Cumberland kids learn BMX and mountain biking

Every year, the Cumberland Community Schools Society (CCSS) offers both an after-school Mountain Bike Club and a BMX Club.

Cumberland is well known for its biking culture, the home of world-class single-track trails, the Coal Hills BMX track and numerous bike races and events.

Thanks to local businesses, organizations and individuals, the community’s passion for the sport is being shared with Cumberland kids.

Every year, the Cumberland Community Schools Society (CCSS) offers both an after-school Mountain Bike Club and a BMX Club. Through long-standing partnerships with the United Riders of Cumberland, Dodge City Cycles and the Coal Hills BMX track, students are given the opportunity to explore the local trails, or race laps at the track.

This past year over 30 students were enrolled in each program, with parent and community volunteers donating over 300 hours of their time to help make them happen.

This spring, the Cumberland Coal Cross and Trail Bicycles donated four new BMX bikes, helping to make this program even more accessible to Cumberland kids.

Lisa Ludwig and Curtis Saunders have been organizing the Cumberland Coal Cross, a cycle cross race, for the past four years. The race takes place in Cumberland, with a course set up at the Village Park and the BMX track.

The sport has been growing in popularity and the number of racers had doubled at last year’s event. Ludwig and Saunders decided to use the proceeds to help engage local youth in the sport of cycling and to promote longevity for future generations of racers.

Trail Bicycles pitched in by ordering and volunteering their time to build the bikes. The BMX bikes are now available for use during after-school programs and are stored at the track for kids to use during summer races.

To encourage kids and adults alike to try racing, Coal Hills offers a free first race to new riders, and now with the bikes on hand at the track anyone who wants to try racing can give it a try. The club has also recently acquired a selection of helmets and armour to loan with the bikes.

“This makes a significant impact to those getting into the sport for the first time and to those who can’t afford to buy new bikes and equipment, I can’t thank CCSS enough; you guys rock,” reacted Tony Henderson, president of Coal Hills BMX.

Coal Hills offers gate practice on Monday evenings and racing is Thursday nights all summer. Contact the club at 250-400-1816 for more information.

CCSS is a non-profit society that promotes life-long learning, health and wellbeing by providing programs and services to Cumberland residents. For more information, contact ccss.coordinator@gmail.com or find CCSS on Facebook.

— Cumberland Community Schools Society

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