Two members of the Richfield Utah Mountain Bike Trails Committee, Daniel Hawley and Carson DeMille, made a presentation regarding the expansion of mountain bike trails in the valley during a Richfield Area Chamber of Commerce meeting, June 10.
“We anticipate the expansion of the trails will bring more and more people to the area to mountain bike,” DeMille said. “We have already held a few National Interscholastic Cycling Association competitions for high school racers in Glenwood over the past two years and had a great turn out.
“We currently have two races scheduled this fall.” DeMille said. “Each race is expected to bring approximately 1,500 racers into the valley. People who will be staying in hotels, dining at restaurants and spending money in our local economy.”
The first of the two NICA races is scheduled for the first weekend in September The second will take place in early October. While the actual races are one day, many riders will visit the weekend prior to the race or come in a day or two early to pre-ride the trail, according to DeMille.
The Glenwood trail currently has four to five miles developed and another four to five miles planned to go under construction by the end of the year. It is a single-track trail that is not too difficult and it is intended to be geared toward community riders, DeMille said.
“The trails on the mountains of Richfield provide more of an enduro style of riding,” Hawley said. “That means they have more technical rock type features in the trail. There are two crews currently working on the west trail. It will be approximately an 18- to 19-mile trail once complete.”
Similar to skiing, the trails are marked with colors – green, blue and black to indicate their level of difficulty on maps and at the kiosk located at the trailhead, according to Hawley.
“The history of our main bike trails goes back about 5-6 years when we formed a high school mountain biking team,” Hawley said. “We had a composite team of kids from Salina to Monroe of five racers our first year and were competing against teams consisting of 200 plus riders.
“This year we had over 40 riders sign up to participate,” Hawley said. “It has been an exciting thing to be a part of. We have some competing at a pretty high level and taking podiums now.”
Hawley said, we have always had quite a few trails in the valley, just not bike trails. NICA has been a large part of our success to building and now expand our local bike trail system.
Founded in 2009, NICA develops interscholastic mountain biking programs for student-athletes across the United States. The Utah league formed in 2012, but has grown to be the largest league in the country – upwards of 5,000 racers in the state and growing rapidly, according to Hawley.