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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

Nathan Warnock rides with grit and greatness

Yuri Song
COASTING THROUGH: Warnock rides down a challenging slope with his mountain bike while refining his skills.

With a deep breath, freshman Nathan Warnock scans the wild terrain around him. His calm demeanor hides intense focus as he readies himself for the race ahead. The signal is given, and he’s off. 

Warnock is a seasoned athlete in mountain biking, which is an off-road racing sport where bicyclists traverse through diverse terrains. He has competed in various challenging cross-country cycling races in Temecula, Lake Perris, Lake Cachuma and Irvine Lake for his team, Foothill Mountain Biking.  

“Before the races I was super nervous,” Warnock said. “But once I was riding, it was super fun to hear all the cheering and go against teammates or strangers.”

Though his confidence seems indicative of a life-long experience with the sport, Warnock’s story with mountain biking actually began three years ago, when he began riding around his community with friends. With support from his dad, who is a mountain biking coach, Warnock’s passion for the sport developed.

“It was hard to learn some of the basics at first,” Warnock said. “But once I spent some time practicing by myself or with others, it definitely got easier. I feel like there’s a lot of growth I have had. I was able to gain a lot of discipline and get closer to my dad and my friends.”

Warnock joined the Foothill Mountain Biking team about two years ago as his interest in the sport grew. He bikes with his team at various tracks frequently—around three times a week—and participates in cross country races against other local teams. 

Being part of a team allows Nathan to look to his teammates for support throughout the challenges of competing. He has used the connections he has built through the sport to bring him closer to his family and friends. Often times, he relies on them for motivation and support to get through challenges.

“My dad and I help each other to be able to have the confidence to ride,” Warnock said. “I look up to some of my friends because I’m able to see how they’re more advanced than me and that can help me progress myself.”

In every race, Warnock makes sure to enjoy himself and find fun in the experience, no matter the result. To him, the accomplishment lies in being able to persevere through a full-course race. 

“I like being able to have the creativity and freedom of riding,” Warnock said. “Finishing a trail or completing a race is really confidence-boosting, so I’m proud of myself.”

Warnock’s positive experiences with mountain biking have mostly been in cross country cycling, but he intends to tackle enduro racing, a form of mountain bike racing and downhill racing in Fontana next.

Regardless of previous experience, Warnock believes that it’s never too late to start mountain biking. With various local trails and several biking groups, it’s incredibly easy to acquire the resources needed to begin exploring the sport.

“A piece of advice I would give to somebody interested in mountain biking is keep trying to get better,” Warnock said. “There’s times where it’s hard to get outside or be able to ride well, but by the end of the ride it’s definitely worth it.”

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About the Contributor
Amy Jeon
Amy Jeon, Staff Writer
Amy Jeon is a junior staff writer for The Northwood Howler, who spends almost all of her time unhealthily relying on oat milk matcha for sustenance, fangirling over classic literature and daydreaming just about anything and everything. Ask her for book recommendations and you will likely get an essay.

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