Kent Hosts Mountain Biking Competition


Shaun Neary, Course B Winner

On Wednesday, September 21st, Kent welcomed Berkshire, Salisbury, Hotchkiss, Indian Mountain, Rumsey Hall, South Kent, and Trinity Pawling schools to participate in annual Mountain Biking competition. Over the past five years, these New England schools have formed a Housatonic Mountain Biking League (HMBL) with races every Wednesday.  

Due to its top-notch courses, which change every couple of years, Kent was the host of the opening league competition. The three courses (A, B, and C) range in difficulty. The longest and most difficult course, Course A, was around 7.5 miles long. Course B was 6 miles long and a little easier. The friendliest route, Course C, had the fewest ups and downs and was 4 miles long. There is a mass start, with lots of bikers beginning simultaneously, and if you hear “on your left” later on the route, you must move out of the way. Completing the course race typically lasts between 40 and 80 minutes. The routes are pretty grueling, and the bikers must navigate obstacles including mud, rocks, and even a stream crossing on course A.

Courses A and C were won by Hotchkiss, but Course B was won by Kent’s own Shaun Neary ’25, who completed the course in just under twenty minutes. 

Though the competition was fierce, the prevailing atmosphere was one of collegiality and support. “HMBL is interested in supporting each other, and all competitors are very friendly and courageous,” said Mr. Hinman, the mountain biking coach. “I tell the athletes to have fun, to challenge themselves, and, if it’s too challenging, then walk it,” Mr. Hinman smiles. “The most exciting thing from last Wednesday has been seeing the Rumsey Hall team compete for the first time, as they have finally formed a team, and have a good time!” Mr. Hinman adds.