Community Service Mondays

21 10 2013
This afternoon members of the Mars Hill Cycling Team volunteered their afternoons to giving back to the community. At the beginning of the year, we mapped out goals we wanted to accomplish throughout the season, and giving back to the community and becoming more involved on campus were prioritized. Each rider is responsible for completing at least 15 hours of community service per semester. We decided that instead of taking the “day off”–like cyclists normally do on Mondays for recovery from racing and training–that we would dedicate our Mondays to community service projects. Today was our first official “Community Service Monday.”

Today one group traveled less than a mile from campus to Bailey Mountain to work on mountain bike and hiking trails. The other group went to Asheville to help Trips for Kids WNC’s Bicycle Thrift Shop.
The Bailey Mountain trails project was spearheaded by Mars Hill’s SGA president, Brady Adcock. The mission of the Bailey Mountain Foundation is to provide a trail system that encourages Madison County and Mars Hill residents to embark on outdoor exercise and adventure. Currently, the trail is roughly 2.5 miles to the top of Bailey Mountain. Eventually the trail will have various add-ons to make a full loop and connecting several trails within the area. For more information on the Bailey Mountain Foundation please click HERE.
The other half of the team traveled to Asheville to help Trips for Kid’s Bicycle Thrift Shop, located just outside of downtown Asheville.  The shop is a place where people in the cycling community can donate equipment, and when the equipment is sold, the money is used to give kids–who wouldn’t normally have the chance–opportunities to learn about and ride bikes.
We met Stephen Janes, owner and unit leader of the Asheville Trips for Kids branch.  We talked to him about the areas he serves in Asheville and the benefit of having the Bicycle Thrift Shop to supply additional support for the Trips for Kids program.  Meeting Stephen today opened my eyes to the value TFK’s brings to our community.  He inspired me to volunteer more of my time to help people in our community of Mars Hill.
Several wrenched on bikes to get them ready for sale while the rest of us sorted through shoes, tires, clothing, and other small equipment and assisted Stephen with organizing the store.  After working, we took some of the BMX bikes out to a mini pump track built right outside of the shop for a little fun on the bikes.  There was laughter, fun, and playing on mini BMX bikes on a mini pump track!  For more information about Trips for Kids and the Bicylce Thrift Store, please click here:
In conclusion, the team had a great day of bonding with one another and learning more about the people who work within our community.  Myself, and others on the team, find volunteerism very important to our cycling team because we care about the community around us who support our team and our school.   It feels good to be able to give back to the community to show that we care about more than just racing our bikes.  
I’m excited to see what the team’s next service project will be and to continue the fun experiences in service like we had today.
Additionally, I am very excited to race the national championships this weekend. I hear the weather is suppose to be a bit cold and wet (or snow). However, rain or shine, the team is motivated and inspired to do their best as always!
That’s all for now!
-Addy Albershardt



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