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What are the seasons for the Crankers?

The Cranker program can, admittedly, be a bit confusing when you first start researching it. Let’s try to sum it up as simply as we can.

First, there is the High School Racing Season, which is from August through October, and involves Freshmen through Seniors in High School. As a “Composite” team, we are made up of student athletes from the world’s greatest high schools: Castle View, Douglas County and Elizabeth. And YES, that includes students who attend private, charter or home schools, but are within the feeder area for these high schools.

Second, there is the Spring/Summer Practices and Camps which run roughly from April through July. This is comprised of 5th through 12th grade riders, and focuses on riding fundamentals, training, skill development. The same coaches and the same riders from high school season are involved in this.

Third, there is the Off-Season, where the riders from our high school team, and from our spring/summer programs, will get together and do Cross Fit, spinning, occasional rides when the weather permits, and a myriad of other activities. It’s team building in the truest sense.


I’m new to mountain biking. Can I join?

Sure! We have riders of all skills and abilities. Some people join the team barely having ridden a bike at all…seriously. You will be amazed at your skill development in just a few short weeks.


If I join, do I have to race?

Though student athletes are not required to race, it is encouraged because racing is a fun and unique experience.

During our High School racing season, our high school athletes are highly encouraged to race at the 4 races (plus the additional state championship). Castle Rock Youth Cycling Club a/k/a The Crankers is affiliated with the Colorado High School Cycling League.


What do I need?

It’s simple: you need a working bike, a helmet, sunglasses, flat tire repair kit and enthusiasm.


I go to a charter/online/private/home school…Can I still join?

Heck yes! Get on out here! You’ll find a number of student athletes that are in the feeder area, but are at charter, private or home-based schools.


I’m involved in other sports, is that okay?

Yes! We have riders who also play high school lacrosse, soccer, track, etc.


What does the CRYCC a/k/a Crankers do?

Castle Rock Youth Cycling Club a/k/a The Crankers is a 501c3 that provides the coaching, administration and fundraising for our spring/summer session, camps and our high school teams. Our staff is made up of parents and people who love mountain biking, as well as former students.


Is this a “real” high school sport?

This sport is sanctioned by the Colorado League, however, it is not sanctioned thru CHASA. In fact it is one of the fastest growing high school sports in the country! Currently the Colorado League has approximately 1400 racers and many have received scholarships to race in College. Many of the racers have been working on getting the mountain bike team as a club team at their schools.


Who runs the CRYCC a/k/a Crankers?

This team is supported by an amazing set of volunteers, starting with our two Head coaches, Mark Neel and Nate Vacura. We couldn’t ask for better leaders for these kids, and their investment in each of their lives is immeasurable.

This applies equally to our other Coaches, Dan Gump and Keven Winder. These coaches hardly ever miss a practice or a race, and devote incredible amount of personal time to these students and the team.

Tess Neel, is a legacy rider who graduated from Douglas County in 2015, and continued on being an Assistant Coach while she was in college. 2022 will be her first year in the Team Director position, and she couldn't be more excited. She helps keep Mark and the team organized and running.

Our Ride Leaders are legacy riders that have come back to help the team and give back to the team. We also have many parents that come out and help at practices. Three nights a week, legacy riders and parents saddle up and ride the trails with our student athletes, and develop a camaraderie with the team that is nothing short of magical.

Finally, each of the parents give back to the team throughout the season, through managing our hectic race days, hosting team dinners, bringing food for the team tent, etc. etc. etc. We couldn’t do it without the parents!

Get In Touch

Tess Neel is our Team Director and is here to help you. Please reach out to Tess with any questions or help you may need.

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