Moun­tain Bik­ing Hard But Fun

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - COMMUNITY - By Lynn Kut­ter

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.”

LYNN KUT­TER EN­TER­PRISE-LEADER

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.

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