Mountain biking a fast-paced, exciting sport

I like mountain biking because it is a fast-paced activity. Mountain biking is a sport because it involves physical exertion, individuals and teams that compete against each other for entertainment.

I ride the Marquette north and south trails. My favorite trail is either Down Dogger, or Eh Line. I tried to ride Jethro Tull and Rock Bottom, but they were double black diamonds and they were for more experienced riders than me.

I started mountain biking around the age of 9 and have been in the sport for about 4-5 years. I have a Trek bike that I use and I used to ride a Giant, but I outgrew it. I go mountain biking with either my dad, or my friends. I think I have ridden every trail in Marquette, except for one.

My favorite part of any trail is Kirby’s Hill. It is part of the north trail network and it is a 300-foot long steep hill. The only bad part about riding it is that you have to ride up to get there, unless you come from the top of the hill.

I was part of one bike race when I was 11 years old. I got fifth in my age group, and 14th overall. I only got fifth because I crashed on a sharp berm (a berm is a corner that has a banked outer edge that runs the entire length of the corner) and fell back a couple places. In the crash I broke both my brakes and I sprained my hip.

I think the hardest trail I’ve ridden is probably No Dab. You weren’t allowed to put your feet on the ground after starting. It is a black diamond and I made it through.

The worst trail I’ve ridden is a trail literally called … Your Mom. It’s also the weirdest trail name I’ve heard besides Jethro Tull. The one trail I haven’t ridden yet is Flow. Flow is a double black diamond that I have seen while riding other trails and it looks really hard. The dual slalom is one of the trails that run near Flow. It is a double trail for two, which is for races only, but I’ve ridden it while going up Marquette Mountain to ride Eh Line.

Some upgrades I want to make to my bike: tubeless tires, disc brakes and back shocks so I can have better support while riding trails.

I am really hopeful that more kids will carry on this sport. To me it’s a really enjoyable activity to do in your spare time. I hope generations to come will keep mountain biking and keep the sport popular. I do see other kids mountain biking while I’m out riding, but not very often. If other kids can just keep this sport alive, I would be proud. I hope to continue mountain biking in the future and hopefully win some races and to have ridden all the trails in Marquette and maybe other cities. I want to travel across the world to mountain biking trails, but not compete in Tour de France.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Liam Rockwood, 13, is in eighth grade at Bothwell Middle School. He loves hockey and riding his mountain bike.