Becoming a Team Member
From mtbNJ.com Wiki
- I often hear the question, "How do I become a team member?" 2010 will be our third year with a team, and we've built a strong representation at local races, group rides, and TM sessions. As we evolve, we continue to better define what is expected of our team members and what you get out of being a team member. This is a cumulative effort of the site owners and team riders and is meant to serve as a general guide for existing and potential team members.
- At the core of things, we were formed as a race team. We've become much more than that but we still want to see everyone race in 5 or more local races wearing the team colors. Between the H2H and MASS series, as well as the Dark Horse Cycles races and 24 Hours of Allamuchy, you can easily get 10 races in New Jersey and just over the border in New York. If you're willing to travel further into New York, or south to Maryland and Delaware, out into Pennsylvania, or even into Connecticut, you could race every weekend for 25 weeks, sometimes 2 in a weekend.
- JORBA has done a fantastic job with the trails we ride. We hope you take it as a personal challenge to get out and help build and maintain the trails we all enjoy. We want to see every team member strive for 10 hours of TM with the team requirement being 5. While 10 hours isn't possible for everyone, all you can do is try. If you try and fail, at least you tried. 1 or 2 TM sessions over the course of 52 weeks isn't an unreasonable number. If you want to get involved more than that, fantastic! But we want to see you give back something.
- Be it formal or ad hoc, we like to see team members leading, sweeping, or just showing up and enjoying group rides. One of the stated aims of the site it to promote mountain biking in the state of New Jersey. As such, one way to do this is to be a representative of the team to the people not familiar with your local trails. Since you're riding anyway, it can't hurt to occasionally do it with a few other people and show off your awesome jersey.
- First off, we understand that not everyone has a day job sitting in front of a computer. Having said that, we expect our riders to be the face of the team on the forum, to give a hand in some way to those newcomers who often seek advice on bikes, training, or trails to ride. Nobody is expected to post as much as Norm does. But we need you to be involved in forum conversations in a positive way. After all, the team is an extension of the board and the site is what we represent.
- Each fall we have a site picnic at Lewis Morris, at the main pavilion where the races are held. We hope you would look forward to coming and spending some time not on the bike with your teammates and the people on the site. There is more beer and food than you can possibly eat and drink, and it's a chance to get to know the husbands, wives, and children of the people you ride with.
- For the first 2 years the festival has existed, MTBNJ has had a tent at JORBAfest and expects to be there going forward. The tent serves as a gathering point to congregate before and after rides as well as a place to hang while we meet people from the site who have never introduced themselves before. We also participate in the festival, leading kids, beginner, women, and intermediate group rides as well as helping out with the various volunteer items that need to be handled during the day, such as registering people or swapping out garbage bags. This is a major event in the biking community and participation is strongly encouraged.
- Occasionally we organize team-only rides, especially when the weather is warm and the days are longer. When we do, we hope you join out of a desire to join, not a feeling of obligation. We don't bite, but we do try to encourage each other to become better riders, be it on the road or in the woods. The rides are often road rides, as it is easier to bring a group of diverse abilities together. These are intended to be fun and get to know each other better to become a better team.
- We expect that you would take pride in wearing the MTBNJ jersey, and being a part of the team defines a small part of who you are. Granted we don't all have enough jerseys to ride 7 days a week. But when going on group rides or off-trail rides, we hope you take pride in sporting the colors, even when riding alone. Likewise, wearing the t-shirt after rides and races, or going to the bike shop, or going to do TM, also applies. If this does not describe you, you should not currently be wearing the colors nor should you ask how you can.
- There will always be some element of "fit" that will determine if we think you'll work well on the team or not. I do not make team decisions myself. I discuss every potential rider with the current team, and if you've made a positive impression on the forum, on group rides, at races, and during TM sessions you will be more well-known and more positively received than someone flying below the radar or negatively representing themselves in these areas. We try to bond together as a team, and a team is a collection of personalities. There will always be consideration of how a personality will fit the existing team.
- Of course you must be asking, "So how does riding for team MTBNJ benefit me?" Our riders put a lot back into the biking community, what do they get out of it? Yes, there are material benefits. We sometimes buy jerseys for the team, and we don't charge fees like other teams. We have team deals with SRAM, Crank Brothers, Kenda, Accelerade, Ergon, Princeton Tec, and Feed as well as a fantastic hook-up with Halter's Cycles. These are all material perks of riding for the team. Beyond that, we're a group of like-minded men & women that ride for the fun of riding. We ride together, picnic together, and occasionally throw back a beer together. Given that we've only been a team for 2 years, we've been extremely successful in that short time, and are always looking for ways to expand.
- If all of this sounds interesting, and you think you fit the criteria to ride for Team MTBNJ-Halters, drop Norm a message and we can talk further. There is no application process, as the team is technically invite only. However, you can ask to be invited, and once a rider is discussed internally and agreed upon, an invitation is extended to that rider. Also understand that we get a lot of requests, and simply cannot put a jersey on everyone who wants to wear one. Our team is constantly evolving and it never hurts to ask if you feel you would be a good representative of the team.
- -Team MTBNJ-Halters