With the construction on Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park in downtown Johnson City, Northeast Tennessee is quickly becoming a destination for bike riders of all ages with trails for beginner to advanced through the mountain terrain and designated roads throughout the countryside.
Once Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park is completed, additional opportunities will arise for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, as well as competitive riders. And that makes Limestone resident and Chuckey-Doak High School biology teach Noah Naseri excited. Already involved in various programs and ongoing educational opportunities for high school students, Naseri’s newest passion is to organize a regional high school mountain biking team. His goal would include representation from Northeast Tennessee in the Tennessee Interscholastic Cycling League, competing against high schools across the state.
Most teachers spend the summer break recuperating from the previous school year or on vacations, but not Naseri. He will take to the road beginning May 26 on his bicycle across the country to raise awareness and funds to start a regional high school mountain biking team. The ride will take him from the Atlantic to Pacific coast in 59 days. Naseri is calling the ride, “Le Tour de Black Knight.”
“The ride is something crazy to get attention toward supporting the cause” Naseri said. “Cycling is a great sport to teach responsibility, hard work and is so much fun.”
“There are many opportunities for college scholarships in cycling as well,” Naseri said.
The team he is working on organizing is open to high school students ages 14 to 18 that can attend practices in the east Greene County and west Washington County areas. The season starts in August and competitions will involve travel to Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville.
“If more teams start up then there’s the opportunity to have events that will bring visitors to our area,” Naseri said.
Recently developments and efforts through SORBA in Johnson City with Tannery Knobs and Winged Deer Park makes it obvious to Naseri that the sport is popular in the area.
“The popularity seems to be at an all-time high,” he said. “There are a lot of resources, venues and partners.”
So far there’s a lot of proof in the support.
“There are many individuals in the community and businesses that want to sponsor the high school team and my ride to get this all started,” Naseri said.
Current sponsors include Trek Store Johnson City, SORBA, Overmountain Outdoors and RunCorps.