Mountain biking shifts gears

Team learns from professional biker

The mountain biking team went to a clinic led by Joe Maloney, a professional mountain biker, the week of August 23.

“It is pretty special that a professional athlete is working with us on multiple occasions,” said Stephan Van Dorn, coach.

Maloney lives in Washington but grew up in the Milwaukee area. Currently he is back in Wisconsin participating in the Wisconsin Race series.

“It will be nice to have … training with a pro because Joe really knows what he is doing,” said Carter Warren, senior.

Warren said he is looking forward to practicing biking skills with Maloney.

“I do not think every sport in Shorewood has access to this kind of talent,” Van Dorn said.

The team has five races this year rather than four, as in the previous year. The races are two-day events; on Saturday, the athletes can pre ride the course and then race on Sunday.

“The pre-ride is critical to knowing the course and having a good race,” Van Dorn said.

The team has to camp for four out of the five races, which Warren said is a team bonding experience.

“One of my favorite things is camping with the team and getting to know all the other kids,” Warren said.

This year the team has 22 athletes, making Shorewood one of the largest single school mountain biking teams in the league.

“It’s a pretty cool thing to have 22 riders from a single school district,” Van Dorn said.

This year’s team includes six new members.

“We have definitely have more kids than last year,” said Ava Miller, senior.

The ages of the athletes range from seventh grade to seniors in high school, which Miller says creates an interesting team dynamic.

“It’s really helpful for the middle school kids to be around the kids in high school and get to know them better,” Miller said.

The team practices three times a week for an hour and a half.

“I think it will be a successful year if the athletes have fun, stay safe and improve as riders,” Van Dorn said.

Their first race was on August 30.

by Martha Dix

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