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'Psyched on Bikes' series provides mountain bikes, instruction to prospective trail riders

Interested in taking up mountain biking or polishing trail-riding skills?

Get Active in the Park is offering a “Psyched on Bikes” series of free instructional rides in and around the New River Gorge National River through the end of July designed to eliminate excuses for putting off the mountain biking experience.

The Psyched on Bikes series is available to riders of all ages, with bikes and helmets, suitable for riders from age 7 on up, provided free of charge. Those planning to use loaner bikes must request them when they reserve their spots for the rides by calling 304-894-2129 or emailing getactiveinthepark@gmail.com. Reservations are also required for riders who bring their own bikes and helmets.

Youths taking part in the rides must be accompanied by a guardian who will remain on site during the activity.

All four rides in the series all begin at 6 p.m., and cover 4 to 8 miles, depending on the abilities of the group, according to Melanie Seiler, executive director of Active Southern West Virginia, which partners with the National Park Service to present Get Active in the Park activities.

The first two rides take place on paved rail trails, allowing new riders to become comfortable with riding and shifting mountain bikes. The last two rides will take place on the unpaved Rend Trail, formerly known as the Thurmond-Minden Trail, in the New River Gorge National River.

The debut ride in the series starts at 6 p.m. on the White Oak Rail Trail, departing from Oak Hill City Park. The 8-mile trail connects Oak Hill with the communities of Summerlee and Carlisle.

On July 17, the Beckley Rail Trail, also known as the McManus Honor Trail, which extends 4.1 miles from Mabscott to Sprague through downtown Beckley, will be the scene of the next ride in the Psyched on Bikes series. Riders will depart from Beckley’s Third Avenue parking lot.

The July 24 and 31 rides on the Rend Trail depart from the Thurmond trailhead.

Trained Active Southern West Virginia community captains lead the rides and teach biking techniques to help participants build on their skills throughout the month.

The Psyched on Bikes series is made possible through a grant from the National Park Foundation with support from the Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Foundation.

Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelhammer@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5169 or follow

@rsteelhammer on Twitter.

Funerals for Sunday, July 21, 2019

Bly, Betty - 4 p.m., We're Family Park, Exchange.

McBrayer, Doris - 1 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Teays Valley.

Morrison, Jo - 2 p.m., Elizabeth Memorial United Methodist Church, Charleston.

Morrison, Sheldon - 2 p.m., Casto Funeral Home, Evans.

Nichols, Anna - 2 p.m., New Hope Baptist Church, Morris.