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Local mountain biking clubs prosper
by JOSH McFADDEN
Aug 16, 2017 | 1879 views | 1 1 comments | 77 77 recommendations | email to a friend | print

BOUNTIFUL--With the nearby Wasatch Mountain and various other locations across the state, mountain biking is a popular activity for local residents. There’s enough of an interest in Davis county, in fact, to field three high school clubs. 

The Bountiful High School mountain biking club is part of the Utah High School Cycling league, which itself belongs to the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. Founded in 2009, Bountiful’s club continues to attract members of all skill and experience levels. Bo Foreman coaches Bountiful, which is one of three South Davis clubs, along with Woods Cross and Viewmont. Jon Lowe coaches the Viewmont club; Keith Heaton oversees the Woods Cross club. Bill Erickson is director over all three teams. Half of the NICA teams are in Utah, which is led by executive director Lori Howard.

“You get one person who loves it, and that person spreads the word,” Foreman said. “It keeps growing and growing. [Howard] has done an amazing job.”

Foreman started coaching the Bountiful team five years ago because two of his daughters were involved. Today Foreman trains more than 70 riders who make up the seventh- to eighth-grade team as well as freshman, sophomore, JV and varsity squads. 

“It’s growing big,” Foreman said about the club. “It’s fun. I feel like it’s making a difference in a sport people can do for a lifetime.”

Prior to July 1, the club can practice a total of eight times. Once July gets under way, the team typically practices once or twice a week in Bountiful, Park City and at Snowbasin ski resort. The season then begins, with the club participating in races every other Saturday in places such as Moab, Cedar City, Snowbasin, Power Mountain, Vernal and St. George. 

Two of Foreman’s racers, Josh Petersen and Lance Heaton, have displayed remarkable skill at recent events. Petersen, 17, placed 11th at nationals, while Heaton participated in the Tour of Ireland in road biking 

“These are extremely dedicated athletes who are very support of other riders and age groups,” Foreman said. “They are awesome to coach.”

Foreman also praises his team members’ families for their continual support. Its through their donations and help from the community that the club is able to exist.

Foreman welcomes anyone to the club who has an interest in mountain biking. He coaches young men and young women ranging from nationally competitive (such as Petersen and Heaton) to those who have never been on a mountain bike before.

“We have ride leaders to meet kids at their level,” Foreman said. He also said that all NICA coaches must pass a background check.

The club has grown mostly through word of mouth and through his own marketing efforts, which consists of hanging fliers throughout the community.

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mjvande
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August 17, 2017
Introducing children to mountain biking is CRIMINAL. Mountain biking, besides being expensive and very environmentally destructive, is extremely dangerous. Recently a 12-year-old girl DIED during her very first mountain biking lesson! Another became quadriplegic at 13! Serious accidents and even deaths are commonplace. Truth be told, mountain bikers want to introduce kids to mountain biking because (1) they want more people to help them lobby to open our precious natural areas to mountain biking and (2) children are too naive to understand and object to this activity. For 600 examples of serious accidents and deaths caused by mountain biking, see http://mjvande.info/mtb_dangerous.htm.

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996: http://mjvande.info/mtb10.htm . It's dishonest of mountain bikers to say that they don't have access to trails closed to bikes. They have EXACTLY the same access as everyone else -- ON FOOT! Why isn't that good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking....

A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and that science supports that view. Of course, it's not true. To settle the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited, and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see http://mjvande.info/scb7.htm ). I found that of the seven studies they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

Those were all experimental studies. Two other studies (by White et al and by Jeff Marion) used a survey design, which is inherently incapable of answering that question (comparing hiking with mountain biking). I only mention them because mountain bikers often cite them, but scientifically, they are worthless.

Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches kids that the rough treatment of nature is okay (it's NOT!). What's good about THAT?

For more information: http://mjvande.info/mtbfaq.htm .
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