Media: Mountain bikers invading Roslyn for race this weekend


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Mountain bikers invading Roslyn for race this weekend

Apr 29, 2016

Daily Record

Pack up your cowbell and get ready to cheer when the Washington Student Cycling League invades Roslyn this weekend.

(For the uninitiated, fans ring cowbells along the course to encourage riders.)

Now in its sixth year, the mountain biking program serves students from sixth through 12th grades from around the state.

About 350 students are expected to show up for competition in Roslyn this weekend, said Lisa Miller, executive director of the nonprofit organization. Miller figures the event will draw an estimated 800 people, counting the riders and their friends and families.

The event begins Saturday with a free skills clinic open to riders of all ages and abilities at 10:30 a.m. The clinic is at Coal Mines Trail and West Dakota Avenue.

A free guided trail ride is scheduled at noon. No registration is necessary but participants must sign waivers.

League participants will camp at Runje Park on Saturday night.

The action speeds up on Sunday with races starting at 10 a.m. The final race, for varsity boys, begins at 11 a.m. And goes 20 miles. Awards will be presented at 3 p.m.

The Northwestern Bicycle Improvement Co. of Roslyn will provide free mechanical assistance for any student with a mechanical emergency.

The Roslyn race marks the third of four official competitions for the league this year.

“We span the state of Washington so geographically Roslyn is an ideal location and you have mountain bike trails right out the front door,” she said.

“Most of our races are usually in areas that are pretty remote so we’re looking forward to have amenities and having a community.”

For ride organizers, one of the challenges is that while there are many good trails in the state, parking is often a challenge.

She said when she approached Roslyn about the idea she found quick support. Part of the appeal for the community she thinks is that the program takes a holistic approach. It’s not just about competition, she said. It’s about teaching participants trail stewardship, leadership and how to be an ambassador for the sport.

“These are the kids who will be maintaining your trails. These are the kids who will be landowners,” she said.

When the program began, the idea was to get started on the West Side “and then inch east,” she said. As it happens, the program got going on the West Side and also has taken a foothold in the Spokane area. Now the focus is on expanding in Central Washington.

Roslyn-Cle Elum will have a team next year. So will Yakima, she said. She also would like to see something develop in Ellensburg.

Miller said Roslyn’s Susie Martin will manage the local team and recruit coaches. “Part of our reason for coming to Roslyn is we want people to see this in action and help build the team,” Miller said.

The league has 220 volunteer coaches working with 360 riders.

“It is amazing,” Miller said. “The coaches are the cornerstone.”

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