Pedaling down to reach the top

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Pedaling down to reach the top

Narges Torabi, Staff Writer

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Freshman Cody Neumann has been going downhill for three years now.

But in his sport, this is a good thing.

Neumann has been taking his talent to a new level as he becomes more competitive in downhill and enduro mountain biking.

So far, he has participated in the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Nationals. Last summer, he competed in the Kamikaze Bike Games at Mammoth Lakes and finished fourth at the age of fourteen years old.

Neumann was first introduced to downhill mountain biking by his father, Bruce Neumann, and his older sister, Cal High senior Kayla Neumann.

“I think it’s awesome how passionate he is about downhill mountain biking,” Neumann said. “He’s fearless and does some crazy stuff that sometimes makes me want to close my eyes because I’m afraid to watch.”

 His father is proud to see how far his son has pursued his passion for the sport. 

“My dad has been a big part of it,” Neumann said. “He does it. If he hadn’t done it then I wouldn’t have. Knowing that he’s proud either way I try working really hard in it.”

Neumann is putting in all of his focus and effort to go as far as he can and hopes to someday pursue a career in the sport. Neumann has participated in summer races and has been trying to do more during race season, which starts in March and ends near the end of summer. This summer, he plans on racing in the California Enduro Series and races in Mammoth Lakes, CA. Fortunately, he refers to this location as his “training ground” and has high hopes for this competition. 

“Cody is usually training, but he always makes time for his friends and I can’t help but feel proud that he’s found something he loves and is making a name for himself,” said freshman Jason Nguyen.  

Neumann finds it imperative to be constantly training and his love for the sport makes it easy. He has also began working with a friend from the Marine Corps to build his upper body strength, something that is much needed in such a rigorous sport. Although training has its ups, it also has a lot of downs.

“I would say the one part I dislike is going to the gym,” Neumann said. “I don’t like to wake up in the morning, the starting is always tough.”

Neumann said hismain strengths are on the jumps and turns. He has an aptitude in using his leg strength when it’s most needed in the hard sections where you have to pedal hard. 

“But it’s also important to keep in mind that there’s always room for improvement,” said Neumann.

Neumann finds it most difficult to get himself in the right mentality. There’s a struggle to get completely comfortable attacking bigger jumps, steeper hills, and faster runs. 

Neumann describes his biggest accomplishment in just fetting into the sport itself and gradually improving.

“I’ve always known Cody to be a hard worker and when he really wants something he puts his 100 percent,” said freshman Kyle Huang. “It’s incredible.” 

In addition to downhill mountain biking, Neumann runs for Cal’s track and field team. Neumann has big plans for his future and excited to see what is waiting ahead for him. 

“He loves it and he’s got a big future in store for him,” said Neumann.