DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
BURNET — The epicenter of Texas high school mountain biking erupts at Reveille Peak Ranch when the facility hosts the second races of the season March 24.
“Right now, we’re expecting 80 riders, which would be the most in Texas for a high school (mountain-biking) race,” said David DeFily, coach and organizer of the Highland Lakes Composite Team. “The sport is really picking up here in Texas.”
The Texas High School Mountain Biking League formed in 2010 to promote the sport and organize races and other events. About 74 riders participated in the league’s first races of the season, the Rocky Hill Rampage on March 10 in Smithville.
Alex DeFily, the coach’s son, finished 12th out of 29 racers in the freshmen/sophomore boys race. Now, the Faith Academy freshman’s attention is focused on his “home course” at Reveille Peak Ranch.
“One of the reasons we started (the team) was because we have Reveille Peak Ranch, and it’s a great place to ride,” David DeFily said. “My son is riding all the time out there.”
When DeFily looked into the high school mountain bike-racing scene, neither he nor his son really knew any youth from Burnet or Marble Falls high schools, but decided to form a team. As a composite squad, members can attend any of the area schools.
“I’d really like to get more kids involved,” DeFily said. “Right now, we have two, possibly three, riders for this race, which is great. We really want to grow the program for next year.”
At Reveille Peak Ranch, located at 105 CR 114 west of Burnet, the racing begins at 10 a.m. with the girls varsity event, followed by junior varsity girls at 10:05 a.m. and freshmen/sophomore girls at 10:10 a.m.
The boys’ races start at 11:40 a.m. for varsity, 11:45 a.m. for junior varsity and 11:50 a.m. for freshmen and sophomores.
The course weaves around the ranch for six miles. Riders complete two to four laps, depending on their division (varsity boys do four while freshmen/sophomore boys and girls do two).
“If people are interested in the sport or getting involved, I think they’ll be impressed if they come out and just watch it Sunday,” DeFily said.
After the Reveille Peak Ranch event, riders have two more races: the Dinosaur Duel on April 14 in Glen Rose and the State Championships on May 5 in Huntsville.
Anybody interested in racing or volunteering with the Highland Lakes Composite Team may call DeFily at (830) 798-7154. For more information on Texas high school mountain biking, go to www.texasmtb.org.