Community service is required for most high school graduates and is an important part of the college application. It is also a good practice to cultivate throughout your life. Naturally, I want to volunteer in an area related to mountain bikes. A few months ago my coach, Chad Leptich, invited our team out to patrol with the Cuyamaca Rancho State Mountain Bike Assistance Unit (MBAU). Once a month, Chad and other volunteers of the MBAU ride throughout our local state park, scouting for trails that need maintenance and talking to other riders. As an added bonus, Chad informed me that I was able to gain community service hours for my time spent on the trail. I have participated in two patrols already and I look forward to many more rides with the MBAU.
In addition to doing patrols, the MBAU is responsible for creating new trails throughout Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. They are constantly organizing work days to help maintain the trails in my backyard, and new trails are also tirelessly being created. They are also responsible for hosting the Cuyamaca Rancho Benefit Ride. The annual event includes a ride through the park with multiple stops where participants stop and collect cards to make a poker hand, followed by a spaghetti lunch and extensive raffle. For 25 years they have hosted this event in the park. I have been able to ride, be stationed at a card stop, and walk away from the raffle with numerous goodies.
Team Gold is representing at the 2015 benefit ride–Chad is second from the right (blue jersey). I didn’t ride because I was in the middle of my cross country season but my mom and I were at one of the card stops along the route. My dad had the best poker hand at the end of the ride and won a Shimano XTR wheelset!