Muddy Days and Smiles: Mountain Biking Pedals Ahead
Maxfield Paro '17
With nearly ten kilometers of trails on campus and many more only a short minibus ride away, the Holderness School mountain biking team enjoyed a season full of challenging rides, thrilling races, and strong friendships.
"Although our team was comprised of a diverse group of people, the cohesion among us was amazing,” Amanda Vansant ‘20 described the team. The team spent each afternoon exploring the woods of New Hampshire and forged strong bonds both on and off the bike. Once a week, the Bulls dedicated their practice time to maintaining and expanding the Holderness trail network, ensuring that riding on campus will always be fresh and exciting.
Competing in the Northern New England High School Mountain Bike League, the team racked up some impressive results over the course of the season. In their opening race on KUA Day, the varsity team took down the Wildcats to earn a point for Holderness. They followed that result with some notable individual finishes in ensuing races. At White Mountain School, Amanda and Lilly Magnus ‘20 combined to win the Girls A and Girls B races respectively. On the boys’ side, Pierce Bewlay ‘21 secured a 3rd place finish in the Boys B race.
The following week at Cardigan Mountain School, Amanda and Lilly once again found themselves on the podium in their respective races, both finishing second. Holderness also rode well in the Boys B race with both Pierce and Bryce Patterson ‘23 securing top-ten finishes.
These races left Amanda and her teammates with memories they will carry with them for the rest of their lives: “I don't think anyone will forget the feeling of being cheered across the finish line by their teammates, the exhilaration of their first downhill trail, or how it seemed to rain on every single trail workday.”
Summarizing the season, Amanda said, “Each rider found something to conquer and did just that… Not a single practice passed without me finding something to laugh about with my teammates, even on the muddiest of days."
COVID-19 has provided many challenges for all of us in more ways than we can count. One opportunity we've seen in this challenge is that it demands us all to be more creative and one place that was most apparent this fall was in the Holderness Art Department.
With world-class ski resorts just a short drive away, plus 20 kilometers of Nordic ski trails and an outdoor ice rink on campus, Holderness School seems like it was built for winter. The same can be said of the school’s new winter schedule, which was redesigned to help students thrive amid the challenges of cold weather, short days, and ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
It is with profound gratitude that I share I will be retiring in June 2022. As Board Chair Nell Reynolds, the board, and I have discussed, the timing feels perfect for Holderness and for Robin and me. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to retire at this time, but I am also thankful to have another 18 months to serve Holderness.
Is Holderness right for you? The best way to find the right boarding school is to reach out. Check us out in person in New Hampshire or virtually. See why Holderness is more than a school, it's an elevated experience.