Student Spotlight on Max Prendergast, Washington League

Max Prendergast lives just east of Seattle, WA and participates in the Washington High School Cycling League as a member of the Eastside Composite Team. Max recently hosted a trail work day to celebrate his 16th birthday. We caught up with him to talk about the experience.

When did you start riding mountain bikes?
When I was young, my dad was, and still is, an avid cyclist and he saw riding on local trails as a way to keep us out of traffic. I did hill climbs on Grand Ridge with my dad to stay in shape. A few years back a group of friends and my brother started to ride the Soaring Eagle trails during the summer, which was an introduction to Duthie Hill and many other trails.

Tell us about what you did for your 16th birthday.
We worked on a trail at Duthie Hill called Gravy Train, from 9:oo AM to about 4:00 PM. We set up in the recently built cover in the clearing with food and drink, then went out to work for a while, came back and had some lunch, then ventured out again. We built an awesome booster on the line called the Prendergap, named after myself.

Why did you decide to host a trail work day?
I have done work parties at Duthie in the summer, and I thought it would be a great idea to get a bunch of my friends to go build trails.

What would you say to other high school mountain bikers who haven’t taken part in a trail work day?
It is a great way to give back to the trails and the builders by going out and working. The trails that people shred every day have to be kept in tip-top shape in order to be rideable.

I also have a greater appreciation for the trails that I ride, and how much time is put into building those trails. A few jumps can take up to a week to be finished, but the more people are out there the faster you get to ride that unfinished line. And its really awesome seeing your jump being shaped from a pile of logs and dirt into something that is a work of art. You also get input on how to improve your riding and what the best line is to take on the trail you work on.

You also meet new riders and workers who are out there every day. It gives you a sense of community and place when you take part in a work party. It’s pretty cool working with a bunch of guys that ride bikes just as hard as you do, even though they have a nine to five job.

Who helped you organize the event and who else joined you?
Mike Westra from Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Chad Black is the lead builder on Gravy Train, and of course my parents.

What is your favorite ride?
Any of the trails at Duthie Hill, but mostly Gravy Train! And, of course, Whistler!

Are you a member of your local IMBA Chapter?
Yes, I’m a member of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.

What is your favorite subject in school?
Graphic Design, or just about any thing that has to do with art or music. I’m really good with design, drawing, layout, photography, editing, musical production. I just love being creative, I get to express myself in so many different mediums in this day and age, and seeing the finished product is really cool.

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