Socorro hosted its first youth mountain bike race, the Lasso Loop Lineup on Saturday, Sept. 30. The competition included 14 teams from all over New Mexico and one team from Texas, for a total of 119 students, sixth to 12th grade.
The New Mexico Interscholastic Cycling association was created last year and has grown from two annual events to four. The program is unique in that it focuses on family and allows parents to ride with their kids during practice.
“Yes, our program has racing, but our focus is on youth development through mountain biking. Community over competition. We are helping our youth develop strong bodies, minds, character, and communities through cycling,” Mary Grow, director of New Mexico Interscholastic Cycling association, said.
The 4.1 mile race course, east of the Rodeo Complex, was created in collaboration with Socorro Trails volunteer group and the City of Socorro earlier this year.
“The City of Socorro and Socorro Trails stepped up in a big way to create this space for our youth,” Grow, said. Grow explained that she reached out to Rob Selina, Socorro Trails coordinator, in February of this year about Socorro potentially hosting a youth mountain bike race. Selina was able to put together a proposal to the city that would meet all the race requirements and in March the city approved the budget and the help requested. Socorro Trails volunteer group then developed the trail for September’s event.
“The event was amazing,” Grow said. “My hope for the future is that we have more students and families join us and participate in our amazing community.”
New Mexico National Interscholastic Cycling Association is a volunteer nonprofit with a mission to get more kids and families on bikes to spend time together outside. They have also developed a scholarship fund in which they have issued 54 scholarships this year and another 17 full scholarships with a partnership with Trek Bikes.
For more information about the program please go to www.newmexicomtb.org