NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

April 24, 2014

A passion for mountain biking

NEWBURYPORT — Not many local kids could be described as avid mountain bikers, but Howard Granat, a local mountain biking enthusiast, hopes an upcoming event can help change that.

“Single Track High: A Film About Kids Who Ride” will be presented at the Newburyport Public Library on May 1 at 6 p.m. The showing is open to the public and the goal is to get kids involved in what is a great sport.

Granat has had a passion for mountain biking that stems from his childhood and is leading the push for interest growth in Massachusetts.

“It is a team sport in many high schools and what we are trying to do is start at a grass-roots level in Massachusetts and New Hampshire to put together a league of our own,” Granat said.

Granat hopes that the film will teach teenagers about the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) and what it would be like to be a mountain bike racer for a coordinated high school or middle school team. Along with the film, Granat has had a role in several events, including a Kid Ride Series, through the New England Mountain Bike Association for kids ages 6 to 12 that has been held at Maudslay State Park for several years. A mentoring program is also being created for junior level racers for both road bikes and mountain bikes.

“When I grew up in New York, we took our bikes into the woods and raised hell,” Granat said. “I then went into racing BMX bikes. When I moved to Massachusetts in my 20s, I started mountain biking. It’s just a passion about this sport that I have had since I was young. There are a lot of kids out there that don’t do well with team sports, or are more of an individual team sport sort of person, so this would give them more options.”

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