Mounds View, White Bear Lake Cyclists Race During Halftime

Vicky Li, Staff Writer

Mounds View High School senior Chihiro Gustafson has been bike racing competitively for four years. On Oct. 17, at an away football game against White Bear Lake, Gustafson bike raced a fellow biker friend, Ian Hase, 12, two times around the White Bear High School track. The event spurred huge fanfare, and a now-viral video of the scene depicts the two bikers racing as the student sections of both schools cheer them on.

Gustafson has always been on the lookout for ways to promote the relatively unknown sport of high school cycling. “Finally, I had the resources to do it with my friend Ian from White Bear. He mentioned, ‘What’s a way to promote high school cycling?’ And I was like, ‘Hey, why don’t we do this!’” said Gustafson. They decided to race at a football game to showcase the sport.

After agreeing on this idea, they took the necessary steps to make the event happen. Both students contacted their school athletic directors and principals, signed waivers and from there, it was set. At the Mounds View versus White Bear football game halftime, the two athletes raced at full speed around the track twice while the stadium filled with applause. The race was a never-before-seen spectacle at a high school football game. Soon enough, the video went viral, serving as a positive promotion of high school cycling as well as a memorable, unique experience for all that were present.

“I think it like was one of the major highlights, and it was really cool being able to race in front of peers. You just don’t really get to do that at the races. There’s a bunch of people cheering for you, but this is close to home,” said Gustafson.

At the end of the day, both Gustafson and Hase saw it as a wonderful opportunity to show their love for their sport. “To us, it didn’t matter who won. You know, it was about the fun of the race and making it exciting for everyone,” said Gustafson. Both cyclists, as well as the spectators, will recall that game as a night to remember.