Bingham’s mountain biking team doesn’t only climb literal mountains; they get over their own personal mountains as well.

As a team, they’ve set goals to get faster, push harder, improve their skills and endurance, and according to them, most importantly, “shred gnar”. Personally, they’ve pushed themselves to reach their own goals as well. “My goal was to finish all the races and race varsity,” said Sienna Chilcutt, Bingham senior on the team. She trains six days a week on different trails and is constantly pushing her limits to get faster. In the last race of the season she placed seventh in varsity.

For the first time in ever, the Bingham mountain biking team took third place. Since then, they’ve gotten third in all their races. Team members have set their own records too. Sarah Palmer, Bingham senior, is the first to get on the varsity podium in Bingham mountain biking history, placing fifth and then second in two of her races. “When I first joined the team, my only set goals were to have fun and improve my skill. I just wanted to make it through without making a fool of myself. [Getting on the podium] is something I never would have imagined being able to happen,” she said.

Braden Hudspeth, Bingham sophomore, has won every JV race he has participated in. It hasn’t been easy for either of these bikers. “Biking is a super fun sport, which makes it always something I want to spend my free time on. At the same time, it is one of the most mentally challenging things I have encountered. Most training rides all I want to do is go home and cry myself to sleep. It all pays off on race day when you get to showcase what you have spent all year building up,” Hudspeth said.

“Accomplishing my goals obviously took a lot of work. Some days while practicing all I wanted to do was stop, but then I’d just keep thinking ‘podium, podium, podium’ and keep pushing,” Palmer said.

The mountain biking coaches’ support is a huge factor in where the team is now. “The coaching is super great because they don’t just trash on you; they give you tips to improve,” Allie Hansen, Bingham senior on the team, said. “The coaches tell us we’re strong and awesome. They tell us tips on technique and speed while they ride behind us,” said Chilcutt.

The team members simply have a passion for riding. “Biking is not just a fun way to pass time for me; it is a habit. It’s part of me. I guess you could call it an addiction. I rarely go a day without riding,” said Hudspeth. The team has learned to prioritize their time so they can bike as much as possible. They also agree it’s helped improve their confidence. They love the support they receive at races, saying that even bikers from other schools will cheer them on. “I got goosebumps at my first race because everyone was cheering, didn’t matter the team,” said Chilcutt.

They’ve worked hard this season and deserve every ounce of success they’ve received. Mountain biking has unified them as a team and built them up as individuals. They love riding, they love to “shred gnar,” and they love what they’ve been taught from their sport.