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University hosts first mountain bike race

On September 24th, John Brown University will be holding the first ever ricochet mountain biking race as part of the annual pedal fest.

The day of the race is packed with activities. The main two races are in the morning; the 7-mile-short race will kick off the day, then shortly after, the 14-mile-long race will present any daring riders with a thrilling challenge. For those who just want to enjoy the ride without competing, there will be a free fun ride for anyone interested, in the afternoon. In addition to the races, there will be many activities to captivate all the age group: from food, games and prize drawings to a full-on kids race.

The cost to participate in the short and in the long race is $35, every rider will get a racing T-shirt and the chance to win various prizes. Registration for the race is available online. All of the money collected at the event will go towards funding the university’s mountain biking club, the Fox Fleet.

President of the Fox Fleet Harley Barker, along with the rest of the club will be participating in both races and getting involved in promoting the event. The club has had a long road that began with a group of students united by a passion. This year, thanks to Todd Goehner, University faculty member, co-founder of the Siloam Pedal’rs (Siloam’s mountain biking group) and the sponsor of the Fox Fleet, the club has become well known around campus and throughout the community. The club is in operation as an official club for the first year. Now, it consists of about 20 members and as expressed by Barker, they hope to get more people involved regardless of their experience level.

Goehner and the club, have played an essential role in the planning of the Ricochet race since it is a joint event with community’s pedal fest. Given this partnership, there are active hopes that the Ricochet race will promote the trail as well as bind the university’s passion for the sport with that of the community’s. “I hope more people in the community and JBU feel welcomed to ride the new trail” Barker said. “They [the mountain bikers in the community] bring experience and we bring a means of execution,” he said.

Steve Beers, owner representative for the construction of the trail, shares the same hopes as Barker and views the race as a means to unite an aspect of the students’ life to a similar aspect of the community’s life. After all, the trail was constructed due to a generous donation, and much like the sport itself, the right to enjoy it belongs to both, the University students and the community. “I hope this is an introduction to trail as well as a celebratory atmosphere where we can recognize this spectacular 170,000 dollar gift to the community.” Stated Dr. Beers