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Mountain biking on the rise

Agility, strength and speed are all traits that are important when it comes to mountain bike racing.
Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 11:20 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Agility, strength and speed are all traits that are important when it comes to mountain bike racing. It’s a sport for all types of competitors.

”There’s like four girls on our team right now, which doesn’t really balance out with the boys, but they’re all really awesome. It’s fun to get new people into the sport to increase those numbers,” says Avah Cherry.

Cherry got involved in the sport with her younger sister Kylie, who’s an up-and-coming rider herself. Avah’s been sharpening her mountain bike racing skill for a while. The rising junior at West High has been competing in the sport since the sixth grade. On her start Cherry says, ”I first went to practice with the Smoky Mountain Bears which is the team I’m a part of now, I went to that practice in sixth grade, I just showed up and it was so cool and I’ve been part of the team since. There’s like a little bit of everything and what’s fun is that every trail is different.”

Cherry’s accolades include finishing in first place in her division for the overall season, but it’s more than just that for this prodigious peddler, it’s about a racing community that takes great pride in supporting each other she says, ”I love these people, they’re like my second family. Everyone in the biking community is so supportive too.”

This sport has built-in social distancing. If you’re a lot closer than six feet during a race, well, COVID-19 might not be what you have to worry about, says race organizer Chris Kimble, ”With mountain bike racing if you’re in the woods and closer than six feet behind somebody, you’re probably gonna crash, so you gotta distance yourself from the rider in front of you.”

If you’re interested in competing or just watching, there’s a Wednesday night mountain bike league in Knoxville. The ten race series moves around to different sites. They’ll be at Baker Creek on June 24th.

2020 Event Schedule:

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