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Farmington Area Single Track teaches youths and adults the thrills of mountain biking

FAST offers mountain bike lessons for all ages, skill levels
A Farmington Area Single Track crew goes out for a ride. (Courtesy Brad Chipman)

Farmington Area Single Track, a nonprofit organization operating since 2019, offers mountain biking lessons and experience for all ages.

Brad Chipman, FAST president and one of the founding members, said their focus right now is spring and fall programs for youngsters from age 4 who initially learn to ride by pushing their bike – on up to the more skilled riders, age 18.

Along with Chipman, CEO Billy Schaaphok, Vice President Chris Conley, Secretary Clayton Harrison and Treasurer Dennis Williams comprise the FAST board members.

FAST is in their third week of their spring youth program, which began April 17. They have five groups that meet either once a day or twice a week for eight weeks.

  • Strider/Pushbike class, once a week on Mondays from 6-7 p.m.
  • Beginner pedalers, ages 4-8, once a week on Tuesdays, 6-7 p.m.
  • Intermediate coed, ages 9-1, once a week on Tuesdays, 6-7 p.m.
  • Girls 12-18, once a week on Mondays, 6-7 p.m.
  • Boys 12-18, twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-7:30 p.m.

“We've always wanted to do something in the summer, which is always in the books,” Chipman said. It’s harder to get people organized in the summer with family vacations and busy times.

Chris Connelly, left, and Clayton Harrison out for a trail ride. (Courtesy Brad Chipman)

Chipman said they originally capped each class at 10, but with increased interest they had to increase that number and now have 15 to 20 youths in some classes.

The fee structure ranges from $75 to $100 per person.

Chipman said they wanted to keep it as affordable as possible and not exclude anybody. He said they’re aware of the location and the economy here.

“I think we're half the price or less than the Durango Devo program,” he said.

“We have some behind-the-scenes donors who have helped with shoes and helmets for kids,” Chipman said. He said one person has offered to buy bikes for a child in need.

Chipman was excited to share that FAST has partnered with San Juan College to help design and build a bike trail on the 300 acres that have been designated for a single-track trail.

Brad Chipman poses with jacket open, with his riding buddy on his left. Chris Connelly and his wife on the right. (Courtesy Brad Chipman)

He said you can now ride your bike, walk or run all the way around the newly renovated Piñon Hills Golf Course. He said the 3.7-mile loop allows one to only touch dirt, except for one narrow paved road that accesses the golf course.

Chipman, a registered nurse who is finishing his nurse practitioner degree, is encouraged about the idea and plan to connect all the bike trails in Farmington. He described the route and believes Farmington offers a great destination for biking enthusiasts.

Chipman said he “wants to introduce everybody to the life of mountain biking. And yeah, working with the kids is super-fun.”

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