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Pro dreams from Pine Valley

Wehr looking to hit next level this month

 

July 3, 2020

Lexis Gerard

Cloquet High School grad Zeb Wehr aims to go professional with his mountain biking this summer, as soon as the races begin again.

Zebulon Wehr is going pro. The 2020 Cloquet High School graduate known for his prowess on mountain biking paths will try to qualify this month for a professional circuit.

His first qualifying race, scheduled for July 12, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. His next race is still on, set for July 26, when he will try to place high enough and be eligible for pro races.

"I would have to place in the top five, like a qualifier, to be considered a pro," Wehr said. "The judges look at the amount of time it takes you while racing, that's how you get judged."

Wehr, the son of Jared and Pam Wehr, has enjoyed riding all sorts of bikes since he was a toddler. He started with dirt biking. Most recently he took a sudden interest in mountain biking and did well as a member of the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton mountain biking team. The team's home base is Pine Valley Park in Cloquet, where the city has 3.5 miles of mountain bike trails, with another 1.5 to be constructed in July.

Since last summer, Wehr has turned all of his free time into bike time. "The amount of time I bike for just depends on what else I have going on," he said. "Having Pine Valley so close is nice because I can ride my bike there instead of taking a car."

Wehr said his favorite part about biking is "meeting new people and being able to ride new trails." This year, he hopes to practice with the CEC team as much as they will allow, considering he has already graduated. Their first practice is set for July 7.

Wehr's favorite trails are Mission Creek, Lakeside/Lester Park and Enger Park in Duluth and the home course at Pine Valley.

Pine Valley has it all, he said. "The jumps, the berms, and the cross country in the trail."

"If you want to do downhill, you can do downhill," he said. "If you want to do cross country, you can do cross country." Giving hope to anyone who doesn't consider themselves an expert mountain biker, he said "anyone at any level can ride the trail."

Recently he's been witnessing just how the trail-building process works with the extension of the Pine Valley trails. "It was great to meet the people who were making the new trails at Pine Valley," he said. "I got to ride with them and I am excited to have people from other areas come ride here."

Injuries happen frequently in mountain biking. A few weeks ago Wehr separated his shoulder in a fall. Despite his injury, he quickly got back in the saddle, saying he took his injury as an opportunity to grow as a mountain biker and cherish his time on his bike even more.

Accidents confirm one important maxim in trail riding, he said. "Wear a helmet."

With professional rides in his sights, Wehr still thinks about helping other get into the sport.

"It doesn't really matter what kind of bike you have," he said. "It is a bike. Just go outside and ride. You can let go of so much while you are biking on trails."

 
 

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