Ride On

Spotlight on the C.H.S. Mountain Biking Team

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Ride On

The mountain biking team races. Photo taken by Connor Jackson.

The mountain biking team races. Photo taken by Connor Jackson.

The mountain biking team races. Photo taken by Connor Jackson.

The mountain biking team races. Photo taken by Connor Jackson.

Kyri Antholis

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Although the C.H.S. mountain biking team may be small in numbers, they show up and show out. The group of eight brings a tenacity and spirit to the sport, as well as a passion for adventure.

The C.H.S Mountain Biking Team, lead by Joe Hoskins and Carole Jones, is one of the newest additions to C.H.S. athletics. The National Interscholastic Cycling Association brought a league to Virginia in 2014, making teams in high schools relatively recent to the area. Aligning with the Association’s original goal to get students at public schools involved in biking, a team was begun at Monticello High School. This inspired the idea for a team at C.H.S and was brought to the superintendent of the school system and then the C.H.S. athletic director in ___. C.H.S.’s first mountain biking season was in ___.

The team meets twice a week and engages in all kinds of activities related to biking, not just the trail rides they do in and surrounding Charlottesville. The team works on cleaning the trails they ride, as well as training in strength, technique, and preparation. The main goal of the club, as stated by Joe Hoskins, is to get kids who don’t participate in other sports during the year to get outside, enjoy the sport of mountain biking, and maybe even get to the competitive level.

The team participates primarily in the Virginia Specific Series competitions, which involves five races at different locations in the state during the spring season. Currently only two members of the team participate in competitions, but Hoskins hopes to change that. “I’d like to see C.H.S. become more competitive,” he said. “I mean, we show up to the races with our t-shirts on and look cool, but, comparatively, we don’t do great.” The team is currently in the process of cleaning the trails around the school in the hopes of hosting a race at C.H.S.

Even if riders choose not to compete, they still get a lot out of the experience. “It’s a fun, optional activity, that’s very inclusive,” said Hoskins. “If you want to race, we’ll help you get there and support you. If you don’t want to race, just come out and ride.” A large part of mountain biking experience is the trails they venture on and the experiences they have. “A lot of the stuff we do is adventure. We go out to a ton of different fun trails like Observatory Hill, Rivanna Trail, Biscuit Run, and Walnut Creek,” said Hoskins

The riders find a lot of joy in these rides too. “I really like the scenery. I’ve always liked bike riding and seeing new places. There are just these amazing scenes of nature that you get to see out riding,” said Connor Davis (9).

The team caters to all levels of riders, and allows all members to participate equally, and grow and learn while riding. “I like that there are people with different levels of experience that you can work off of, learn from, and ride with,” said Drew Bostic (10).  

While the team is pretty happy in what they’re doing now, members and leaders both are hoping to see the number of riders grow in the future. “I would like to see mountain biking become more of a legitimate option for C.H.S. students,” said Hoskins, when asked what his hopes for team are. “If you like to ride your bike and you like the adventure, it’s fun and a good fit for you.”