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Bike league holds events for youth
Kyra Snajkowski rides during a skills clinic for young bicyclers on a recent Saturday at Central Park. - photo by Autumn McBride

The Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department recently played host to the first event of the Georgia Youth Mountain Bike League at Central Park.

A small group of children ages 8 and older, as well as their families, learned about biking safety and techniques.

They also participated in a time trial event and group ride, said Matt Pate, the county’s outdoor recreation division manager.

“We decided instead of a mass-start race to do a time trial for the first two events,” Pate said.

“We wanted a semi-competitive, and a time trial allows an individual to race against themselves and the clock versus others.”

The Georgia Youth Mountain Bike League, or GYMBL, was started as a collective effort with the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association and the North Georgia Mountain Bike Club.

The organization hopes to provide a casual, semi-competitive environment for youth to learn about mountain biking, said Pate, who worked on the committee to get the group started.

Organizers hope the club will eventually provide a feeder group for nationally sanctioned, competitive high school mountain biking leagues, he said.

The group is the first of its kind in Georgia.

The inaugural event was earlier this month at Central Park. Two more sessions have been planned for this fall, including one in Dallas and one in Woodstock.

Pate said newcomers to the sport are welcome to attend and can even use one of 25 donated mountain bikes to begin.

“Part of the actual event is an educational component beforehand,” he said.

“That usually deals with bike maintenance, bike safety, bike handling and techniques.”