Off To The Races: Mountain Bike Team Riding The Struggle Bus


Kate Tucker, Reporter

The Arapahoe Mountain Bike team has started with a kick, their third race was held this past weekend in Snowmass. The club has over 30 members, 8 of which are currently lined up to compete in the Colorado High School Mountain Biking States competition held in Durango during the last weekend of October. 

The club is sponsored by Ron Lewis, and coached by Steven Newell, a retired science teacher from Carl Sandburg Elementary. Both of them have volunteered at races in the past years as course marshals and sweeps, and spread their love for nature and mountain biking into almost every student who has practiced with the team 

This weekend, Arapahoe had 17 racers, eight students racing in the freshman division, one student racing sophomore division, and nine students racing in the junior varsity division. 

Although most races going relatively smoothly, the race in Snowmass presented the team with new obstacles, such as over 800 feet of elevation gain per lap, tight downhill switchbacks, several mechanical issues, health drawbacks, and the unexpected company of a mother black bear with two cubs. 

Besides these setbacks, the team prevailed throughout the day, the top rider finishing three laps of the course, 14.6 miles, in 1 hour and 29 minutes, taking 69th place out of over 150 riders. This time, however, is considered slow for Truesdale, who was held back by a flat tire and was forced to take a 5-minute penalty. 

“I’m looking forward to pushing myself to do the best that I can, and I’m always looking to improve my lap consistency because having consistent lap times really shows that you can sustain a high level of effort without losing energy,” Truesdale said.

Besides Truesdale’s struggle this past race, he chose to look at what he can do better on rather than dreading on moving back almost 60 places, and he hopes to use his experience to better help the newer riders. The team’s next race will be held on October 6th in Eagle, which will be the last race this season before state in Durango.