High school cyclists hit the trails hard
The recent HRC fundraiser taught the young cyclists respect for the trail system and also gave them some well-deserved pride in the work they accomplished.
Pictured right: After repairing more than 800 feet of trail, these HRC volunteers took a test ride to enjoy their hard work.
By Kathy Fallert; photos courtesy of Kim Lockett
Highlands Ranch Cycling (HRC) is an organization that provides coaching, fundraising, and administrative support for high school mountain bike teams. Athletes from Rock Canyon, Thunder Ridge and Mountain Vista High Schools race for their schools in the Colorado High School Cycling league. HRC recently hosted a “$5 a Foot” fundraiser in which the students collected $5 per foot of trail work.
Event organizer Kate Eng commented, “We are all about getting kids on bikes, promoting healthy lifestyles, and teaching the kids to be good trail stewards. Stewardship encompasses demonstrating trail etiquette as well as learning about trails.” HRC adopted the Rocky Gulch trail in Highlands Ranch.
The kids work under the supervision of Mark Giebel with HRCA backcountry to repair trail damage. They learn first-hand the damage that is caused by riding trails when muddy or by drifting through corners.
Eng remarked, “Even though we adopted the Rocky Gulch trail, we worked on the Ponderosa trail as it was in the most need of work. This fundraiser was student-athlete driven. They had to collect the pledges. They had to do the work. They came prepared to work and spent several hours digging and repairing over 800 feet of trail. Sweat, blisters, and a lot of pride went into the Ponderosa trail while raising more than $1,000 for HRC, which will help support our high school teams during the upcoming mountain bike race season.”
By working the trails themselves, the young athletes learn to appreciate the trails and not take them for granted. Most trails in Colorado are volunteer built and volunteer maintained. To learn more about HRC, e-mail Julie Ryburn at email@example.com or visit the team’s Facebook page.