On top of the mountain (bikes)
Gardnerville’s Joshua Bodenstein has overcome a serious knee injury to become the Nevada Interscholastic Cycling League’s leading rider in the middle school division in mountain bike racing.
Bodenstein, an eighth grader at Pau Wa Lu Middle School who lives in Gardnerville, has won the first two races by 45 seconds in the NICL series this season.
He continued his winning ways by winning the Rattlesnake Roundup held at Hidden Valley Regional Park in Reno on Sept. 9. He opened the season with a win at the North Tahoe Challenge in Tahoe City.
Bodenstein tore his ACL and shredded his meniscus playing basketball. The injury for his age was almost unheard of.
Due to unhardened growth plates, the risk of his leg not growing to the same length as the other, and no doctor on the West Coast having had seen this type of injury in such a young athlete, Bodenstein went to Boston Children’s Hospital where they took out his IT band and recreated an ACL, as well as stitching back together his meniscus. He was unable to walk for 2 months.
He endured a year of physical therapy at the University of Nevada, Reno and flew back and forth to Boston for regular checkups.
Had he not been injured, he may not have found his passion for mountain bike racing.
He purchased his bike with his own saved money, continues to train every day and has never looked back.
“I love to ride my bike and my strategy is the same — ride, pedal and don’t give up,” said Bodenstein, who races for Alta Alpina Cycling Club.
The next race will be held Sept. 30 at Mammoth.