El Modena MTB
Faculty Advisor: Mrs. Lissner
"It was kismet.
Landon Jacobs, a junior at El Modena High, found team sports to be anxiety-inducing because of Asperger’s, so he turned to more individual sports. He enjoyed playing golf and other solo sports, but found mountain biking to be his passion.
Mountain biking is also a dangerous sport. Jacobs, a teen, was allowed to join Linked Cycling, a men’s cycling group, to safely bike with others.
Wearing a Linked T-shirt to a pool party was the serendipitous prompt for an introduction to another mountain biking enthusiast, Emma Timmermans. Emma was, coincidentally, an incoming freshman at El Modena.
The two joined forces and, in a few short months, founded the El Modena High School Vanguard Mountain Bike Team, under the auspices of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association.
They collaborated to find a sponsor and coaches — and now have a team of 11 bikers. They practice on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday each week, under the direction of their very supportive coaches, Roscoe and Robin Litchard. They are currently prepping for their first association race, “Beach to Boulders,” at Lake Perris on Feb. 24. The team will participate in the association’s five-race series, traveling to Vail Lake, Lake Isabella and Tehachapi before, hopefully, being invited to participate in the state championship at Petaluma.
The team has worked to raise money for equipment, fees and costs. They hosted a bike swap meet, and, last weekend, held their first El Modena MTB Bike-A-Thon fundraiser. Donations for the fledgling club continue to be accepted; contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Landon said he plans to seek scholarships at a college with mountain cycling teams, his goal being a degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in cycling studies – and later developing and riding the ultimate bike. Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com."