Mountain biking's first world champion Ned Overend will be the special guest at the 10th annual NorCal CycleFest, the Bay Area's cycling social event of the season on Saturday, November 12 at the Mill Valley Community Center in Mill Valley, California.
The event will raise funds for the NorCal High School Cycling League, the organization that led to the formation of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association.
The evening of cycling stardom starts with special patron hour, then a mixer combined with silent auction, before a presentation of featured student athletes and a gourmet dinner accompanied by an on-stage conversation with Overend himself. A live auction will conclude the evening's entertainment. Ten people will be able to bid on an small-group mountain bike ride on Sunday with Overend.
"The NorCal High School Cycling League showed us not only that high school mountain biking is possible as a widespread activity, but also they showed us the right way to plan and manage this," said Overend. "Having been a keen follower of this movement since its inception, I continue to be more and more impressed by the high level of professionalism and the desire to continue learning that is contained within this organization."
"The NorCal League has played a leadership role in the national movement, and like any strong leader they aren’t resting on their laurels. For anybody who loves cycling, or is interested in the well-being of California's youth, this is one of the most important organizations to support, and it is my honor and privilege to speak at the NorCal CycleFest, and help them raise funds for their ongoing work."
Overend has raced for the Specialized team for about as long as anybody can remember. He virtually owned the US cross country mountain bike title between 1986 and 1992, winning every year except 1988. In 1990, aged 35, he won the inaugural UCI world championship, and the next year placed third. In 1994, he finished second overall in the punishing, season-long Grundig/UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series.
Such enduring prowess earned him nicknames such as "Deadly Nedly" and "The Lung". Always the consummate professional ready with an intelligent quote immediately after finishing a hard race, no matter how exciting or disappointing the result, his wit and diplomatic approach has continued to earn him friends and fans wherever he goes.
After retiring from full-time competition on the World Cup circuit in the mid-1990s, he has continued to compete in a range of different events ever since, and now aged 56 he can still acquit himself very respectably in a field of the world's top pro riders.
Overend's appearance at the NorCal CycleFest will be an opportunity to hear stories that relate the initial growth of mountain bike sport to what is happening now in the US high school mountain bike scene, as well as a choice selection of the stories that arise from such a long career of racing all over the world. His attendance at the 2011 NorCal CycleFest spearheads the drive to reach the $50,000 fundraising target.
The CycleFest schedule is as follows:
Saturday, November 12th
5:00 pm Patron Cocktail Hour
6:00 pm doors open for cocktail party and silent auction
7:00 - 10:00 pm dinner, auction and conversation with Ned Overend followed by Q&A.
Sunday, November 13th
MTB ride with Ned Overend for those who bid on it at CycleFest
Proceeds from the ticket sales will go to supporting the Northern California High School Cycling League. Regular tickets are $125.00, and Patron tickets, which include the cocktail hour with Overend (and more), are $200.00.
For more information, visit www.norcalmtb.org.