REI CO-OP Journal

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from REI-CO OP JOURNAL by Jess Daddio

At first, Demonte Cosby did not like mountain biking.

It was 2015. Cosby was 13 years old and living in a public housing unit in Richmond, Virginia. He was used to traditional team sports. He’d tried swimming, basketball, soccer, football and baseball, but he said he never felt entirely engaged with the activities or the teams. When another kid in the neighborhood told Cosby about Richmond Cycling Corps (RCC), a National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) mountain bike team composed of kids living in Richmond’s East End, Cosby was curious but skeptical.

“Trails and bikes, I never knew they existed. I never knew there was teams or nothing. It was very new. I was not into it,” said Cosby.

Mountain biking is hard physically and mentally. For Cosby, there was no sitting on the bench during games, no skating by in practice. The feedback was instantaneous. If he didn’t put in the work to pedal his bike, he didn’t go anywhere.