Tam High’s mountain bike club teams, as participants in a high school club sport, have long existed outside the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL). They compete in the NorCal High School Cycling League, which was founded in 2001, and are school-sponsored.

That longstanding relationship snowballed into a kerfuffle over the past week when questions arose late last week about the future of the club teams at Tam, Redwood and Archie Williams over issues of sponsorship and liability protections. The controversy quickly spawned a “Reverse the Killing of the Mountain Bike Teams in the Tam District” online petition when it appeared to some that the Tam district was looking to cut its ties to the bike teams. The petition has garnered more than 3,000 signatures.

After a meeting on the issues Monday, a statement seemed to lower the temperature.

“After a meeting today between TUHSD Administration and our three district Mountain-biking Club coaches and advisors, we are jointly working towards a solution that continues to provide the same valuable mountain-biking experiences for our students while making necessary adjustments to meet the District’s need to follow its policies and regulations,” the parties said in a statement. It was never the intent or desire of the District to cause any changes that would impair the quality of the mountain-biking experience for our students and are sorry for the recent confusion around this topic.”

The TUSD board is expected to further review the issue next Tuesday.

“The mountain biking clubs moving forward will be school sponsored clubs, which means they will continue to operate much as they have been, with some adjustments,” TUHSD superintendent Tara Taupier wrote in an email to the Marin IJ.

The recent confusion centered around liability protection and that mountain biking is not sanctioned by the California Interscholastic Federation. Instead, mountain biking is regulated by the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), according to the IJ. The district is looking for students to have a waiver signed by each parent/guardian before each season and to ensure the coaches are going through background checks and sexual harassment training.


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