Bike enthusiasts see value in sport beyond exercise

Whether it be on mountains or just down the road, students like freshman Allison Thomas, and sophomores Ryan McClusky and Aidan Graham enjoy climbing on their bike to distress, get a little exercise and just have some plain, simple fun.

  Allison Thomas loves to bike. Thomas has been riding since she was six years old.

  “The feeling that you get is like no other, plus you’re getting exercise but don’t even realize it when you’re having fun,” Thomas said. “When you’re on the bike, you feel great like nothing can stop you.”

  Biking in the Warsaw area has become more accessible since the city’s investment in the trail system.

  The city of Warsaw has put in a lot of time and money for access and plenty of opportunities around the area. There are about ten miles of flat trail along the river and it is similar to the Katy Trail that crosses Missouri from Clinton to St. Louis. Also there is twenty miles of off-road trail that has hosted the 2012 and 2014 Missouri State Championships and the city is also putting a bid in for the 2016 race. There has also been two other races held for the past eight years. Warsaw has been able to produce eight state champions in the past three years in all the different age brackets, male and female.   

 Warsaw has already produced two junior state champions, the first one was 2014 graduate Dylan Bartlett who won the 15-18 class in 2013. He now races at the expert level. The 2014 junior state champion in 14 and under was eight-year-old Joe Vorce.

  With the added emphasis on biking in the area, some have shown interest in starting an organized biking group.

  “A club gets people that have the same interest together in an organized fashion and can create cyclist for a lifetime,” said Mac Vorce, former director of Warsaw Parks and Recreation and owner of Truman Lake Bikes.

  There are several communities in Missouri that are looking into offering this sport in their schools. Windsor High School received a grant and is putting in twenty bikes for their lifetime sports class, according to Vorce.

 McClusky believes that there should be a biking club at WHS and he would love to be in it. McClusky has been biking since he was five, and thinks that this could interest people because it is a good way to exercise.

  “It’s not about the biking in my opinion, it’s about the experiences that you gain and can achieve. It helps me clear my head,” McClusky said.

  Aidan Graham has a lot of fun while biking, while releasing his energy. Graham spends a lot of time biking and has for about six years. For Graham it’s a good source of exercise with not much effort. A biking club would nice to have and would be something that he would enjoy.

  “People bike to have fun, exercise, and to just sometimes think,” Graham said.   

  Vorce is an expert on biking and said he would support the school in every way he could.

  “I would hope to help create interest for athletes that may not play traditional sports and or just get kids active so they can see that fitness can be fun,” Vorce said.

 Biking would just be another step towards having more people be interested in being involved.

  “I have seen cycling change lives for over two decades. It may not be for everyone, but it may open the door for several, and that would be great to see,” Vorce said.

 More information is available at