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Sitting in With Mountain Bike Club Member Grant Spring

April 5, 2013

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day. It’s one of those events where we almost always have an over abundance of participants and volunteers. Everyone wants to be a part of it, because it’s just plain fun. Introducing kids to the joys of cycling and the fun and challenge of riding trails, in an environment where they can learn from peers and eperienced riders alike. What’s not to like?

To hear the kids that participate tell it, it’s a really great event. And for a few kids, it gets them hooked on mountain biking in a way that takes them from cruising neighborhood trails and riding to school to TMBRA races and podiums–all while maintaining that initial sense of fun and excitement.

Once such rider is the Bicycle Sport Shop Mountain Bike Club‘s Grant Spring. Grant has participated in Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day in the past and plans to again this year. (The first one, this coming weekend, is actually full but there are more scheduled for later in the year!)

We sat down with Grant to get an idea of what mountain biking means to him and see where is riding has taken him recently.

Grant has been riding the trails around his house and grabbing podium finishes in TMBRA races for three years.

Grant has been riding the trails around his house and grabbing podium finishes in TMBRA races for a couple of years. Photo by Susan Beth Photography.

Grant, we know you’ve been riding mountain bikes for a couple of years. How old are you?

GS: I’m 12 right now.

When did you learn to ride?

GS: When I was three and half or four (without training wheels).

That’s pretty young to be riding. I didn’t learn until I was 10! When did you get into mountain biking? How did you get into it?

GS: I started trail riding three years ago. Living in Steiner Ranch there are plenty of great trails nearby. Instead of traditional “sports” practice, I would go out and ride the trails near my house.

When did you do your first race? How did it go?

GS: My first race was two years ago at the Camp Eagle Classic. I ended up sixth out of nine riders. I had high expectations and learned that I realy liked the challenging, technical parts of the race.

So we’re opposite riders. I like the open, power sections of trails. Maybe you can teach me to ride technical stuff! The first Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day is coming up. Have you ever done one of the Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day rides? If so, what did you think?

GS: Yes. I loved it. Having ridden before I ended up helping some of the other, younger riders on the trail and helped lead our group. I also learned some very valuable skills that I still use racing and training. I’m looking forward to this weekend and the other rides in the series.

Do you have a favorite ride or race? 

GS: I really like the Bicycle Sport Shop Pace Bend Race (ed. coming up April 21st) and the shop’s Six Shooter cyclocross race. But all of the races are exciting!

TMBRA has changed the mountain bike calendar for this year and we’re well into the race season. How has it gone so far? Any goals for this season aside from having fun? 

GS: It’s going great!  I’m in second place overall and I’m looking forward to racing all the way through September. My goals are to podium at every race I go to and to win the overall series for my age and category.

Do you participate in any other sports or extra curricular activities? 

GS: Not as of right now. But I’m looking forward to running track next year in seventh grade and participating in my church youth group.

I know you race cyclocross too, and had a really great season last year. How does the mountain biking help with that and vice versa?

GS: Cyclocross taught me a lot.  It showed me a more physical side with my bike (running and jumping over obstacles). It also got me in better shape for mountain bike season.

Grant credits his CX racing with preping him for this season's MTB racing, where he's currently second in the series!

Grant credits his CX racing with preping him for this season’s MTB racing, where he’s currently second in the series!   Photo by Susan Beth Photography.

If you were talking with a friend who wanted to get into mountain biking, what would be the number one piece of advice for them?

GS: Forget about worrying if your good enough or not, just get out and go have some fun. Enjoy your bike!

Mom and dad, any advice out there for families with kids that are interested in mountain biking ?

Mom and Dad: Get involved in the area mountain bike clubs and participate in the events in and around your community.  There is an age category for all ages so it can be a family event as well.

Thanks for letting us sit in, Grant! Good luck this season and see you at Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day!

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