Marines

Bicycling club scheduled to host ride through Camp Lejeune’ trails

1 Oct 2012 | Lance Cpl. Scott W. Whiting

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is full of running, biking and hiking trails throughout the installation providing base patrons a vast array of outdoor activities.

Down East Cyclists, a local mountain biking club, and Marine Corps Community Services – Outdoor Adventures are co-sponsoring a bike ride through one of these trails for national Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day Oct. 6.

Down East Cyclists consists of approximately 260 members primarily from the Jacksonville area who share a passion for biking. Service members and civilians alike form the members of the club. The club hosts numerous events to promote cycling in the eastern North Carolina area.

The trail for this specific event is approximately four miles in length and was built by the cycling club, which was completed in April this year.

“We got permission to build a trail in May 2011 and began work on it as a club by December,” said Jeff LeBlanc, a mountain biking coordinator with the club. “We built it by ourselves, and the only electric tools we used were weed whackers.”

Last year’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day ride was in Wilmington, N.C., but the club decided to have this year’s event aboard the base to attract more service members.

“This year, the emphasis is on military families,” said Diane LeBlanc, president of Down East Cyclists. “They’re really trying to promote mountain biking among military families and raise awareness about these families to other people involved in cycling.”

The ride is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and last until through 2 p.m. Different riding leaders will guide children and parents of all biking abilities, so everyone can have an enjoyable experience.

The event is free for anyone participating. The only requirements are everyone must bring their own bike and helmet.

“Training wheels will not work in these trails,” said Jeff LeBlanc. “Riding through them is not the same as riding on the road. For this reason, we require everyone to be able to ride on two wheels.”

Operation Compassion, an organization dedicated to supporting military families, donated two mountain bikes to be raffled off at the event. Every young boy and girl will receive one ticket, and a winner will be announced after the ride.

There will also be food and beverages provided for patrons. An obstacle course will be set up for children to ride through as well.

The meeting place the day of the ride the 2nd Medical Battalion’s Preventative Medicine Unit building on Holcomb Boulevard before the intersection at Old Sawmill Road.

“Our plan is to promote cycling with the military families here on base,” said Diane. “It’s nice to have an activity or hobby that can be enjoyed wherever the Marine Corps may take someone.”

For more information about the mountain bike ride, contact Jeff or Diane LeBlanc at dleblanc@nccumc.org or ncleblancs@ec.rr.com.