Cunningham pursues BMX riding


Alex Herzog

Cunningham doing a semi-downwhip.

In the fourth quarter of the homecoming game on Oct. 17, defensive end and left tackle senior Michael Cunningham limped off the field after severely injuring both of his ankles.

Cunningham went to the hospital that night, but was told his ankles were too swollen to take an X-ray. He was told that “he should come back on Friday.”

Despite his injury, Cunningham drove to Tahoe after going to the hospital to pursue his passion of bicycle motocross (BMX). Cunningham was in too much pain to bike, but he still watched other riders, including some of his close friends.

Cunningham has been biking for the past seven years, and when he is not playing football, he commits all his time to the sport.

“I first started riding in the middle of the street trying wheelies, and seeing how fast I could go. Before I knew it, everything I did revolved around biking. Biking is what I put all my money towards, and all I ever think about,” said Cunningham.

Cunningham prefers street biking, but also does downhill mountain biking. “There are a few skate parks by my Tahoe house, but when I’m up there, I usually stick to downhill mountain biking at Northstar.”

“It’s an incredible feeling when you finally pull a certain trick you have been continually trying,” said Cunningham.

Senior Erica Aldanese often watches Cunningham bike; Aldanese said, “He is always pushing himself, and is so committed to learning new tricks and getting better.”

When Cunningham is not biking at Red Morton Community Center or Menlo-Atherton High School, he is usually out riding in the streets on anything he can find.

“I’ve been watching Michael bike for seven years now. I think he is going to be really successful, because he never stops at what he wants to achieve,” said Cooper Michaels, a friend of Cunningham’s.

Even though Cunningham enjoys competing, he would rather find events where there are “a bunch of laid-back riders” getting together in different places, trying out tricks.

Cunningham said, “My favorite thing about biking is that you can ride around just about anywhere, and when you find something as small as curb, you can just stay there, and have fun with it for endless amounts of time.”

Cunningham walking around Carlmont campus on crutches.
Brooke Buckley
Cunningham walking around Carlmont campus on crutches.