Two of our very own UrbanTrekkers Mountain Bikers joined the Delaware Dirt Destroyers in Gettysburg, PA for their first competition!
Here are some highlights to their very muddy weekend through the eyes of Carolyn, our UrbanTrekkers Director and Mountain Bike Coach.
Two of our bikers got to preview the race course on Saturday. The route was winding, rocky, rooty, grassy, and hilly, but our riders were well prepared and had done tougher courses in practice, so it was definitely very doable in the sunny weather we had that day. Both rode well and finished strong over two laps, which gave them a boost of confidence about the following day’s race.
Camping with the whole Delaware Dirt Destroyers team was a lot of fun. Cooking and eating outdoors, circling around the campfire, exploring the campgrounds, and sleeping in tents… these mountain bike race weekends are definitely not just about biking!
We had the opportunity to visit Gettysburg Battlefield – a fascinating and solemn experience. We visited the two ridges where the Union and Confederate armies were encamped just a mile or so apart from each other, and history really became real when we looked out over the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. We’re blessed that Coach Marc (one of our volunteers) is not just a talented mountain biker and coach, but a knowledgeable history enthusiast. It was a memorable visit.
And… race day! It rained all night and on-and-off all day, making the course a muddy ride in the best parts, and a swampy “hike-your-bike” in the worst parts. One of our bikers raced in the JV2 category, and finished strong even when many other riders could not finish. It was amazing to see him pushing and pedaling for well over an hour, and then crossing the finish line completely caked in mud – the exertion and relief and pride of which, I’m sure he’ll never forget. Our second biker’s race was cancelled mid-way through the day, which was disappointing, but by that point the course had gotten to be unrideable. He was fired up and said he was ready to carry his bike the whole way if necessary, which probably would have been the case!
This weekend felt like the culmination of half a season’s worth of consistent growth for our athletes, and I am inspired by their grit and positive attitudes. Furthermore, it was clear to see fruit borne from all the labor, commitment, and vision of so many people in UrbanPromise and Delaware Dirt Destroyers who have brought this program off the ground. God has truly blessed us abundantly.The season is far from over though! We have a couple of more races coming up and are looking forward to conquering the next course!
UrbanTrekkers activities like these, and the support of our Mountain Bike Team are possible through volunteers and donors, like you!
If you would like to volunteer, you can fill out the application HERE
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