Mountain biking captains reflect on their cycling careers

Their day begins before the sun comes up. They eat plenty of bananas and drink lots of water, then they begin to bike. Six hours and 100 miles later, they’ve completed their morning ride- all before most people wake up. Welcome to the life of an NPHS mountain bike team member.

This is a group of students with determination like no other. Through the burning in their legs and the wind in their eyes, nothing can stop them except the finish line. Leading the team are co-captains Ido Dukler and Sofia Hillman, seniors. 

“I started mountain biking when I was four years old and just took it as a hobby until eighth grade when I started racing. I then began adhering to a training plan my freshman year and fell in love with racing even more,” Dukler said. 

Having been on a bike from practically the moment he could walk, Dukler has remained dedicated to the sport his entire life. He never took a step back, only increasing his training regiment as time went on. From the bulging forearm veins to the well-toned thighs, improvement is this man’s middle name. 

Nathan Juan, senior, has carefully studied Dukler for the past eight years. “Seeing Ido grow all of these years, not only mentally but also bodily, has given me tremendous perspective into the meticulous attention to detail he applies to every single activity he does,” Juan said. “He always demonstrates incredible zeal and buoyancy. I am so glad that I have had the opportunity to love and appreciate the craft of this absolutely stunning, beautiful man.”

Dukler’s rich history with biking is evident in the rest of the team as well, especially through the team’s other captain. Hillman, who has been biking since the age of six, began racing for the high school team in seventh grade. She has been consistently putting in the hours, training for five to six days a week.

“Biking has taught me perseverance because my training schedule can be really daunting but I have learned that I get out of it what I put into it,” Hillman said. “I’ve always been pretty cautious when it comes to technical stuff but I’ve learned how to get out of my head and just send it.”

As mountain biking season approaches in the spring, make sure to watch out for these two individuals at the top of the podium, as well as the rest of the team. 

“There is a strong team camaraderie because the amount of time we spend together forces us to become close friends,” Hillman said. “I have made my best friends through the mountain bike team and so I also hope to see my team and my friends do well.”

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