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January 27, 2023

11/18/2022 10:53:00 AM
Cycling Association gives Chisago mountain bike team coach top recognition
Coach Boyle at an event with CL racer Kyle Hamlin.
Coach Boyle at an event with CL racer Kyle Hamlin.

Mountain bike teams have proliferated in Minnesota high schools since the early- 2000’s and Chisago Lakes Area High School organized its first team in 2016. Now, all across the state,   the fall sport is operating under a full slate of four meets and a state contest wraps-up the season.  

There ‘s about 10 to a dozen grade six through 12 riders on each team, according to the biking association website.  Courses are on natural terrain, covering hills and valleys, and racing is done in wet and dry conditions.

For the relatively young program, it was a thrill when Wildcat team members learned that their coach, Jesse Boyle, won this year’s honor of being named Coach of the Year, by the MN Cycling Association.  

Boyle is notable for his dedication to youth pursuing cycling.  

He volunteers as a “rover” even when his team isn’t on the roster for an event,  because he is a true ambassador for the sport, his selection statement reads.  “He loves getting kids on bikes,” the nomination statement declares.

Boyle helped start the team from scratch and the association  selection materials go on to say, “His positive attitude and enthusiasm for the kids and the sport have nurtured a close and supportive team culture among student-athletes, coaches and parents.”

The Wildcat team has students from beyond the district boundary.  Home-schooled students and riders from surrounding districts lacking a mountain biking program join in.  Not surprisingly, two riders who are related to Maklin Bike Shop, in Shafer, are team standouts.  Reid Hamlin took first place in the overall 7th grader division and Kyle Hamlin, a ninth grader, won fifth place overall.

Kyle keeps in shape over the winter by connecting his bike through a cycling gaming app,  that is attached to an indoor biking trainer so he can ride virtual courses with other on-line riders.

There may news to share shortly on a proposal for a mountain biking course at a county park.  

County Parks Director Joe Tart said there may be an announcement coming on the two-to-three mile layout for a course at Ki Chi Saga County Park.  The facility is included in a multi-point proposal that the Chisago County Administrative Department is overseeing in connection to ARPA monies.  

Specific appropriations continue to be under review but Ki Chi Saga is in line with Checkerboard Park structural projects as well as a trail connection from the Swedish Immigrant Trail to Lakeside School, in Chisago City, as part of the future Highway 8 reconstruction and expansion work.

Tart was not prepared to make an announcement this week,  but he hopes to know more about the county park mountain bike course soon.

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