The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Ella England flies down mountains

Lucy Thomas
RACING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN. Ella England makes her way through the race. She persevered and passed the competitors to beat them to the bottom. Reflecting on her biking experience, England said, “you can make friends and learn fun tricks.” Submitted by Ella England

Dust swirls in the wake of speeding tires as mountain bikers navigate the challenging trails, taking on berms and boardwalks with skill and determination. Among them is sophomore Ella England, speeding down with a group of mountain bikers.

England has done mountain biking recreationally for over 10 years but has only competed on a team for four. Her passion started with her mom introducing her to the sport; England looked to competition to improve her abilities as her interest grew.

She is a part of 612mtb, a co-ed racing team of around 100 high schoolers from the Twin Cities area, mostly Minneapolis-based. She races the season competitively, hitting above-average times in her races, consistently shaving about 11 minutes off the average time. Practice starts on the first Monday after the 4th of July, and race season is the last weekend of August through the weekend before MEA.

The power of a strong team dynamic brings out the best in everybody’s ability.

— Lucy Thomas

“It’s a really fun sport; I like biking, and I like my team,” England said, reflecting on her time as part of the group.

One of her favorite memories is when she and a few bikers brought tandem bikes, bikes for two people, and spent the entire practice biking as duos.

“It was super fun, and it brought the team together,” said England. Although mountain biking is an individual sport, the power of a strong team dynamic brings out the best in everybody’s ability.

Nevertheless, the sport comes at a risk. Mountain biking is prone to injury, and research shows an average of 16.8 injuries per 1,000 hours of exposure. England experienced an injury last summer when she fell and hurt her knee, forcing her to withdraw from a race. Injuries change the sport’s mindset as its ever-present risks call for more intentional actions and coaches advising safe practices.

“You can make friends and learn fun tricks,” England said. She wishes to motivate more of her classmates to join 612mtb and experience the freedom of mountain biking.

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Lucy Thomas
Lucy Thomas, Opinions Editor
My name is Lucy Thomas (she/her). I work as a Opinions Editor for The Rubicon Online. At school, I’m involved in the Community Action and Service club, and Youth in Government. I love playing volleyball and reading I can be reached at [email protected].

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