News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters cyclists rolling through

Eight mountain bike racers from Sisters are rolling in style through their inaugural season under the auspices of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA).

The Nugget caught up with team members as they prepared to head out the Peterson Ridge Trail for a practice session on Thursday. They’re halfway through their four-race season, and they’re making big improvements quickly.

The second race of the season, held in Prineville last month, set a solid benchmark.

“Everybody did really well,” said Coach Jon Fogarty. “Big improvements from their first race.

Brecken Riemer, a middle school racer, placed 18th in Newport and jumped to 11th in Prineville. He would have made the top 10, except that he stopped to help another racer who had a flat.

That reflects the culture of the team and the program.

“I like the way everybody’s, like, encouraging each other,” said Riemer. “The community around biking is just awesome. I haven’t met a mean person… They’re looking out for you.”

Will Fogarty had a strong Prineville race, finishing second among varsity boys. Connor Seile, another middle schooler, said he’s tried a bunch of sports and really likes mountain bike racing. He said he’s surprised at how fast he is.

Seile’s goal in the next race is simply to get faster. Riemer wants to hit the top five — and Fogarty wants to win.

Coach Fogarty said the program is short on high school riders, so they can’t officially represent Sisters High School. He noted that it can be hard initially to convince young athletes to hit the trail, because cross-country mountain biking is hard — but once they race, they usually get bitten with the bug.

Cross-country mountain bike racing is a fast-growing sport, attractive to athletes of all kinds, including many who aren’t motivated by traditional team sports. It’s a “lifetime” sport that they can pursue way into adulthood.

To learn more, email Jon Fogarty at [email protected]

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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