What is EtownMTB?

Elizabethtown Mountain Bike Club

EtownMTB is a mountain bike club that consists of student athletes in grades 6 through 12 who reside within the Elizabethtown Area school district boundaries. In our inaugural year 2016, we were 22 students; For the 2024 season, we will be 60 student athletes strong. Our main goal is to get kids on bikes and therefore there are no tryouts - everyone rides. We want strong healthy kids. We want our students to develop strong physical and healthy bodies, strong academic minds and strong characters where we encourage our athletes to work hard, play fair, respect others and community.

The EtownMTB club is part of the PA Interscholastic Cycling League and we participate in a fall race series where we race against students from schools/clubs from all over the state. Our season starts at the end of June teaching new riders the different skills they will need while returning riders join in July, We practice multiple times a week to learn the skills and gain the fitness required to race mountain bikes! Our practices are held at the Elizabethtown Fairgrounds, a local trail and skills park that our team built on Bear Creek school property, as well as trail networks at Mount Gretna, Swatera, and Rocky Ridge and the Kirkenwald trail system that many of our student athletes helped build.

Races provide student athletes an arena in which to set and accomplish competitive goals and to achieve their personal best. We have a 5-race season on courses that consist of single track, fire roads, logs, mud, and rocks. Professional race promotion, timing, course preparation and risk management guarantee every participating student athlete is given a fun and fast environment.

While not everyone is required to race, we strongly encourage each student athlete to participate in at least one race during the season. We compete against other teams from the Pennsylvania League. Continuing in the 2024 season are adventure rides for student athletes who does not want to race.

EtownMTB is a non-profit organization that has 501(c)(3) status as a public charity.

Skill Development

Mountain biking is exciting, but there are skills that students need to know in order to become effective and safe riders. Skills will include braking, cornering, body positions, shifting, pedal placement, race starts, and more.

Team Practice

Practices are held at least twice a week. Specific practice schedules are defined prior to the start of the season. All students practice together so that newer riders can learn skills quicker with the older students motivating the younger and newer riders. Riders are assessed often and moved around into different groups based on their abilities.

Pre-Race Prep

Preparing for a race is more than putting a bike on the car and going. Students are taught about proper bike preparations, mental preparation as well as nutrition and hydration. All students signed up to race can pre-ride the course either the day before the race or the day of. Coaches participate in these rides to point out specifics to the course students should be aware of for race day.

Bike Maintenance

Bike maintenance is key to make sure riders are safe during practices and races. Students are taught how to make sure their bikes are set up properly as well we how to pump their tires, change a flat tire, fix a dropped chain and more.

Our Races

Usually, we will have 5-6 sanctioned PICL races in the fall as well as adventure rides for those who don't want to race. Races are located in eastern, central and western regions of Pennsylvania. Students earn points based on their final placing in each race. Team points are tallied by the team’s highest placed riders in each grade category.

No One Sits

No one sites the bench!! Everyone rides. Period. We want our students to gain a love of riding so that it will continue throughout their life. And so, any student who wants to compete in a race is eligible.

Number of Riders

Number of Races/Events

2024 Number of Coaches

2023 Trail Stewardship Hours

Our Team

Our team consists of over 60 student riders from the Elizabethtown Area School district from the High School and Middle School (grades 6-12). We also include students who live in our school district but attend a private school, are cyber or home schooled. Besides our head coach, we have many assistant coaches so our students can receive personalized attention as well as assuring rider safety.

Doug Rohde - Doug has been involved with cycling since the late 80's when he began road racing and riding multi-day charity tours. His passion for bikes evolved into the sport of triathlons and eventually mountain biking. He has been employed as a Mechanical engineer in the York/Lancaster/Harrisburg Area since graduating from Penn State. He spends his "off bike" time with his wife pursuing outdoor activities like skiing, boating, backpacking. He and his wife became involved with the Etown team as assistant coaches in 2018 prior to Doug taking on additional head coaching responsibilities. He is excited to help the kids of Etown develop a lifelong passion for cycling.

Our team is a Division 1 team made of students who live within the Elizabethtown Area School District boundaries. We have students both male and female from the High School and Middle School (grades 6-12). We also have students who attend local private schools or are homeschooled but live within our boundaries. Students practice together so that they may learn skills from older and more experienced riders and so that all students may challenge themselves. While most of our riders do choose to race in the PAMTB racing series, not all of our students have chosen to do so. However, all of our students attend races to cheer on their teammates - not because they have to but because they want to! Mountain bike racing is unlike any other sport offered in the district.

EtownMTB is very fortunate to have numerous assistant coaches to help with team responsibilities. Each coach volunteers their time and expenses because they themselves have a life long love of riding their bikes and want to encourage the youth in Etown to develop the same passion. Having a group of coaches to support the head coaches allows students to be broken up into smaller groups to learn skills as well as for safety on trail rides.

