Introducing the Salida Shredders!
Shredding singletrack with big smiles and driven hearts is the essence of the Salida High School Mountain Bike Team. From serious racers to recreational riders who like to ride their bikes and hang out with friends, there is a place for every rider and personality on the Salida Shredders.
Kids attack hill repeats with gusto, along with enjoying laid back, social singletrack shredding. The coaches who are dedicated to the sport and care deeply about the students make sure that every person has the chance to pursue their unique goals. Each kid is valued just the same, whether they are winning races or just entering the race for the joy of riding their bike.
The beauty of this team is that students only have to be as competitive as they want to be. If a racer shows serious dedication to racing and training, the group of coaches will provide them with the specialized work outs and racing instruction they need to pursue their goals. If a student just wants to enjoy the social aspect of being a part of the team, the coaches encourage them and provide training rides that are more laid back to meet their needs as well.
At the end of the day, racers or not, kids are kids and need to have a chance to “dork around,” as we call it. When the team camps out the day before each race, coaches and racers pre-ride the course, and then have the evening to eat dinner, play games, and goof around. They learn the value of teamwork and responsibility as they take turns cooking and doing dishes for their teammates and coaches.
During their goof off time, I have been amazed to observe that every student is included and welcomed into the fun by their peers. Among the Salida Shredders, you will find the full spectrum of quirky and cool.
One might wonder about the quality of our results with all of this emphasis on “dorking around.” The Salida Shredders know when it’s time to play… and when it’s time to get their game faces on.
Our top results for this season include Halle Whittington placing 1st overall for the freshman division. Halle is one of our most determined racers, trying to pass people every chance she gets. You would never know that such a ruthless ripper was hiding behind that sweet smile.
Anna Scherer placed 2nd overall for the sophomores and is a strong, consistent rider. She showed tremendous grit and tenacity as she moved her way up the field after a couple crashes near the start line. Anna is very quiet and unassuming with her flowing braids, but she becomes a wild animal as she tears through the sophomores and into the JV riders in front of her.
Kaden Sites, a happy go-lucky Freshman who would ride his bike in his sleep if he could, boldly entered the JV division and placed 5th overall for the season.
The magical ingredients for kids to enjoy racing and find success come from the collaboration of coaches who utilize a wide range of skills and abilities, especially in encouraging kids and having a depth of knowledge of the sport. Some coaches have raced in the past and excel at pushing the kids in fast-paced singletrack shredding, while other coaches are best at cheering the kids on when they need an extra confidence boost, and demonstrate extreme patience when the 4th flat during a ride needs to be changed. Every coach has something unique to bring to the table.
The camaraderie amongst the coaches adds to the cohesion of the Salida Shredders. The combination of dedicated coaches who are crazy about kids and mountain biking, and the students with strong work ethics and good attitudes, makes the Salida High School Mountain Bike Team the singletrack shredding sensation that it is.