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Palisade Paw Post

Palisade Paw Post

Mountain Biking: A Trail of Thrill

Kate Rizzo determined to win Photo Provided by: Kate Rizzo


This past weekend, the bike team headed to Eagle, to compete in one of the most popular outdoor activities in Colorado, mountain biking. On the western slope, mountain biking has gained immense popularity. Mountain bike courses for high schoolers range from 5 to 7 miles long and at this race, the Eagle course was 6 miles long. One thing that challenges racers at Eagle races is the dust due to how dry it is. Especially after several races go by, the course gets super dusty and torn up. Kate Rizzo, a senior at Palisade High School has been biking for roughly 10 years but only started to take it seriously and compete at a high level in her late middle school years and high school years. In Rizzo‘s sophomore year, she won the region which is an immense accomplishment given that Colorado only has four regions, and she took home the title of regional champ.  Rizzo has also competed at the state level and has placed top 20 each year she has gone to state. Rizzo states, “My favorite thing about biking is being outside. I also enjoy being there with friends and just something I can do with a group in our beautiful, scenic, environment or in other places.” In Colorado, mountain biking is a big tourist, attraction, and activity many people participate in, especially here on the western slope. It was said that last year, 42% of Coloradans took a recreational ride at some point. Although mountain biking has substantially grown in popularity over the years, this exhilarating sport is also very dangerous. When Rizzo explains the downside of the sport, she states, “My least favorite part about biking is the crashing and the injuries involved. With our jerseys, we are pretty exposed. I avoid crashing, but it’s an inevitable part of the sport and it hurts.” Rizzo explains that the fear of getting injured does not stop her from always pushing herself. She constantly dedicates herself to her sport and explains, “People from Durango and Leadville, they are incredibly fit all the time which makes us step up our game. We are disadvantaged from fitness because we are at a lower elevation, but we do have better technical skills.” The entire bike team is made up of all the schools in the valley which amounts to about 40 athletes in which palisade is 12 of those however only 7 compete. Rizzo placed sixth overall this past weekend, and felt very confident, although she started nervous due to being sore. Rizzo also shares her confidence and positivity for the team in which everyone had a really good weekend exceeding previous projections. Not only does biking offer physical skills on how to overcome challenges and how to ease the inner critic, but it also allows people to enjoy the beautiful environment surrounding them. 

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About the Contributor
Emily Hardin, Staff Member
My Name is Emily Hardin I am a Sophomore and this is my first year as a part of the Palisade Paw Post and I am super excited to be a part of the Newspaper! I am in the IB Diploma Program and I am a part of the Palisade volleyball team, the Grand Junction swim team and the Palisade soccer team. I am also a part of the Red Cross club here at Palisade high school. Outside of school and sports, I love to raft, ski, and scuba dive. I am looking forward to this school year and being a part of the team!
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