BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Interscholastic Cycling League series came to an end with the state championship of mountain bike racing at Bogus Basin.
This marked the sixth race in the series after last year's season got canceled because of the pandemic, middle school and high school kids came from all over the state to compete.
"Once you start getting into the competitive side of it and you really rip it on the downhill and feel good on the uphills it gets really fun," said McCall's Ashtyn Jones who won the girls JV competition.
To finish the race course riders needed to ride up the mountain at Bogus Basin twice and then cruise back downhill and this marks the third time Bogus Basin has hosted the state championship.
"There are rivalries and stuff, but it is super friendly," said Timberline's Masaru Nakawa who won the boys JV title. "Everyone gives hugs, everyone congratulates everyone and it’s just a super good community, it is awesome.”
The Idaho Interscholastic Cycling League is a non-profit that began in 2014, but what makes this race series different from other sports is the emphasis on participation, camaraderie and positivity over the competition.
"I have five sons and four of them are racing right now," said Jeff Jordan a parent who traveled from Teton County in eastern Idaho. "It has been a really unifying event for us to all come and cheer for each other in a really positive environment you can’t buy experiences like this for your kids, it’s the best."
But like other sports the time and dedication it takes to be able to ride up these hills and back down comes from hours on the bike, intense practice and dedication.
"There were a lot of really hard practices where it hurt so much and you just wanted it to be over," said Jones as McCall had the first, third and fourth-place finishers for JV. "But I’m glad we got through those practices because obviously, it prepared us for this."
Timberline also had a big day with Nakawa finishing first and his teammates coming in fourth and seventh, Nakawa continued to get better during the season and it ended in a state championship.
"It’s been awesome, it was a really fun season I was kind of in the back and each race I’ve been getting better," said Nakawa. "The last three races I came first so I'm super pumped."
The varsity started around 3:00 p.m. and we weren't able to stay for those races, but here is the link to the results from the state championship.