Summit Bike Club
Pedaling Progress for Kids and Dirt
Eighteen-year-old Sienna Leger Redel commutes from Park City to Salt Lake City for classes at Westminster College. Her schedule is hectic. Her load is heavy. But as soon as she’s home, she dumps the weight of her responsible decisions and rides dirt.
“Biking is like freedom to me,” she says. “I can go out and ride wherever I want. It makes me happy. I can come home from a long day of school, go for a ride and feel good again.”
The Club’s Start
Leger Redel’s dad initially taught her to ride, but when the Summit Bike Club was created, she knew she wanted more than just family bike rides.
“I always wanted to race my bike,” she says. “I got caught up in it. It’s so much fun to race with other people and see how you compare. If Summit hadn’t started, I would have found something else, but it wouldn’t have been as great as what Summit has done for riders just starting out.”
Leger Redel joined Summit Bike Club in 2012, the year MJ Turner started the mountain bike club in Park City. The sport was growing. More trails were opening and MJ’s little brother Matthew was riding well enough to race competitively. MJ wanted to help him make the circuit.
“Everyone learns how to ride a bike,” says MJ Turner, Summit Bike Club founder and president. “But there’s more you can do with a bike than that.”
The Club’s Growth
From commuting to competing, Summit Bike Club is teaching riders up to age 23 how to make biking part of their lifelong exercise routine. Members pay dues, and the club also hosts races like Wasatch 360 as fundraisers. The club started with one 12-member group in Park City. Now there are 15 clubs in Utah and two in Texas with talk of expansion.
“We want to grow and help more kids get on bikes,” Turner says. “The struggle is, how do we maintain our brand and allow new location expansion? We need to make sure the right coaches and curriculum are in place so kids in Utah are learning the same things as kids in Texas.”
The Club’s Reward
The Summit brand includes opportunities for all riders whether they want to enjoy the sport close to home or travel the world. Leger Redel does both while making friends along the way. She’s traveled with them to races in Canada, Europe and across the United States.
“I have lifelong friends all around Utah,” she says. “Some of my greatest friends are on my team. That’s how we met. We ride together and we race together.”
And they endure together. Summit spends a lot of time teaching riders to push their physical and mental abilities while also competing with good sportsmanship.
“We have kids with goals of going to the Olympics. Some go to world championships,” Turner says. “Seeing kids grow on the bike and achieve their dreams is just enjoyable.”