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'You'll get hooked': Student athletes take on mountain biking

A growing sport across Idaho, now more and more students are taking on the challenging after-school sport. Cyclist Paris Goff reveals why.

EAGLE, Idaho — Every fall, student-athletes across Idaho return to the field to represent their school in competition.

While some play under the lights on Friday nights, other student-athletes take to a much different environment.

A lot of kids learn to ride a bike, but some take that skill to the next level.

Competitive mountain biking is a growing sport for young athletes across Idaho.

Founded in 2014, the Idaho Interscholastic Cycling League now provides a competitive atmosphere for middle school and high school students to ride their mountain bikes.

Last year, Eagle High School student Paris Goff decided she was wanted to take on a new sport, so she chose mountain biking

"I rode a bike just around the neighborhood and stuff like that, but never up in the mountains. It was really fun when I started," explained Goff.

She was no stranger to riding a bike, she learned as a little kid.

"I was probably about six years old and it was really hard for me, I definitely ran into a lot of trash cans," laughed Goff.

Quickly though she realized learning to mountain bike, was a whole different challenge.

"It's a lot more work," said Goff.

Now, Paris is working through her second season of competition.

"Everyone on the team is super nice, super supportive,” said Paris. “No matter what you do, they are always there for you. Everyone is really nice."

Albert Crawshaw is one of the coaches at Eagle High School, he has seen as more and more kids take on the growing sport that he says has a lot to give back.

"Good values like integrity, honor, you know, sportsmanship, kindness, fairness,” said Crawshaw. 

As a part of the Idaho Interscholastic Cycling League, teams like Eagle High work hard after school to practice for a series of challenging cycling races across the region throughout the fall season. 

"That feeling you have, it's so amazing. You feel so accomplished, so amazing, it's just the greatest thing," said Goff.

Goff adds that while racing mountain bikes isn't always easy....

"I crash a lot, it's just a part of the sport," laughed Goff.

It is a challenge worth tackling.

"You'll get hooked, you'll get addicted, you'll be in it and want more just like all of us," said Coach Crawshaw.

"My favorite part about mountain biking is getting to the top, the accomplishment you feel is just great," added Goff.

Coming up this weekend, student-athletes from across the region will ride in Ketchum, Idaho as a part of the Galena race, the third race of the season.

If you are interested in watching, or have a student-athlete in your family that is interested in joining a team, check out this link.