Summit Bike Club named best in the nation | ParkRecord.com

Summit Bike Club named best in the nation

Jeff Dempsey, The Park Record

If you are looking to join a mountain biking club, you could do a lot worse than Park City’s Summit Bike Club. In fact, according to USA Cycling, you could not do any better.

Last month, USA Cycling named the best cycling clubs in the country in 11 categories, with Summit Bike Club taking the honors as the best mountain biking club in the country. MJ Turner, president of the club, said he found out when he read the announcement just like everyone else.

"I saw it on Facebook," he said. "I was halfway expecting it but I still couldn’t believe it."

Summit Bike Club was founded in 2012 and has been a USAC member from the outset. A 501(c)(3) non-profit, the club is dedicated to helping young athletes develop into the best cyclists they can be. Turner said in the award entry application he USAC asked about club activities, membership composition, coaching and officiating, clinics they host — essentially a complete rundown on what clubs do.

In the awards announcement, USAC summarized Summit Bike Club thusly:

"The Summit Bike Club focuses on the cross-country discipline and with over 100 members it is able to accommodate a wide range of ages, from U13 to U23 and even a Master’s program. Although the group focuses on developing its riders, the club also held public clinics to help educate other riders in the mountain bike community as well as helping to promote the Nordic Valley Stage Race. Through all of this the club works on developing riders both on and off the bike. It has multiple programs to create progression for juniors and this has paid off through its riders competing for national titles as well as attending Worlds as part of Team USA. As one of the few Mountain Bike Clubs in Utah, Summit has created its own place in the local community."

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Turner said the club’s membership was ecstatic at the news.

"Everyone in the club was very excited," he said. "Lots of congratulations going around at our various winter trainings, too."

Turner said the tangible benefit of the award is modest — Summit’s USAC membership for 2016 is paid for, and they received a trophy — but the intangible benefit is priceless. Turner sees it as validation for years of hard work.

"It is an indicator that we are going along the right path and making something that is helping develop young athletes into the best they can," he said. "All while keeping riding fun and creating a healthy, lifelong sport. It helps bring confirmation of our goals, and shows to our supporters that we are doing something bigger for the community."

Turner said the award is a testament to the dedication of all the people involved.

"We couldn’t be more thankful for our board, coaches, athletes and parents who have believed in us and worked so hard to help us achieve this designation," he said. "We’d also like to thank our local sponsors Park City Orthodontics, Competitive Cyclist, and Storm Cycles for their continued support."

Registration for the 2016 season is currently active, with an early registration discount through the end of December. Summit Bike Club’s annual fundraiser, the 6-hour Wasatch 360 mountain bike race, is scheduled for May 28. More information about Summit Bike Club can be found at SummitBikeClub.org.