When he arrived at the National Interscholastic Cycling Association event on Jan. 25 to collect a special honor, Yuri Kostick had a difficult time convincing people that he was, indeed, the mayor of Eagle.
He may not have fit the stereotypical image of a small town mayor, but Kostick didn’t pass up the opportunity to tout his community.
“I had the chance to meet a lot of bike industry people, like the one guy named Shimano,” said Kostick, referring to Kozo Shimano of the popular bike company.
As for Kostick, he received the Quality Bike Products Community Impact Award in recognition of Eagle’s effort to build a multi-use trail to host the Colorado High School Cycling League race last fall. The town contributed $60,000 toward the project.
“My speech was about how the project came together with the landowner, the board of trustees, Momentum Trail Concepts and community volunteers,” said Kostick. He noted that while the high school cycling league was the impetus for building the trail, community members benefited from the project.
“The cycling championship was awesome and it was the highest rated course in the series,” he said.
Part of the reason why racers rated Eagle so high was the spectator-friendly nature of the course. Parents were able to get close to the action and set up right at the finish line. Stories like that had an avid audience at the NICA event, where bike companies and enthusiasts alike are looking to grow the sport.
“A lot of bike industry people are really into high school racing. I didn’t realize quite what we were getting into when we hosted the high school races in Eagle,” said Kostick.
He believes that the community provided a blueprint for other U.S. towns to host similar events. Currently there are only 10 states where high school cycling is offered and NICA wants to see that expand nationwide. “No one had ever built a high school race course specifically for a high school event before. Not anywhere. Eagle was the first,” said Kostick.
Eagle Marketing and Events Coordinator Amy Cassidy, who nominated Kostick for the award and who also attended the NICA event, said Eagle’s efforts created a big buzz.
“Eagle was the talk of the event,” she said, “and the people who were at this event are the movers and shakers in the biking industry.”
“It was a big deal for Yuri to be recognized, and it was a big deal for Eagle as well,” she said.