A state league mountain bike race will be in Fort Scott on April 23.
Kansas NICA is coming to Gunn Park Trails!
The primary goal of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) is to get more kids on bikes, according to information from NICA. NICA provides opportunity for student athletes, 6th through the 12th grade, to compete in the growing sport of mountain biking, and develop the life-long skill of cycling.
Gunn Park will be closed April 23-24 to the Public
On April 24, Fort Scott’s wooded and hilly Gunn Park Trails will be one of the venues this year for the Kansas League of NICA. Setup will begin on Saturday, April 23, and Gunn Park will be closed for the weekend except to spectators, volunteers, and obviously participants.
Mountain biking IS for flatlanders too.
Mountain biking is synonymous with off-road biking/trail-riding, as opposed to paved or gravel trails. As long as you have elevation, rocks and dirt, you can have a trail, according to information provided by Frank Halsey, who is the liaison between the race organizers and The City of Fort Scott.
Halsey is an avid mountain bike rider and hosts other local mountain bike races in Gunn Park during the year. He initiated the trails in the park and started the Gunn Park Trails organization several years ago.
He was contacted by Tina Kahn, Director for Kansas NICA, about eight weeks ago, for permission to host a mountain bike race on Gunn Park Trails. He approached the city commission about “this great opportunity to showcase our local trails as well as the awesome hospitality of Fort Scott,” Halsey said, and the city commission approved.
“To host this type of event is an honor for our team of volunteers and tremendous opportunity for Fort Scott”, said Halsey. “The whole thing is very, very organized, and follows a 200-page rules and regulations book produced by the NICA. It’s kids, so they are ultra-careful about doing things safely and professionally”.
“It is quite the production,” he said. “Their infield/staging area is awesome with vendor and sponsor tents set up, everything fenced off, creating a pro-sport atmosphere. It’s all about the experience for the athletes.”
New Fort Scott Team Next Year?
“The nearest team is currently from the Pleasanton-Louisburg area, but I hope we can field a team next year,” Halsey said. “There are currently about 140 (Kansas) student athletes, making up eleven different teams from across the state.”
To learn more about the Kansas league: https://www.kansasmtb.org/
NICA’s Kansas League is asking for 40-50 volunteers to help with the event and one can sign up here: https://signup.com/go/oFWBuyG
To learn more: