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Boise Brave gears up for the mountain biking state championship at Bogus Basin

Posted at 4:15 PM, Oct 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-06 18:15:19-04

The Idaho Interscholastic Cycling League started in 2015 and in less than a decade mountain biking has grown into a really popular sport for middle school and high school kids.

That is highlighted by the largest team in the Idaho, the Boise Brave as they currently rank 4th in Idaho going into the state championship at Bogus Basin on Saturday.

"I started when I was in seventh grade," said sophomore Noah Streif. "I don’t know how many people were on the team then, but there were definitely not 160 of us."

Noah has won four out of the five races he has competed in this year and has a chance to win a state championship, Noah makes his money on the uphill section of the course.

"We all work really hard, but yeah they catch me on the downhill and it is not pretty," laughed Noah.

Ben Biggerstaff coaches Noah's pod, this elite group of racers pod is called pain and suffering, the team has 17 different pods depending on the boys and girls ability.

"We’ve got some kids who are going to be state champions for sure and we will have some kids that just get one minute faster than they did last year," said Biggerstaff who had a kid join the team last year, this year he became a coach. "As long as kids are having fun, not getting hurt and having a blast it is going to be a successful weekend."

These races are a sight to see as parents climb the mountain and run back down to cheer on their kids, it's like a bike festival that moves around to different ski resorts every weekend and there are not very many sports where the parents and kids can practice together.

"Well that is exactly it, every time we get dressed, have the same jerseys on and we are going to the same place as an after school activity I get excited," said Whitney Jankiewicz, who has two kids on the team. "I don’t know how much longer this will least, but I really am treasuring it."

The mountain teams dominate this sport with the Wood River High School in first, McCall in second and Jackson Hole in third going into the race on Saturday.

However, this sport is more about building community, making friends and building a foundation of exercise through riding bikes.

"They are setting the stage a lifetime of healthy activity," said Biggerstaff. "I love taking something that I’m passionate about as an individual and being able to help the generations that will come after me."