Friday, March 1, 2024

Local pastor accompanies parishioners on Judgment Day bike ride

Late last month, a local pastor joined two of his parishioners on a “how tough are you” challenging bike ride called Judgment Day.

Once a year in late August, the road cyclist community holds an annual event called Hotter than Hell where they ride 100 miles of mostly flat roads around Wichita Falls. Not to be outdone, the local mountain bike community, Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association, chooses the last weekend in July to hold their version of such an event called Judgment Day.

Participants are challenged to complete 10 mountain bike trails within 24 hours, choosing between a 70-mile version and a 100-mile version. The event always includes local trails, sometimes Knob Hill in Roanoke, almost always Northshore in Flower Mound, and a few years ago it included Corinth’s new mountain bike trail. If the name didn’t clue you in, this is a brutal event, where the trails are spread across the metroplex, varying in technical difficulty and climbing, and it only gets harder when temperatures get into the triple digits. It is a test of physical and mental endurance like no other. Not surprisingly, during some years, less than half of those who sign up are able to complete it.

Jake Clawson, Zane Lybrand, Godwin Dixon and Michael Hooper rode in the Judgment Day 2022 challenge.

Rev. Jake Clawson, pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Flower Mound, got into mountain biking just over a year ago and had two parishioners agree to face Judgment Day with him for the first time: Zane Lybrand, also a first-time participant, and Godwin Dixon, who was pursing his 6th finisher cap.

On a day that started with 85% humidity and temperatures passing 100 degrees, the three joined over 400 other riders pushing their limits and testing themselves. All three started at Northshore trail in Flower Mound at 6 a.m. July 23 and finished at Rowlett Creek Preserve in Garland with Clawson and Lybrand completing the 71-mile category at 10:17 p.m. and Godwin completing the 105-mile version at 3:26 a.m. on July 24. Clawson said he is considering the 100-mile version next year, and will recruit more parishioners to join him.

Judgment Day attracts 400-500 riders from all over the state. Volunteers are at every trailhead offering refreshments, ice-towels and words of encouragement. Several local bike shops come out to help with repairs.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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