Lemorande excels on the bike
BY RICH PALZEWIC
BIKING PHOTOS BY: Sam Karow
SUAMICO – There are a lot of great athletes and teams at Bay Port High School. Some are well-known, but Bay Port freshman Aidan Lemorande probably isn’t one of them.
That’s most likely because Lemorande doesn’t participate in any organized high school sports for the Pirates. He might even be more known for the fact that his sister Lauren is a senior who was a part of Bay Port’s recent state golf team.
But make no mistake about it: Aidan is well on his way to making a name for himself as an accomplished mountain biker. This past summer he competed in the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Nationals in Snowshoe, West Virginia, and recently finished fifth in the Wisconsin High School Cycling League varsity division for the series overall.
“I started racing when I was nine,” said Lemorande, who also cross-country skis in the winter for Bay Nordic. “I’ve always biked since I could remember, but right around that age I got more serious about it.
“My dad encouraged me because he was into it. Once I did my first race, I really enjoyed it. Maybe my first or second year it was more for fun, but when I started to do well and win, that’s when the competitive side came out.”
Many people think of mountain biking as a casual stroll through the woods looking at nature – and it can be that, too – but in Lemorande’s case, it’s not just a Sunday joy ride. He trains both on the road and on the trails, doing more road biking early in the season to get some miles in the legs.
“I think mountain biking is more adventurous to me and I enjoy it more,” Lemorande said, who also participates in the Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS), which is the largest mountain biking racing series in the country. “On the road you kind of see the same thing, but in mountain biking everything is always changing.”
Aidan likes the Reforestation Camp (NEW Zoo) trails and also spends a good amount of time at Bairds Creek. Every season before this year, he just used the advice of his dad and did what he did for training, but that recently changed.
“I now have a coach who gives me specific training goals every day and tells me what I need to do and how much,” Lemorande said.
Aidan’s coach lives in Kentucky and just sends the workouts through email. Lemorande then uploads his data to a website, where his coach can analyze what he sees.
Lemorande prefers the wide open racing on a double-track trail where he can use his power, but he rides so much single track at the Camp that he has gotten good at it and sees it as an advantage over other riders from around the state.
There are plenty of colleges that offer mountain biking, too, but it’s difficult to find a good mix with academics.
“It’s hard to find a good balance between finding a good college academically and with good cycling,” noted Lemorande. “In some of the schools out West like in Durango, Colorado, if you attend there, you’re more than likely going to be making a career in cycling.”
Aidan’s mom, Michelle, also pointed out that Ripon College has a cycling program, but there aren’t many colleges around here that offer both academics and the chance to cycle.
Ultimately Lemorande would like to make a career of it, but the next few years will probably determine if that’s a reality or not.
“If I can keep improving every year and getting faster,” he added, “I’d like to get sponsored by a company or pro team, race in Europe and become really competitive. If I can’t do that, I’d still like to keep biking as a hobby and get a ‘normal’ job.”
Lemorande is like any typical teen when it comes to other hobbies. He likes sports and has played football, basketball and baseball in the past. He also likes to go bird hunting with his dad to help avoid cycling burnout. The racing season basically goes from April through October and can have as many as 20 races.
“You only like the things you’re good at,” Aidan added. “If you’re successful at something, you want to keep doing it.”
If that’s any indication, Lemorande will be mountain biking for a very long time.