By Aaron Tandatnick ‘22
The Hotchkiss Mountain Biking Team has maintained its reputation of success and positivity from previous seasons through the fun-loving environment created by its members.
“We have a good core of riders who know the system. They’re good ringleaders for the type of fun we like to have at practice,” said head coach Michael Fitzgerald.
As one of the longest tenured members of the team, Charlie McLean ‘22 is a major contributor to the team’s atmosphere and success. “At the end of the day I think a big part of why I love the sport and riding so much is getting to spend time with the team, work with them, and compete,” he said. It’s this love for the sport that allowed the team to win their league last season.
Not only do the riders take great joy out of practice, but they also find that they make strong improvements as well. With strictly on-campus practices due to COVID-19, each rider has the opportunity to improve on certain aspects of their abilities, such as speed or tricks.
“All my focusing on individual skills, in combination with the lack of racing this season, has let me place more emphasis on having more fun and riding with much more style, in comparison to pushing for raw speed in the trails,” noted McLean.
As for the newer riders who may not have as much experience, this season allows for a strong emphasis on skill development.
“I see him practicing all these little things that make you a good rider,” Fitzgerald observes in reference to Jamil Pandey ‘23.
Despite a lack of official races this season, the team is allowing its riders to keep up their skills and passion for biking that contributed to their previous and future success.