By MJ Turner with Mark Deterline – Junior mountain biking has been growing very quickly in the Beehive State because of the Utah High School League, and as soon as those kids enter college, there is suddenly nothing to keep them on bikes and following a healthy lifestyle. The league is doing a phenomenal job at getting kids riding, with over 2,000 participants this year; that’s proof positive.
With that many kids now being introduced to the sport, why hasn’t collegiate cycling become organized to allow young athletes ongoing participation? It’s my goal to make well organized competitive collegiate cycling happen in Utah, and keeping our young people on bikes.
In the last few months, USA Cycling has demonstrated a newfound determination to assist in the building of an Intermountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (IMCCC); they brought me onto the conference board. I also was recently hired by Westminster College to lead their cycling program beginning fall of 2017; it has been in the works for the last couple of years and has now come together.
To make collegiate cycling happen, we must work together as a community, just like we did for the Utah NICA league. I’ve already started putting together a tentative mountain bike calendar for 2017, with four races across the state. This is a great start, but only a start. I have learned a lot by attending some of the Colorado collegiate races last year, and by talking with college students at Colorado schools — learning how their clubs are being run.
How can you help? What are the next steps?
• Email me at [email protected] so I can add you to my list of supporters.
• Talk about the effort to jumpstart the IMCCC with your friends, and get them to become a part of the supporter list.
• Attend our meetings to discuss goals, planning and tasks.
• Become a member of one of our school committees to help reduce the workload on students’ shoulders.
• Get student athletes to join our collegiate cycling program.
• Encourage school employees to take action to support the program.
• Take inspiration from the NICA success to create a sustainable collegiate league that organizes races and provides resources to build sustainable student-run clubs.
Please help; you will never regret it. Here’s my contact Information:
MJ Turner, President, Collegiate Cycling League and Westminster College Cycling Coach