This weekend, Baker Creek Preserve will see its first mountain bike race. Baker Creek Preserve is the newest 100-acre area of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness added by Legacy Parks Foundation. The National Interscholastic Cycling Association’s Tennessee League organized a statewide race with about 170 middle and high school competitors participating. Students will pre-ride the course on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. in preparation for the full race, which is on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Baker Creek Preserve will be closed to other riders during this time on Sunday, but everyone is encouraged to join in cheering for the students.
15 teams of students along with their families will come to Knoxville for this race from all across the state, plus a group from Kentucky. The local team, the Smoky Mountain Bears, will be ready to race with 15 students entered and support from their volunteer coach, Doug Sharp. Parents and fans will park at the 1516 Taylor Road entrance and cheer for the students at the start/finish line and along the race route.
Andrew Wagner, a board member for the Tennessee League of NICA explains the collaboration it takes to put on an event like this in the Urban Wilderness. “Legacy Parks Foundation and the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club are so helpful in supporting the NICA program and this event, said Wagner. “We all work well together, which is why these events turn out so well for our community.
After the race on Sunday, Harper’s Bike Shop will host a Santa Cruz mountain bike demo from 3 to 7 p.m. at Baker Creek Preserve. Students, parents, and community members are welcome to test out new mountain bikes and experience the Baker Creek Trails during this time.