Spread the love

A staff report

Photos by Noelia Hatchell

February waved goodbye with a flurry of excitement as bike enthusiasts descended upon the charming town of Elizabethtown to relish in the thrill of the Brown’s Creek Bike Trail. The North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League orchestrated a weekend “Beach Bash,” drawing in high schoolers whose passion lies in pedaling through picturesque landscapes.

From the moment the weekend kicked off, the park buzzed with energy. Tents sprung up like colorful mushrooms, families reveled in the joys of “Mother Nature’s Playground,” and the park soon reached its bustling capacity.

The North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League isn’t just about bikes; it’s a youth development program that harnesses the power of cycling to shape confident and responsible young adults. Their mantra is clear: promoting healthy and active lifestyles while ensuring inclusivity and safety for all, regardless of skill level.

Thursday and Friday set the stage as youth cyclists, accompanied by their devoted fans and families, trickled in from all corners of the state. Some set up camp at the park or Lock & Dam #2, while others opted for the comfort of nearby accommodations like the Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery or the cozy Elizabethtown Inn

Saturday sauntered in at a leisurely pace, with riders enjoying the trails and indulging in a few friendly games in the infield. But Sunday was the crescendo, kicking off with opening ceremonies attended by some esteemed members of the Elizabethtown Town Council. From 9 am to about 4 pm, the races roared on, culminating in a triumphant award ceremony where the top student-athletes claimed their well-deserved medals.

Acknowledgments were due, particularly to Cape Fear SORBA, the guardians of the Browns Creek Bike Trail whose dedication continues to lure tourists to the area.

Brian Russell, Director of Cape Fear SORBA, had high hopes that the weekend’s festivities in Bladen County would ignite a spark in local youth to form their own teams. Among the spirited competitors were teams like Onslow County Composite, Cape Fear Composite, Fayetteville Composite, and Pitt County Composite, all showcasing the breadth of talent and camaraderie fostered by the league.

Established in 2015, the North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League is on a mission to instill a lifelong love for cycling in students across grades 6 to 12. Guided by the principles of fun, inclusivity, equity, respect, and community, the league endeavors to create conscientious, empowered cyclists who embrace the outdoors with gusto.

The league’s recent affiliation with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association marks a significant milestone in its journey, underscoring its growth and commitment to youth development.

Looking ahead, the Salisbury Scramble awaits on March 16-17, 2024, at Salisbury Community Park. With the theme “Adventure is Out There,” the event promises a weekend of thrills, including a movie night and a chance to give back through Teen Trail Corps trail work.

Registration for the Salisbury Scramble closes on March 10th, so mark your calendars and gear up for another unforgettable biking adventure with the North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League.

For those keen on maintaining the Brown’s Creek Bike Park or starting a local team, Brian Russell is just an email away at brian@northcarolinamtb.org. Interested parties can also explore opportunities to join the league’s vibrant community at https://northcarolinamtb.org/join-the-team/.

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