Oak Mountain State Park was visited by more than 300 racers competing in the 26th annual Bump N’ Grind mountain bike racing events over the labor day.
The event was put on by the Birmingham Urban Mountain Peddlers, who built and maintain more than 50 miles of trails at the park for recreation and competition use
With races for children and adults of all skill levels, the two-day event provided healthy and safely distanced recreation for those tired of being quarantined in their houses.
Despite concerns from the pandemic the race was still able to move forward successfully and nearly achieved their attendance from years prior, according to BUMP President Jeff Rozycki.
Rozycki said.” We were pleasantly surprised with how everyone handled social distancing and other guidelines. With that and the beautiful weather, it was a great weekend overall.”
The race kicked off on Saturday with children’s and unicycle races, as well as other mostly downhill races. On Sunday, the more advanced cross country style races took place.
This was not only a great opportunity for mountain bikers to continue in their craft but for those looking to get out and have safe family friend fun..
“The attendance shows that people are wanting to get out and be healthy,” Rozdiyck said. The go a little stir-crazy being locked up at home for so long., and competitive bikers are excited to actually be able to get out and compete as part of a point paying series.”
The race typically helps earlier in the year but due to COVID_19 restrictions and guidelines, the race has to be postponed while many other organizations canceled their races outright.
Actually being able to manifest the event despite these odds provides not only funding for BUMP, but an invaluable opportunity for outdoor recreation.
“We consider canceling the race altogether, Rozkey said,. ‘However, we received many responses from people who want an option to get out and race. Once we reached a certain number of people where we could hold a successful event we decided to move ahead”
As a nonprofit, BUMP relies on donations and proceeds from events like this to help further its mission of building and maintaining trails at Oak Mountain State Park. So, a successful event like this allows them to continue this work.
“We appreciate all the racers who came out, all of our sponsors and our volunteers,” Rozycki said.” Without everyone involved, we would be able to hold the event. We all really had a great time”
Depending on how the Pandemic goes, BVUMP planned to hold the races earlier, in the year form it’s annual 27th annual race.