NICA Team of The Month: Temescal Canyon High School Titan Cycling

Temescal Canyon High School Titan Cycling

SoCal High School Cycling League:

Temescal Canyon High School Titan Cycling Team:

One of the most inspirational developments to come out of the world of USA mountain biking has been the explosive growth of high school racing. This month we reached out to coach Robert Parks to learn about the Temescal Canyon High School Titan Cycling Team in Lake Elsinore, California.

Team name?

Temescal Canyon High School Titan Cycling.

Where did the name come from?

The Titan is our school mascot.

Which league do you race with?

The SoCal High School Cycling League.

When was the team started?


Team size? How many boys? How many girls? Any athlete spotlights?

Fourteen boys and five girls. Fourteen of the riders are new to the sport and our team.

What is your favorite course?

Our “home” course is Vail Lake, which the students on the team love to ride, but most would say Keyesville is their favorite. The course is fun and challenging, but since it’s a venue that is further away, many of our families camp there, making it a long weekend in a beautiful location.

Any team or school fun facts?

• This is our sixth year as a team. The team was started by Robert and Kathy Parks, both teachers at the school.

• Robert teaches Engineering at TCHS and is in his 18th year of teaching.

• Kathy teaches Health Science at TCHS and is in her 20th year of teaching.

• As far as we know, we are the only husband/wife/teacher coaching team in all of NICA. We are passionate about the sport and give our time and energy purely because of that.

• Robert began riding in the La Habra Heights area, where he grew up, in 1990. Kathy began mountain biking the year we started the team, 2014.

• Kathy is a NICA Girls Riding Together (GRiT) Ambassador.

• We won the NICA National Coach of the Year award five years ago and were honored at the ClifBar headquarters.

• Our number one parent volunteer coach, Mario Sanchez, has won the NICA volunteer of the year award for his dedication to coaching our team and for sweeping all of the girl’s varsity races for two straight years.

• Both Kathy and Robert have won our school’s Teacher of the Year award.

• Our team has grown to 19 riders this year, our biggest team ever, with five girls on the team (also our most).

• 2017 was our breakout season when we had three varsity riders and won three Division 2 races. We also placed second in the overall series.

• Our team is an official sport on campus. Our students are announced at pep rallies, have a double-page spread in the yearbook, earn varsity letters, and are included on our Titan TV news broadcasts.

• Most of our students on the team are either part of the Titan Engineering Program on campus or the Titan Welding Program.

• At each race, our students are awarded a finisher medal that was designed, programmed and manufactured on our Haas CNC milling machines in the engineering program. This has been a tradition since the team began.

• Students have also designed and manufactured custom parts for their bikes. This includes billet products such as stems, GoPro mounts, bike stands, snap-in pedal platforms for their Shimano pedals and bike storage stands.

• Bicycle design and product manufacturing are a major component in our engineering program. Our students design products for bikes and cyclists. We often 3D print or machine student projects in our engineering lab, which has four Haas CNC milling machines, a CNC lathe, 3D printers, a laser cutter and a CNC water jet.

• Bicycles are the main tool used in the engineering classes to learn about and understand gear ratios.

• Our students in the welding program have designed and fabricated cyclingrelated parts such as bike stands, racks for their trucks, and fork mounts for their cars and toy-box trailers.

• Our students get a unique experience. We provide the kids a family atmosphere on the team. They receive coaching and lessons on health, nutrition and fitness from Kathy. They learn mechanics and bicycle design from Robert. They have access to both of us on campus for help with tutoring and can work on assignments or projects for all their classes in our classrooms/computer lab. The students also have two “adopted parents” on campus looking out for their grades and their personal growth. We take guiding them into careers after high school very seriously.

• Each year, we graduate up to four or five seniors who go on to pursue engineering degrees in college. We have students working on engineering degrees at Cal Poly Pomona, Montana State University, UC Davis, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fort Lewis College and San Diego State—all of whom competed on the mountain bike team. We are also very proud of four Titan Cycling alumni who have gone into military service in the Army, Navy and Air Force.

• Since our team is full of engineering students, we go on bike/engineering field trips every year. We have visited and toured Intense Bicycles and Oakley several times. Both these companies use the same CAD software, CNC programming and CNC machines our students are learning to use.

• Due to being involved in the engineering program, many of our students graduate with up to nine units of engineering college credit. They also earn professional certifications in SolidWorks, MasterCAM and Haas CNC milling machines.

• Many of our MTB riders who are also in the welding program graduate with three to six units of welding credits and earn certifications in MIG, TIG and Stick welding.


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