Cardigan Mountain School A boarding and day school for boys in grades 6 through 9

Mountain Bike Program Description & Equipment

We are always looking for student-athletes ready for a new challenge to join our strong core of returning riders!

In 2010, Cardigan expanded its fall sports program with the addition of a mountain bike racing team. After twelve exciting and successful seasons, the mountain bike program is poised for our 13th year. Although we have a skilled and strong core of returning riders, we are always looking for student-athletes ready for a new challenge.

The mountain bike team participates in a cross-country race series against Lakes Region independent high schools, including Proctor Academy, Kimball Union Academy, and Holderness School. We even race against our main rival, Eaglebrook School! Racers are grouped into three race classes based on speed and skill, ensuring that both veteran riders and those newer to the sport will have equal opportunities to be competitive, improve their skills, and have fun. 

While the mountain bike program strives to develop competitive racers, we do not simply focus on race results as a measure of success. The program helps each student-athlete set and achieve personal goals to improve their strength, speed, cardiovascular endurance, technical bike skills, and overall fitness. In the process, athletes improve their confidence and ability to overcome physical and psychological challenges and foster a love and appreciation for recreation in the natural world. We learn proper trail etiquette, basic bike maintenance, and repair skills and serve as positive ambassadors of both the sport and of Cardigan. 

Due to the competitive and technical nature of a mountain bike team, each rider will be required to furnish much of his equipment and provide for the maintenance and repair of that equipment. A financial commitment is required to purchase these items and maintain them in good working order. Please do not buy a new bike without talking to our Head Mountain Bike Coach Doug Clark (at He can help you pick out the proper bike or set you up with our local shop sponsor and past Cardigan Parent Dick Drummond of Drummond Custom Cycles. 

Website:, Shop phone (603) 632-4277

As supply chains have caught up on demand for most items, bikes included, Dick Drummond has always been able to help meet the needs of athletes in our program. He has customized builds to fit younger athletes and has a strong connection with international bike brands to get access to bikes and parts. 

Compared to other sports such as hockey or skiing, the costs associated with mountain biking are not unreasonable. A properly sized bike may serve a growing rider for several years, and much of the additional equipment can last significantly longer. While we encourage riders to purchase their bikes, sometimes this isn’t feasible. Cardigan has a limited supply of bikes that may be available for rent, depending on sizing and demand. While there will be an associated season rental fee for these bikes, we hope the reduced cost helps open the door for new riders.

I am very excited about the upcoming mountain biking season this fall and encourage prospective riders of all experience levels to consider joining us. If you have any questions regarding Cardigan’s mountain bike team, please email me at If you are already committed to joining the team, I encourage you to ride during summer vacation and get those bike legs and lungs in shape!


Doug Clark
Cardigan Mountain Biking Head Coach

Each rider will be required to furnish the following items. (All of which can be ordered or purchased through Dick Drummond of Drummond Custom Cycles, (603) 632-4277, or other retailers. These do not need to be purchased before coming to campus but are highly recommended.)

  • A front- or dual-suspension mountain bike in good working order. These bikes should meet Category 3 or Category 4 for mountain bikes. It must be of the type sold in bike shops, not from a big box store. Bikes from places like Walmart simply will not withstand the rigors of this type of riding. The bike should be a cross-country trail, or an all-mountain bike, which consists of travel of 100 mm to 160 mm, not a downhill or free-ride bike. If a boy has a serious commitment to participating on the team but does not have access to a bike, please contact me. We may be able to find an alternate solution.

  • An ANSI-approved bike helmet in good condition. No full-face helmets, please.

  • Hydration, either in a hydration pack (Camelback type) or two large water bottles with bike-mounted bottle cages. Personal preference is the rule here, but I recommend a hydration pack, as it also carries the equipment and food every rider will need. 

  • Suitable eye protection. Sunglasses with a light tint work best, and even the yellow tint shooter’s glasses work well. We will be riding in the woods, generally, so these are more to prevent bugs and debris from injuring the eyes than for blocking out the sun. They really don’t need to be expensive, but they should be durable.

  • Bike gloves, either full-finger or half-finger.

Recommended, but not required:

  • Bike shoes. These can either be used to ride flat or clipless pedals. The benefit of a bike-specific shoe is the stiffness in the sole, grip on the pedal, and toe protection. A pair of running shoes will not withstand the demands of a typical mountain bike ride.

  • At least one pair of bike-specific shorts equipped with a padded chamois. These can be either the tight-fit Lycra bike shorts or the loose-fit baggy type, which have padded inner shorts. Again, these must be specifically made for bike riding. They should be black, forest green, gray, brown, or white.