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The Pacific Crest Composite Mountain Bike Team

The Pacific Crest Composite Mountain Bike Team

Do you ever imagine yourself living in a town of 5,000 people nestled in the mountains?


I hadn't before getting the chance to move to such a place in the midst of the pandemic. Wrightwood is the land of four seasons, home of pickleball champions, and also the place where my husband and I were starting from scratch in 2020. We knew no one, and due to COVID, we spent our first year just exploring the trails as a duo. These were mostly empty, save for a handful of people, which was a stark contrast from the bustling trailheads and crowded switchbacks on the south side of the San Gabriels.


San Gabriel Mountains


When we did see someone on trail or around town with a cool bike, we would make sure to chat them up. It was the ticket to our community out here, and now our circle of friends includes ex-pro mountain bikers, downhill racers, adventure cyclists, and retired kooks on e-bikes.


In late 2023, my friend Tonya (the ex-pro mountain biker mentioned above) told me that some parents in town were trying to start a kids' mountain bike teamand they needed more people to help. When I showed up to an interest ride to see what was up, Brittney Thompson, team co-director, introduced me as "Assistant Coach Catalina!"


I guess I was in!



Pacific Crest Composite is the first mountain bike team for middle and high school-aged students in the Wrightwood, Pinon Hills, and Phelan communities. Eventually, our footprint expanded to include the Victor Valley Composite, as the team had become inactive, but kids as far away as Apple Valley were interested in joining PCC and racing within the SoCal Youth Cycling League. The team is dedicated to creating a safe and supportive environment where young riders can grow their skills, develop lasting friendships, and experience the adrenaline rush of racing against their peers. Most of the kids had never raced before, and some didn't even have mountain bikes when they registered.



We offer maintenance workshops, access to stationary bikes for winter training when our trails are covered in ice, and practice rides out in the foothills and ridges of the eastern San Gabriels. As part of the SoCal Youth Cycling League, the team participates in the 5-race season, and kids get a chance to race against riders from Tehachapi to San Diego. Kids too young to race can still join and participate in skills workshops on race days. Since most of our riders were new to mountain biking, we were stoked to get the chance to provide them with goodies from generous sponsors. This year, Every registered race-eligible rider got to take home a jersey, new ESI grips, water bottles, stickers, a head cap from the Radavist, and a Tool Saddle Roll in the team colors from Road Runner Bags.



This side of the Cajon Pass doesn't get a lot of attention in general, and bike infrastructure is lacking. When you Google "bike shop," you get one result in our area, which is still over 30 minutes away from Wrightwood. The fact that this team exists is purely through the hard work of volunteers who all have day jobs but are passionate about cycling. We're looking forward to continuing to nurture the next generation of riders with support from our sponsors; the Victor Valley Bicycle Tour, Mountain High Ski Resort, Mitsubishi Cement, ICR Staffing Services, Eugene F. Cristiano, Kate's Real Food, and Road Runner Bags.


Thank you again to Road Runner Bags for the support. The kids loved filling their Tool Saddle Rolls, and they have been rocking them at the races!


You can reach the Pacific Crest Composite team at, follow us on Instagram at @pacific_crest_composite, or check out our website at


Photos and words from Catalina Elias 

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