Mountain Bikers Unfazed by Bumpy Season


Maya Dawson

Sixth-grader Laird Hendricks waits for a friend before beginning his ride

It is 5:30 in the evening at Three Sisters Park and the sound of laughter and shifting gears fills the air. With a shout from the coaches, Conifer’s mountain biking team begins practice.

       “We don’t have in-person racing this year but the league has set up challenges and contests for the team to do,” Head Coach Tammy Deranleau said.

       The team is a member of the Colorado Cycling League, which has 1,598 members and 79 teams as of 2019. Conifer’s team has 44 members, 11 of whom are middle schoolers. Though all races are canceled, the team is still competing against those in the league.

       “We ride as far as we can or as fast as we can- whatever the week is. There are four or five challenges,” Sophomore Alex Miller said.

       Last week the team placed first in the league for total mileage, biking an average of 20 miles per member over the course of the week. This week they will be competing to be the team with the most elevation gain.

       “I don’t like this season as much because the races are really fun, but I think the virtual aspect is kind of cool because you can do everything at your own pace and you can do it whenever you want,” Miller said.

       This season may be disappointing, but riders are making the most of it. Junior Camille Deranleau already has her sights set on racing next season.

       “This year I’m getting stronger so I will be able to place in the top 20 for most of my races next year.”