In case you don’t know them, Carley and Libbey Endersbe are identical twins, Minnesota League Alumni (Burnsville/Lakeville Composite Team 2012- 2013) where they were regulars on the medal podium, and currently attend Ft Lewis College (a NICA sponsor!) in Durango, Colorado and race for the school’s top ranked cycling team. Both student athletes pursue both academic and athletically rigorous paths. Libbey studies Engineering while riding Omnium: Cross Country, Short Track, Downhill, Dual Slalom. Carley majors in Engineering Management and Accounting while riding Endurance: Cross Country and Short Track. When not studying, racing or pursuing other outdoor passions like rock climbing, the sisters spend their time making stone oven pizzas at their family’s business, the beloved Rivers Eatery, the heart of the mountain bike scene in Cable WI.
We’re grateful for the time Carley and Libbey spent catching us up on what their lives look like now, studying and mountain bike racing at the collegiate level.
Your Athletic Background(s)?
Our family has always valued being outside so we grew up kayaking and rock climbing. In high school we did more traditional sports like softball, Nordic skiing and cross country running.
When Did You Fall in Love with MTB?
Carley: In middle school we started riding the local trails near our cabin in Cable, Wisconsin with our family to get to secret swimming lakes, see the fall colors, or be out in the woods. I remember learning to love biking because it allowed me to eat wild raspberries and see beautiful places I’d never been before.
Libbey: The High School League definitely changed my perspective on mountain biking and introduced a new aspect of riding with friends and racing. Although I had mountain biked before the league started I never had the strength to power over hills and obstacles. Being on a team with other students my age motivated me to ride as often as I could and was able to.
In the summer we just try to ride a lot. In the past we’ve felt that being technically skilled but having “fresh legs” has helped us come into the collegiate season excited and energized. Once we start school, the mountain bike team has organized singletrack group rides, downhill shuttles, stretching sessions, hill climb time trials, and short track races. On Fridays we drive to the race venue (Crested Butte, Snowmass, Angel Fire, Granby, or Grand Junction), camp, and race Saturdays and Sundays.
How do you balance school, racing and a social life?
Luckily school, sports, and social life all kind of mesh together! Our coaches put a big emphasis on academic excellence, so it’s nice to be supported rather than challenged in that area of life. And after our homework is done, everyone blows off steam by going for long mountain bike rides together. Because there’s over 100 kids on the cycling team at Fort Lewis, it’s not hard to make friends who have the same values and interests as we do.
Favorite MN HS moment?
Carley: Beginning with the daily practice shenanigans, I had a lot of fun with my teammates in the high school league. Traveling to Mt. Kato to pre-ride the race course sticks out to me because it was one of the last times I got to ride with the team. The whole ordeal felt like a major adventure, and I remember having a hot sauce eating contest at Chipotle afterwards. That day symbolized freedom, spontaneity, and bikes and made me realize how lucky I was to have met people who liked to get just as muddy as me (friends I wouldn’t have even met without the MN Bike League!).
Libbey: On the last day of practice all the seniors had the realization that we will probably never all be together riding our bikes again, especially since most of us didn’t even go to the same High School. With that in mind we all rode together, goofed around, tried obstacles we normally wouldn’t have, and laughed at each other’s misfortune. This day stood out to me because I realized how close we all were and I couldn’t imagine ever riding without those goofballs.
Favorite place to ride?
Carley: Moab, Utah is definitely one of my favorites. It’s basically a giant natural playground for bikers with unbelievable views and rock formations. We’re lucky in that it’s only a couple hours away from campus, so we have a lot of good memories camping and riding with friends in Moab.
Libbey: Cable, WI will always stand out to me as a place I love to ride. Growing up my family always had a cabin in Cable, so I grew up on the CAMBA trails. Now that my parents live there full time I am always excited to get out and ride when I get back. Being in an endless forest, with very few people, on old school techie trails is my idea of a perfect ride.
Bucket list ride?
Carley: I think it would be so cool to ride the whole Colorado Trail! The sections we’ve ridden with friends have been some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.
Libbey: I really want to do the Absa Cape Epic Race in South Africa someday. It is an 8 day stage race with two-person teams, so I think it’d be really cool if Carley and I did it together.
After grad plans?
Carley: It’d be a dream to work in the outdoor recreation industry.
Libbey: I’d really love to get a job that I can support myself with and live in an outdoorsy town where I can do everything I love.
Carley: Ultimately it would be to find a place where I can do all the things I love with the people I love:)
Libbey: Anything where I can be outside and work for a company I support and believe in.
Any words of wisdom for MN League riders?
Carley: I think it’s important to remember what biking means to you. Some people like the pure simplicity of it, some like the challenge of racing. I like the freedom it gives me to get to the middle of the woods or mountains with the company of like-minded people. I’ve found it helpful to base my goals around the aspects of cycling that are most important to me, not necessarily around what other people want to get out of it.
Libbey: Have fun, push your limits, and ride because you love it. I’ve seen a lot of my friends burn out or get injured. I love to push myself and hit bigger jumps and drops but I try to ride within my limits and never ride when I’m not having fun.