Hey I’m Deidrah. I am a sophomore at Harrisonburg High School and I race for Shen-Rock, our local high school mountain bike team. We are a part of NICA’s Virginia High School Cycling League.
This team is probably the coolest team you could ever be on! We are a small team, only thirteen riders to date. We have a huge amount of coaches; from parents of racers, neighborhood bike shop staff, to local mountain bikers, and enthusiasts, all wanting to get in on the fun. Some days we have more coaches than riders, which gives great one on one lessons.
Our team is quite a goofy group! Everyone is extremely supportive of everyone else. Cheering, giving suggestions, cracking jokes, egging each other on, pushing each other to the brink of death/ suffering, and racing. There’s never a dull moment at practices. Many of us would have never met had it not been for mountain biking. It’s super cool to have such great friends just because of the love of the same sport.
There are riders of all different levels on our team. Because of that, we sometimes split up to work on different skills. This allows you to really work hard on learning something new. It’s actually one of my favorite parts about mountain biking... riding a super crazy trail and maybe not doing so well. Then a couple of practices later, doing it again and seeing how much you have improved. Everyone on our team is always improving. It makes it incredibly fun to see how much better you are getting on technical sections or how much faster you are getting on that downhill.
Mountain bike practice is something that personally I look forward to every week. No matter how frustrated I am when I start riding that day or how hard and strenuous the practice is, I always end it with a smile on my face. Really though, how could I not? It is literally one of the coolest things in the world.
I also thank my lucky stars that I live in Harrisonburg, VA. We have some of the best mountain biking in America in our backyard. What could be cooler than that????? I remember a race last season when a parent came up to me asking where I was from. I told him that I was from Harrisonburg. His response made me smile, “Oh! You’re from where the real mountains are!” I responded, “Heck yeah we are!!!!!”
So, if you live around Harrisonburg, with the real mountains,and you’re a 6th-12th grader, come JOIN US!!!!!!! Trust me you won't regret it!