Diary of an 8th Grader
by Nick H. 9th Grade
I am a member of the Santa Clarita Mountain Bike Team. In November 2013, when I first started mountain biking, I was so scared of trying it out and meeting everyone on the team. When I got to my first practice, I thought, “Man these guys are good and really, I could do whatever they were doing, if I believed in myself.” When we were climbing our first big hills at Castaic Lake, I was so exhausted and thought, “how do they do it?” Well, that’s where believing comes in.
As a new rider, I felt welcomed immediately and my team helped me and the new riders get through tough hills and climbs. They showed us how to have the right posture when going uphill and downhill and how to take care of ourselves when mountain biking. But most of all, they taught us how to have fun as a team. The exercise you get from biking every week is crazy good. And it isn’t just about biking, we have also learned about riding on the trails, to be respectful of nature, what poison ivy looks like, and what to do if you see a snake.
Since that first day of practice, I am now able to climb around 2,000 feet in just 3 hours. I can make it down a hill with confidence and bike way beyond what I ever imagined! We bike around 30 miles a week Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Once you begin to climb difficult hill with your bike like the hills at Tapea, in Castaic, then I look back to when I first started and it’s amazing what I have accomplished as a beginner mountain biker. This sport is absolutely amazing.
All the coaches for the Santa Clarita Mountain Biking Team and the parents who helped out were great people and helped out so much. They inspired me to continue with mountain biking and encouraged me to constantly improve. They all volunteer their time and experience to help us. I am very grateful.