Having a Wheel-y Good Time

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People / Aug. 10, 2017 11:33am EDT

Local Mtn. Bike Guru Teaches His Ways
By Emily Ballou


The Randolph Recreation Department held its second kids bike camp of the summer this week led by Kinley Tener of Rochester. After warming up at the pump track each day the riders headed out to trails and destinations around town. Here Owen Burstein and Finn Barden enjoy a few laps around the pump track before they get started. (Herald / Ben DeFlorio) The Randolph Recreation Department held its second kids bike camp of the summer this week led by Kinley Tener of Rochester. After warming up at the pump track each day the riders headed out to trails and destinations around town. Here Owen Burstein and Finn Barden enjoy a few laps around the pump track before they get started. (Herald / Ben DeFlorio) Wearing “concussion insurance” helmets, young thrill seekers have been riding around the Randolph area this week as part of an annual mountain biking clinic.

Now in its third consecutive summer, the Randolph Recreation Department holds two, one-week sessions of a mountain biking clinic. Led by Green Mountain Bikes employee and outreach coordinator Kinley Tener of Rochester, students grades 1-6 ride on various trails in the area and learn about mountain biking.

(Mountain bikes differ from “regular” road bikes in multiple facets including durability, speed, riding position and posture, as well as where one rides it.)


A bike awaits a rider during the Randolph Recreation Department’s bike camp. (Herald / Ben DeFlorio) A bike awaits a rider during the Randolph Recreation Department’s bike camp. (Herald / Ben DeFlorio) A typical morning at the clinic entails a group conversation about bike safety and maintenance and warmups at the Randolph pump track, followed by a fun, 90-minute ride with rest stops. Through experiential learning and teachable moments, Tener ensures that the youth have the confidence and knowledge to successfully ride a mountain bike.

Clinic ride locations include Abel Mountain Campground, trails at the Three Stallion Inn, and bike paths between the Randolph schools.

For the finale on Friday, they will tackle the RASTA (Rochester/Randolph Area Sports Trail Alliance) Ellis Lot at the Randolph reservoir.

Sharing His Passion


Finn Barden take a few laps around the pump track before the group leaves for its ride. (Herald / Ben DeFlorio) Finn Barden take a few laps around the pump track before the group leaves for its ride. (Herald / Ben DeFlorio) After residing in Washington, D.C. for 20 years, Tener originally came to Vermont for the downhill skiing, but ended up staying because of the mountain biking and green summers.

“You’d be surprised,” Tener explained. “There actually was mountain biking to do there in D.C., and I did it every Sunday. That kept me sane until I came here.”

Tener first hopped on a bike when he was in the third grade and has not looked back since. A natural, Tener “only used training wheels a few times,” he proudly stated.

For many years, Tener has been instructing family members how to ride, and for the past decade, he has been coaching others as well, even creating a career as an outdoor sports instructor in both mountain biking and alpine skiing. An avid mountain biker, Tener is also happens to be a member of the Killington team “Old S’cool,” because “old is cool!” he quipped.


Savior Bass and the group follow a path along the Third Branch as they head out on a ride to Abel Mountain campground. (Herald / Ben DeFlorio) Savior Bass and the group follow a path along the Third Branch as they head out on a ride to Abel Mountain campground. (Herald / Ben DeFlorio) “Mountain biking is fun, good exercise, and camaraderie,” Tener told The Herald. “I enjoy the freedom and exercise of mountain biking… and the focus and concentration of exercising while enjoying the outdoors.”

“I enjoy sharing my passions and helping young people experience the opportunities that are all around them,” he continued. “They’re building healthy habits, and a healthy lifestyle.”

Tener’s grandsons from Pennsylvania, Brodie Frazee, 13, and Gibbs Downin, 9, are visiting Vermont for a few weeks and are also participating in the mountain bike clinic.

“I’m just a thrill seeker,” Frazee said as he whizzed by on his bike. “And I like the challenge,” Downin added.

Parent volunteer Mimi Burstein of Randolph explained, “I like how with biking you can measure progress… It’s like with a hill. The beginning of the week you can’t really get up over it, but by the end of the week, you’re at the top!”

Gearing Up

Green Mountain Bikes’ “pop-up shop” will be open at the rec fields on Thursday and Friday at 9 and 11:30 for small repairs and basic safety checks. According to Tener, Green Mountain Bikes is open to considering running other local clinics in the future.

Tener would like to especially like to thank RASTA for building the pump track and expanding trail opportunities in the Randolph area, adult volunteers Burstein, Morgan Easton, Melissa Scalera, and Sterling Miller for their help, new Randolph Recreation director Haidi Arias for keeping the program going, and the many youngsters for coming out to ride.

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