Mountain Biking Hard But Fun
LINCOLN — Lincoln High School’s mountain biking team presented the program for last week’s meeting of Lincoln Area Kiwanis Club.
This is the second year for the team, and the group placed first out of 16 teams at the state championship races of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association’s Arkansas mountain biking league for the small school division.
Courtney Jones, high school principal, serves as one of the coaches for the team but her husband is the head coach.
The first year the team had five students. This year, it has seven students and Jones hopes more students will try it for the 2019 season. The bikers race on Sunday afternoons and practice on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Their races were held in Siloam Springs, Bentonville, Hot Springs and then the state race at Eureka Springs.
Four of the team members talked about the sport and what it has meant to them.
Kevin Williams, a junior, said he figured out this year that being competitive in the sport can be described in one way: “It’s tiring.”
The kids talked about the biking community and how mountain bikers from the different teams help each other out and support each other. They have enjoyed becoming friends with each other and making friends from other teams.
Serenity Millwood is the only girl on the team and she said it’s been hard at times “to keep up with the boys.” For the races, girls compete against girls and boys compete against boys.
Jones said all the team members have been injured in different ways, such as bumps, bruises and scrapes. Nothing serious, she noted.
Teams and team members score points based on their placement in a race and their time. All bikers have to be able to fix their own bike if something happens to it during a race. They also can earn extra points by volunteering at the races.
Most races are a 4- to 6-mile loop that has curves and goes up and down hills. The off-road trails are grass, dirt, rock or mud, depending on the weather. The state race was brutal, Jones said, because it was 12 miles long with one section that had an extended elevation of 2,000 feet.
Despite the hard work, all four said they are glad to be a part of the team.
“It’s something I can say, I did that,” Serenity said. “I’m proud of it.”
Courtney Jones, principal of Lincoln High School, left, stands with members of the school’s mountain bike riding team: Serenity Millwood, Dalton Lankford, Kevin Williams and Chase Hutchens. The team talked about their sport at the Lincoln Area Kiwanis Club meeting last week.