Ed Fischer and his wife Katina, 3 1/2 years ago started Camas Bike and Sport. Ed said he saw Camas did not have a bike store, and though he knew it would be hard to compete against bike shops in nearby Oregon who can offer no sales tax, he wanted to build a community oriented bike store. Now looking back, that is exactly what they have done. Ed is receiving a Community Impact Award presented to him by NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association), in Northern California next week, for the influence he has had on cycling in the local community, especially mountain biking at the youth level. He said though he is the one receiving the award, Dave Webb and Bill Warring, two of the many coaches involved in the local chapter, have made receiving this award possible and will be joining him next week to accept it. I also spoke with Ed about the Washington League, something he is deeply involved in. He said the league has actually just branched away from NICA and is now affiliated with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance – a local 501c3 non profit. Previously the Washington League was sanctioned through NICA, but the Washington League wanted to have involvement from kids starting at middle school, rather then starting at the high school level, which is what NICA requires. They made a decision to move their affiliation to the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, so they could change this policy and get kids started at a younger age. Currently there are two local teams – one here in Camas managed by Ed and crew, and another in East Vancouver, The Mashers, who won the State Championship in 2012. Along with this, there are 25 other state wide teams, varying in size from 2 – 15 people, with an average team size of around 6 per team. Training for this league occurs January through March and then a 4 races season occurring April and May – one of which was hosted by Ed and the local teams at Washougal Motocross track last year who generously donated their venue for the event, and the league is scheduled to have one there again this year.
If you are a middle or high school student and interested in mountain biking as a sport and hobby, reach out to Ed or Bill at Camas Bike and Sport. He even mentioned they are working on a bike donation program, so if you don’t have a bike, nor can you afford one, you should still reach out, and explore how you can still be part of the team.