Putting tire to dirt; Mountain biking team ready to start its fifth season later this month

Published 7:13 pm Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Austin mountain biking team is back on the move as it prepares for its fifth season in program history. The team, which was formed under the Park and Recreation Department, will open the season at home in Austin on Aug. 26 and it will compete in five total races this fall.

The squad is looking to have somewhere between 25 to 30 riders this year.

“We’re returning riders and for those guys it’s working on endurance and conditioning,” Austin head coach Gareth Hataye said. “We also have brand new kids that are just learning to control their bikes. We have the whole array from beginners to experts.”

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Austin is still competing as a JV squad this season, but the team is still pumped to get out and ride. Austin senior Simon HIrst, who is in his third year on the team, said that meet days are always a blast for everyone involved.

Logan Regner of the Austin mountain biking team rides through the course at Wildwood Park during a practice on Wednesday. Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

“It’s just a lot of fun. We all ride together, we all motivate each other and it’s a lot of fun riding together as a team,” Hirst said. “Everybody cheers for each other. It’s still competitive, but everyone’s rooting for each other and it’s kind of close knit together.”

Logan Regner is just a freshman, but he’s entering his third year with the team. He’s hoping to eventually push the squad into varsity competition by the time he’s a senior.

“We’re always learning a lot. It’s always nice to have new kids every year and they learn how to ride the trail,” Regner said. “We learn from each other and we get better every day.”

Hataye said that the team offers a great chance for plenty of athletes to get out and contribute. It also prepares them for an activity that they can do for their whole lives.

“It’s an individual sport and a team sport,” Hataye said. “Everybody participates and nobody warms the bench. The kids really pull for each other and they have fun while they’re riding.”

Simon Hirst of the Austin mountain biking team rides through the trails at Wildwood Park in practice recently. Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com