And when Sergio crossed the finish line at his 5th race (the only Richmond Composite rider to complete every race this year) with another improvement we knew we were going to States.
So now it’s time to reflect on the year, to celebrate not just race placements and heroic efforts of riders who chose racing as their goal but of the team as a whole and some of the individuals who are written into the foundation of Richmond Composite in our historic first year.
Before we hosted our first Fun Ride in October 2017, the idea for Richmond Composite had been brewing for some time. Norcal League Program Director and Richmond resident Robert “Coco” Ramirez wanted to see a high school mountain bike team in his town. So did two amazing longtime Albany High School MTB team coaches, Daniel Santos and Jim Zahradka. Three men with hearts the size of Richmond, got together to host a screening of the documentary “Singletrack High” at local bike shop Rich City Rides to help generate interest for high school mountain biking in Richmond.
On a rainy January night a projector was set up around a couple of chairs on the shop floor. Pizza was ordered and we waited for kids to arrive. Maybe it was the rain and cold, maybe it was lack of promotion, maybe it was the relatively foreign concept of mountain biking in Richmond. We’ll never know, but only one high school kid arrived that night, dragged in with his mom and baby sister in tow. His name was Donovan and his mom Tamika. They ate pizza, watched the documentary and tried to make sense of what we were talking about when we said someday soon, there would be a high school mountain bike team in Richmond and that we wanted to get more kids interested.
When the guests left Jim, Daniel, Coco and I cleaned up and chatted outside. “What’s our next step?” We all offered what we could at the time, but it didn’t add up to a Richmond Team in the near future. We promised to stay in touch and keep the “momentum” up and parted ways.
Fast forward nine months and the team is as the beginning stages of taking form. Planning has long been underway-meetings with potential coaches, partner organizations, backroom “announcements” that the team was starting, this website launched and much more. Yet, beyond that first rainy gathering, we hadn’t made contact with any kids except for Donovan.