Inside the helmet

Karen Feng

What it means to be a cyclist

During a tournament to replace flat tires, 11 biking enthusiasts filled room B101 with cheering and the smell of rubber.
“I think the [MVHS] staff that were asked to [advise the cycling team] were wussies to not take this one because it’s a really fun thing to do,” Frazier said. “It’s just fun. If anyone wipes out a little bit, everyone has a good laugh about it. It’s not academic; it’s not serious.”
A mountain biker since college, Frazier rides recreationally with the team. She is the founder of Stroller Hikes, a nonprofit organization that encourages families with kids aged from newborn to eight-years-old to explore the outdoors by camping, hiking and biking.
“To go fast down a hill is just a great release. You smell everything; you see everything,” Frazier said. “It’s a good sense of freedom. It’s what makes being five years old fun. You can get out and have fun and there’s not that same sort of adult accountability.”
Vice president junior Eric Fa fell in love with the sport after a Boy Scout mountain biking outing in seventh grade.
“Being a cyclist — I don’t really see it as a title. I know it sounds kind of cliché and hackneyed, but it’s a lifestyle,” Fa said. “It’s how I live. It’s hard to describe. When you’re biking, you don’t really feel anything because you just — you’re you and you’re acting with the environment. Being a cyclist, it makes me feel like myself.”
A passionate mountain biker, Fa rides three to four times a week depending on school workload. Like Flint, Fa raced for the first time in the NorCal division last year.
On the other hand, senior Collin Marcroft has been racing since eighth grade. After he suffered a concussion from falling off the trail in his very first race, he was airlifted from Monterey to San Jose. Despite this, he got right back on his bike the following year in ninth grade, placing 12th in his first completed race.
“It gave me something to do when I was bored,” Marcroft said. “I feel like I can do anything when I’m biking.”
Last year, Marcroft was ranked third in the NorCal division and seventh in the state to qualify for the national championships but did not attend due to financial concerns.
But not all club members bike competitively. Sophomore Emma Schneider has been biking metric centuries, 100 kilometers or around 60 miles, since she was eight. Although she used to bike once a week, schoolwork has put a damper on her road biking. When she can, however, she enjoys biking with friends and family.
“I like the freedom of it, to go somewhere and do something,” Schneider said. “We usually ride up and down Foothill [Expressway].”
With the club in its first year and the team in its second, the number of cyclists continues to expand.
“We’re going to be doing another season this year,” Fa said.”It’s going to be a lot of fun.”