Urban mountain biking arrives in Chattanooga's East Lake neighborhood

Photo courtesy Pedal Up / Participants in the first Pedal Up mountain biking program at the Boys & Girls Club in Dalton are pictured with club CEO Robbie Slocumb and Linda Schejola of the Schejola Foundation.

Of the 750 kids ages 6-18 who go to the East Lake location of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chattanooga, some now see themselves as mountain bikers for the first time, thanks to the recent addition of an urban mountain bike track and launch of a Pedal Up mountain biking program through the club.

"Very few of the kids that live in East Lake have ever really been on a mountain bike, let alone have ridden on a mountain bike course," says BGCC CEO Jim Morgan.

The course, which was expected to be complete in May, features two loops - inner and outer - with on- and off-ramps, and includes a pump track and a faster track to allow kids to practice different skills, says Brad Cobb, a community volunteer and cycling enthusiast who is heading up the project with Pedal Up Executive Director Jason Finnell.