Mountain biker rides toward new team


Lombardi hits a jump during one of his many races. (Photo courtesy of Josh Lombardi)

Enduro riding is the sport of mountain bike racing, and is also know as enduro. The races have anywhere from three to six timed stages and the riders who compete in enduro are all racing for the lowest time. They have to go through trials with obstacles that range from rocks, roots and jumps.

Freshman Josh Lombardi takes part in this sport. Getting involved in sport that is not as well known to most people has its challenges. Lombardi had found passion and success for the sport of Mountain biking. He trains by riding through trails to get better at understanding the obstacles he will see. 

“My dad introduced me to it when I was 9 and I’ve loved it ever since,” Lombardi said.

A friend and riding buddy of Josh’s, freshman James Beauchamp, enjoys to ride with him and loves the way he pushes him to get better. They compete with each other and help to push for better times when they race.

“Josh is very encouraging and is a huge sender,” Beauchamp said.

Motivation is key to enjoying and loving the sport and activity you do. Lombardi has found passion and love for riding, by getting out on trails and having fun. Finding people who enjoy the same activity makes training easier for the athletes.

What motivates me is doing good in my races and having fun,” Lombardi said. “I’ve been riding for probably around five years now and placed first, second or third in four or five races at this point.”

Although riding and racing are just parts of a career in the making, sponsors also come into play. With Lombardi’s skills constantly growing, sponsors are eager to have his name apart of their company or team.

“I have two sponsors: Tasco and Rev Grips,” Lombardi said. “I’m working hard to get on Santa Cruz Bikes Mountain Bike team. I really like their bikes and I think it would be awesome to ride for them.”

Practice is a large part in mountain biking. Failing to can result in injuries during races or slow race times. Though practice can seem boring to some people, Lombardi’s passion for the sport has motivated him to get on his bike and get better.

“To practice I just ride a lot,” Lombardi said. “I get on the trail and ride my bike and get better. I try to get out on the trail for practice at least three to four times (a week) to practice.”

To some aspiring riders mountain biking can seem dangerous and difficult, but through practice and learning how the trails are it can become a passion. Even with the sponsor and team side of the sport, knowing how to ride is still the most important part of mountain biking. Lombardi is a very experienced mountain biker and has some advice for riders that would like to get into mountain biking.

“Just get out there no matter what kind of bike you have or how good it is,” Lombardi said.