ELKINS – Vicki Fenwick-Judy introduced the Rotary Club of Elkins to the Highlands Mountain Bike Team this week.
The team is a member of the West Virginia Interscholastic Cycling League, one of 31 states that is part of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). The participants are public, private and homeschooled students-athletes in grades 6-12 with local team members from Randolph and Tucker counties.
Fenwick-Judy serves as the team director and head coach is Todd Miller. There are also volunteers and certified ride leaders from both counties.
The goals of the team are to have fun and to ride and race safely within a positive team culture, Fenwick-Judy said. Mountain biking is a life-long activity that promotes good health, connection to the outdoors and quality time spent with friends and family.
“Among our focuses are teaching students how to respect each other, themselves and the outdoors,” said Fenwick-Judy.
The team got its start in 2016-2017 when some West Virginia teams attended events in Pennsylvania. The first season in West Virginia was 2018 and the local team has won two of the three state championships in which it has competed. The season runs July through October with the team holding twice-weekly practices with five races on weekends, beginning in August.
The team practices on the local Allegheny Highlands rail trail, campus trails of Davis & Elkins College and some of the many trails in Tucker County. The Elkins Area Shared Trails Initiative is working to develop more open access trails in the local area that can be used for both practice and cycling in the local area.
This coming year, competitions will be held at Canaan Valley State Park, Cacapon State Park, Twin Falls State Park, Big Bear Lake, and North Bend State Park. One of this year’s competitions will include an adventure component with activities for kids who aren’t racing such as a scavenger hunt by bike, learning how to orienteer and learning about adventuring by bike.
The team has a number of sponsors, including Joey’s Bike Shop in Elkins and Blackwater Bike Shop in Davis. These organizations help provide equipment and resources for the team. Additional financial support provided by local businesses helps offset registration / participation fees.
Any individual or business interested in providing support for the team can contact Fenwick-Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-704-8148.
In addition to the competitive component of the group, the team also supports Girls Riding Together (GRiT) and the Teen Trail Corp. The emphasis of GRiT is to get more girls participating in mountain biking.
This program allows girls to ride together without the pressure of racing. The Teen Trail Corp provides opportunities for the riders to give back to the sport by helping maintain the trails on which they ride. The local team helps maintain the Canaan Valley trail with activities such as building drainage, cutting brush, or general trail repair.
All local students are welcome to be a part of the team and any adults who are interested in participating in any way, such as coaching, volunteering or sponsoring the team are encouraged to contact Fenwick-Judy for more information.
Rotary is a global network of 1.4 million neighbors, friends, leaders and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in their communities, and in themselves. Visit www.Rotary.org to learn more about Rotary International, visit the club’s Facebook page – Rotary Club of Elkins – or contact club president Chris Lee at email@example.com for more information about the Rotary Club of Elkins.