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home : sports : sports May 29, 2016

5/14/2013 12:38:00 PM
Outlaws compete at Chainbreaker
Outlaws Cycling hit the start line for the club’s inaugural race on Saturday. photo by Jim Williams
+ click to enlarge
Outlaws Cycling hit the start line for the club’s inaugural race on Saturday. photo by Jim Williams

Kyle Martin focuses on the trail ahead in Chainbreaker action. photo by Jim Williams
+ click to enlarge
Kyle Martin focuses on the trail ahead in Chainbreaker action. photo by Jim Williams

By Jim Williams

It's been said that life isn't so much about the destination but the journey. The same thing could be said for a mountain bike race. The grueling events test strength, endurance, and the mental fortitude to finish when the mind starts to write a check the body can't quite cash.

Created by Coach Brett Miller and assistant coach Warren Rice, Outlaw Cycling participated in its first mountain bike race of the season last Saturday at the long-running Cascade Chainbreaker west of Bend. In its initial season, Outlaw Cycling is a club sport in part sponsored by Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD) and a slew of local sponsors that draws youth from the community to a team sport that is uniquely individual.

"This is a club sport through SPRD, but we're naming it 'Outlaw' as it's all Sisters High School kids. But the thing is, they're not racing in an interscholastic series, which is a high school series," said Miller. "These kids are going to be racing the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) series, so what this does is enables them to have their own card to start with as a junior racer, and from now on through their adult life they will always have the same license from OBRA so they'll be able to keep all their races tracked, and their rankings.

"With the interscholastic series you lose that when you leave high school so this empowers them to keep racing when they leave high school, and not lose anything. And the thing is, too, it's a great fit for the kids who really don't like any of the traditional high school sports. And this is a lot more entertaining sport because you aren't racing other people; you're racing the clock, your mental toughness, and against your own time."

Currently with a squad of five racers, Miller is expecting more students to join the club once spring sports end at Sisters High School. Of the five members, four were on hand for the race on Saturday, including 14-year-old freshman Tully Henderson; freshman Kyle Martin, 15; sophomore Caleb Johnson, 16; and 17-year-old junior Cooper Gould. All were participating in their first competitive race.

The team was very impressive in its first outing. Gould and Tully took first place in their respective categories, and Martin claimed second in his. Living up to the race's name, Johnson was a victim of a broken chain after getting off to a fast start.

Races are scheduled in Florence, Eugene, Mt. Hood, and other locales around Central Oregon, including the Sisters Stampede on Memorial Day Weekend.SPRD has provided access to a van and bike trailer to help shuttle the team from race to race. In addition to SPRD, the team receives support from the Sisters Trails Alliance, Black Butte Ranch, and Blazin Saddles bike shop.

"Black Butte Ranch was nice enough to hook us up with jerseys this year, and Blazin Saddles has been completely amazing," Miller said. "The hardest part of the whole game is a bike; it's very expensive, but when you think Sisters kids naturally have mountain bikes and they're race bikes. And even those who don't have bikes who are wanting to come in, they make them a deal and work it out later."

Miller said he expects to see another 11 students join the club in the next few weeks. And with the increasing popularity of the sport he also foresees today's middle school students being future club members.

For more information on Outlaw Cycling, visit the club on Facebook or contact SPRD at 541-549-2091.

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