Special to the One Feather
The Gadusi Bike Community was founded by Jones-Bowman Fellow Levi West in 2019. Each Jones-Bowman LAP fellow must complete a leadership goal as well as a cultural goal and have $4000 to accomplish these goals. As a leadership goal, West had a desire to share his love of mountain biking with the community for good reason.
Mountain Biking is a passion that is a form of therapy for some, exercise for others. With the installation of the Fire Mountain Trail system the number of local enthusiasts has grown. West recognized the expense that comes with biking. The spark emitted, and he formed the Gadusi Bike Community to help beginners understand fundamental skills, bike equipment, and safety tips. With the $4,000, he purchased bikes and helmets for people who want to try mountain biking.
Over the past two years riders of all ages have come out for group rides that are announced on the public Facebook page, “Gadusi Bike Community”. The growth of the community over the past two years is what keeps him motivated.
West states that there has been a core group of riders, but he has seen the passion grow through the core group and is evidenced by the new riders. Once something catches on others begin to take notice. “The local bike community started out small but grew as we ran into each other on the trail. Each person brought someone new to the trails and we were introduced and eventually started riding together when we could.”
He explained, “The goal of the Facebook page was to open the door to anyone who was interested in riding but had no experience or bike to ride. I wanted people to be able to message and show up at the trails and I would have everything they needed (bike, helmet, gloves, snacks, etc.). After riding the trails on the loaner bikes a couple people have already made the decision to get themselves a bike and I love seeing and being a part of that.”
West added, “Every person that rides has the same helpful mentality and just want locals to see what a great trail system we have here and how fun it is. Not only is it fun, but it is a healthy hobby that could benefit our people. The camaraderie is what I enjoy most about our bike community and I encourage anyone that want to see what it is all about to reach out to the Facebook page. There will be a group ride Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. starting soon so keep an eye out.”
The Jones-Bowman Leadership Award Program is a program under the Ray Kinsland Leadership Institute, a department of the Cherokee Boys Club. It is funded by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation.