoying outdoors is so important.
How has coaching impacted you and/or the rest of your life?
Learning how to coach and teach skills has improved my riding. Always learning…
What advice would you give to someone considering coaching?
Go hang out with another team and see what they are doing. Hopefully you like kids and bikes!
How have things changed since you originally became involved?
The growth and expansion at every grade level and across the state has been so fun to watch.
What do you see as the biggest challenges to future growth/expansion of the League?
Getting too big is always a risk of losing the little guy. Being welcoming to new riders as well as encouraging the fastest to go as far as they can in the sport.
Anything else you want to share?
Seeing what NICA is doing with corporate partners and youth initiatives for trail stewardship (REI trail) is very exciting and motivating to what we can do.
Give one word that describes your experience with the League: