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Duluth Composite Mountain Biking Team

Updated: July 05, 2019 10:29 PM

"What I love about mountain biking, especially on the team is that unlike some other sport, our practices, when we go out we don't just do drills the whole time. We actually go out and we ride on the trails, which I find to be a lot of fun."

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Jake Torch is a team captain and varsity rider who has been enjoying the ride on Duluth's Composite High School Team for about 5 years now, but he is not the only one enjoying this coed high school sport.

"It's just really really fun. It is very welcoming," Team Captain and Varsity Rider McKenzie Radloff said. "Everyone is really nice, especially the coaches."

Speaking of coaches, Head Coach Brian Hayden seems to enjoy being on the team as much as the kids do. "I enjoy being engaged in the young people's life and impacting them to learn a lifetime sport and being able to help them not only learn how to ride their bike, but cope with their life skills and move forward hopefully putting them on a positive path in their development."

Hayden says the high school mountain biking program that started with 13 kids in 2013 has grown to an expected 80 riders this year. In recent years they have also expanded their programs to fit younger kids in 2nd through 6th grade as well.

"It's been a huge growth, a huge time commitment for our coaching staff and stuff, but it is something we are dedicated towards and really enjoy seeing those little kids have the opportunity that the high school kids did," Hayden said.

With programs now available starting in 2nd grade and all the way to 12th grade students across the region, mountain biking is a sport anyone can get involved in.

"Were open to any kid in the arrowhead region too, it's not just Duluth," Hayden said. "We have kids from Maple, Duluth, Proctor, Hermantown, Home schoolers, a wide variety of kids. We have kids from Two Harbors even."

And that's not to mention all the experience levels that are welcome and encouraged to join the team. "If you want to race, you race. There is no bench. It's not your typical stick and ball sport so we appeal to a lot of kids that fit the realm you know," Hayden said.

Junior Varsity Rider Isaac Leppanen has some advice for anyone that may be hesitant and thinking about taking advantage of this opportunity. "Try it. Take it at your own speed. No one has to push you, just do your own thing."

And the good news is that you can still sign register your kids to join the team. The high school and youth programs begin next week and continue through October. For information on how to register you can go to their website at www.duluthmtb.org

Join WDIO News at Ten every Thursday to get the latest tips and tricks you need to enjoy the trails in the Duluth area as well as updated trail conditions.

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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