Biking takes senior to new heights

October 22, 2015 — by Navin Tiwary and Alex Yang

Senior Uday Singh remembers the first time he went mountain biking. It was 2011, and Singh, then in seventh grade, had gone with his father to try the sport at Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve.

As the wind hit his face and his bike made crunching noises as it sped through gravel, Singh grinned. He marveled at the rolling hills beneath him and knew he wanted to feel this way again.

Singh said that he got into the sport because of his father. However, they no longer go biking since Singh has challenged himself with more intense forms of mountain biking.

Singh enjoys biking with other people, including a couple of his teachers. He has taken rides with math teacher PJ Yim as well as English teacher Erick Rector.

“Two years ago, during [my] sophomore year, somehow Mr. Yim found out I liked biking,” Singh said. “He [said], ‘Hey, one day we should biking,’ and I said, ‘Sure.’ That very Friday we went on a bike ride, we talked and had fun.”

Singh said he paid a lot of money to get his current bike, a 2011 Stumpjumper Evo, which he got used at a 70 percent discount.

“[There is a] high price [for some] mountain biking equipment, but it shouldn't be a barrier to entry,” Singh said. “For example, my first mountain bike cost $250, and I had a blast on it.”

Singh described his ideal bike ride as one where he gets up at 6:30 a.m, bikes for two hours, takes a break, bikes for another two hours before lunch, and then returns home.

“When  I'm biking, it kind of pushes me to my limits,” Singh said.

Still , Singh admits, mountain biking has its drawbacks.

“There's a lot of risk. [I need to know] my descending limits so I can go faster without killing myself,” Singh said.

Singh bikes frequently during breaks from school and said biking is his main form of exercise.

Singh has a couple of  favorite trails in Saratoga: One leads to Fremont Older and the other to Skyline.

“Fremont Older is like a walking trail that goes to top of a short mountain,” Singh said. “It’s pretty fun, pretty flat, pretty simple. [Almost] anyone can manage it.”

Singh added that the Skyline trail descends “all the way down the mountain and back toward downtown Saratoga.”

Singh said that he has learned a lot from the sport.

“For every hour I'm out riding, I spend another hour at home tinkering with my bike or fixing problems that may have arisen during the ride,” Singh said. “Biking in general has helped my mechanical skills quite a bit.”

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