EtownMTB Important Dates


  • Pre-Season New Rider Meeting

    Come find out about EtownMTB as well as new information that we are presenting.

  • Returning Rider Registration Opens

    Registration for EtownMTB Opens for All returning riders.

  • New Rider Registration Opens

    Registration for EtownMTB will be open on May 8th. See the student page for the signup document.

  • ALL New and Returning EtownMTB Student Signup Deadline

    In order that our coaches may prepare for the season we ask that parents complete all EtownMTB season signup paperwork as well as the PitZone registration by the appropriate dates.

    Visit Student section for Signup Form

  • PreSeason Team Meeting

    All coaches, returning riders and new riders are asked to attend this years preseason meeting. At this meeting our Head Coach will discuss expectations as well as current season happenings.

  • Jersey Fitting

    All riders will need to be fitted for a jersey!

  • Bike Fit / Safety Check / Gear Swap

    All bikes that riders will be using for the season must be checked for safety purposes. Bikes will be checked for working brakes, gears as well as seat height adjustments. Parents are responsible for any recommendations made. We also will have gear like jerseys/shoes for students to swap out with each other.


    Practice begin! It's important that all new students and returning 2nd year riders attend this boot camp to learn necessary skills. No riders will be allowed to ride trails until coaches have accessed that the student meets the requirements.

  • FULL Team Practice Begins

    Practice begin! Let's Ride!!


EtownMTB is unique in that all teammates practice together. This allows our kids to progress much quicker because younger and new riders have not only the coaches to learn from, but also learn the older more experienced riders. The mix of ages create team camaraderie that is not found in other sports.

Visit our Student FAQ and Downloads Section

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2023 EtownMTB Sponsors

Our local community and businesses provide a unique and powerful support system for the students. These wonderful individuals and businesses have given their time, effort and money to help keep EtownMTB going and growing. Without their support, we simply couldn’t do this! Our sponsors provide funding so that we can make sure we have the supplies we need for practices, safety gear and supplies for team rides on trails, gear for races, as well as support for each student to have a race entry fee as well as coaches safety training.

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

What Our Kids Think

On The Track

We get asked all the time so what really is EtownMTB? What do practices look like? What does a race look like? How do races start? We thought it would just be easier for you to see for yourself.

Is that a Musket?

Season Opener, 2016

Mountain bike racers are the craziest bunch of athletes we know. Check out the race start and the wild musketeer in Marysville. Isn't that just a hoot?


What's a Race Start like?

September, 2016

The coaches can talk all they want about strategy of a race start..but until you experience it for yourself it's just not the same. Check it out and see if your adrenaline isn't pumping.


JV Boys on a Climb

Oct 16, 2016

Our JV boys working the climb. The cowbells..the coach giving advice as you ride..the fans..now that's motivation to make that climb! "Stay on his wheel!!"


Flying Through the Woods

Nov 11, 2016

Here's some MTB stoke to get you out riding this weekend! This is Freshman boys race last weekend as they entered the singletrack into the woods. They are hauling! Brraaaaaappp!


The Horseshoe Pit Drill

August, 2016

Wonder how we prepare our kids for tree roots and log before we take them into the woods? We teach them the ratcheting technique using horseshoe pits obviously!


Cornering Drill

August, 2016

Going around tight corners in the woods starts with drills like these. Practice this and then they won't be intimidated about the tight squeezes around trees in the woods.


Some Endurance in the Cold

November, 2016

Keeping our athletes in shape during the dark evenings once it gets cold is actually kinda fun! We spin in the dark! But we also used this time to prepare for racing in the cold too.


headerGet Involved

headerParent Involvement

Parents are instrumental in making EtownMTB a huge success. To make this possible we need your help in a variety of ways. Please look over the volunteer positions and consider filling a position.

Team Volunteer Opportunities

headerBecome a Volunteer at a Race

Interscholastic Pennsylvania Cycling League a volunteer based organization. It takes lots of people to help make these races possible for our student athletes. Each team is required to support our race day with volunteers. Consider cheering on our students while playing a crucial role in making race days successful.

PAMTB Race Volunteer Opportunities

headerBecome a Sponsor

To make EtownMTB a success we need your help. With your support we can have a positive impact in the lives of Elizabethtown youth by getting more kids on bikes. We can reach those kids and their parents in a very meaningful way.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for the EtownMTB team, please contact us at info@etownmtb.com or visit our sponsor page.

EtownMTB Sponsorship Page

Contact Us

Are you a student interested in joining our team? Would you like to sponsor our team? Interested in volunteering at one of the races? Or perhaps you just have something else on your mind. Please send us a message.


Elizabethtown, PA 17022

We would like to give a HUGE thank you to Aaron Puttcamp Photography for providing us with amazing photos all season long!