SLiP and RiDE: Mountain biking relay racers support county trails
SILVER LAKE — A mountain biking relay race Saturday at Silver Lake Park started with a sledding, rather than a shotgun, start.
Teams of three raced down the hill on toboggans, saucers and body boards where they boarded their mountain bikes and rode as many laps as possible in three hours.
More than 80 people took part in the 2nd Annual SLiP and RiDE event, sponsored by the Kenosha Area Mountain Biking Association , to raise money for trail improvements countywide.
Among the participants were Brody Flament and Colten Pasarella, both 14, of Wadsworth, Ill., and Logan Powers, 12, of Racine. The three friends are on a mountain biking team.
“This is where we practice,” Powers said.
Their team helps maintain the trails they use and the boys wanted to take part in Saturday’s race as a way to give back to an organization that helped develop the trail.
Kerry Gonzalez, a KAMBA member who helped organize the event, said it was born out of a longstanding tradition to have winter races at the park. Last year was the first year it was officially named SLiP and RiDE and hosted by the newly formed association.
Raffles and a chili cookoff were also part of the event, with prizes awarded for best chili and the fastest riders and team.
JT Robinson, trails coordinator for Kenosha County Parks, said the mountain biking trails in the county would not be possible without the help of KAMBA members.
“Volunteers like these are what makes the trails possible,” Robinson said.
Lance David, a KAMBA board member, said the association formed a little over a year ago to help groom trails, some of which had issues with standing water. They build a 70-foot-long boardwalk at Silver Lake Park to provide a path across the wettest section of the trail.
David said the association is now building a fund and group of riders who are interested in helping build mountain biking trails at Petrifying Springs Park.
Robinson said the county is in the process of designing the trail system for Petrifying Springs with the help of KABA.
KABA meets at 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month at the Kenosha County Center at highways 45 and 50. The mission of the non-profit group is to create, enhance and preserve trail experiences for mountain bikers in Kenosha County, and to create a bicycle-friendly community, advocate for safe riding and promote bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation.
There are more than 10 miles of trails at Silver Lake Park. The trails are designed for beginning and intermediate riders and are groomed in the winter. The trails are also used as “home” trails for local high school mountain biking teams.