First published in the Lethbridge Herald Wednesday, November 27, 2019.
The Lethbridge 2020 Alberta Summer Games will be host to up to 72 riders competing in the exciting sport of cross-country mountain bike racing next July.
“Hurtling down a steep mountain track while dodging natural obstacles to beat the competition to the finish line offers an unparalleled adrenaline rush.” This is how Cycling Canada describes the sport of mountain biking.
“Racing requires fitness, smooth skills, flowing hair and a high pain tolerance,” according to the Alberta Bicycle Association
The Games racers will test their skills on trails behind the Lethbridge College on 20 to 40 minute courses. Each Zone team will consist of up to 9 athletes, males and females in U13, U15, and U17 categories.
Qualifier races will take place next spring to name the team to represent Zone 1 – Sunny South.
Lethbridge has several bike trails and park options for riders of all ages. The newest feature is in west Lethbridge, a bike pump track in the neighbourhood of Watermark at the Senator Joyce Fairbairn Middle School grounds.
The Lethbridge BMX Club’s track is next to Dave Elton Park off Stafford Drive North.
Visible from Whoop Up Drive, the Mountain Bike Park featuring jumps, pump track, and trick stunt areas. This public bike park is open year-round.
City of Lethbridge website writes “Initiated with the Coal Banks Trail, the Regional Trail System continues to grow. The trails are used by pedestrians, cyclists, runners, in-line skaters and people using wheelchairs. This paved trail system ties together neighbourhoods and major parks.
Four local volunteer run cycling organizations are dedicated to guide and develop cycling as a sport, active recreation and mode of transportation in Lethbridge.
The Bikebridge Cycling Association's mandate is to inspire, facilitate and celebrate cycling as a means of transportation in Lethbridge.
The Lethbridge Alberta Cycling Association serves to protect, develop, and promote the Lethbridge single-track trail network and the Mountain Bike Park. They are working with other coulee user groups to sanction and sign the existing recreational trail network.
Established in 1979, Lethbridge BMX is a bicycle motocross racing club that has a membership consisting of both male and female riders of all ages and abilities. Their website says, “If you can ride a bicycle without training wheels you can race.”
The Headwinds Cycling Club formed in 1986 to promote the sport of cycling in southern Alberta in all aspects and levels of bicycle road racing, touring, mountain biking, and triathlon. They host the annual Coulee Cruiser and Trailblazers Youth Racing in cooperation with the local cycling shops.
If you are interested in getting involved or learning more about cycling programs visit our online Sport Directory https://lethbridgesportcouncil.ca/sport-directory/sport/cycling
Throughout the year, Lethbridge Sport Council will publish articles about each of the 14 sports included in the 2020 Alberta Summer Games being hosted in Lethbridge from July 23 to 26.
For more local sport information visit www.lethbridgesportcouncil.ca