Inaugural Mountain Bike Racing series coming to southern Illinois

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 4:57 PM CDT
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MAKANDA, Ill. (KFVS) - A series of mountain bike races in southern Illinois will make their inaugural debut on Friday, August 27.

Mountain bikers have spent the past several months gearing up and training on these new bike trails that opened in May 2021 at Touch of Nature.

“This has been a project I’ve been working on for seven years, so obviously to see this first race kick off is really exciting,” said Director of Touch of Nature JD Tanner.

Tanner said the racing series is open to participants of all ages.

“Thirteen and under for the kids category, 14-17 for the juniors and then 18 and older for those beginner, sport and expert categories,” he said.

The races kicking off next week will be the first of many of the Catalyst series this fall.

“We’re going to put on a nice little series of races here this fall, so August the 28, September the 18 and then November the 20,” he explained.

Competitors will need two things while participating: a mountain bike and a helmet.

The races will be divided into levels of experience for mountain bikers.

“Beginners would come and they would do a 10-and-a-half mile loop, sport you will do that loop twice and then our experts will do that loop three times,” Tanner said.

To participate in the race, it does cost a little. But that money goes right back into building more trails at Touch of Nature.

“It’s $35 for beginners, sports and experts. And then 15 for kids and then juniors,” he said.

The plan is to continue growing the race series.

“The race series will come back every year, and hopefully it’ll grow into a bigger and bigger event every year and we’ll see a whole bunch of community folks coming out and having fun,” Tanner explained.

Registration for the first race ends on August 26.

For more information, you can visit Touch of Natures website.

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