From the day B2 Bikes and Boards opened its doors in Seymour, owner Matt Nicholson intended to give back to the community.
So he and his wife, Zabrina, started a scholarship fund geared toward helping kids seeking college opportunities.
“I was a ‘C’ student, and my wife was in the top 10 percent of her class,” Matt said. “We saw the difference in the availability in scholarships and thought we need to help the kids in the middle somewhere.”
Story continues below gallery
Looking for funds in the community, Nicholson went to a group of local bikers who covered the span of Seymour daily.
“We started having fundraisers to raise money for a scholarship, and late that summer (of 2003) we started a time trial,” Nicholson said. “Local bikers had been doing it anyway, so we decided we would go out and time it for them. The entry fee went toward our scholarship. One event turned into three, and the next year, it was six. The last two years, it has been seven.”
Nicholson said while the time trials offer athletics events for the community, the focus is still on the kids applying for financial help.
“It all goes back to supporting our chance to help kids,” he said. “Our scholarship is open to Jackson, Jennings and Scott county seniors that are going off to college. We’ve accepted some applications for older students who are going back to school.”
All events start on County Road 600E just south of U.S. 50 in Seymour and offer two 20K courses, one hilly and one flat, that both start from the same starting line.
The flat and hilly courses alternate weekly.
Standings are updated weekly, and the series is in its 10th full season.
Nicholson said that the trials, which run two different courses, have raised over $4,000 since the inaugural season.
In the past, B2 has given out multiple scholarships following one trial series.
With a distaste for traditional scholarship application processes, Nicholson and current trial-overseer Craig Jones came up with a less conventional means of giving out the monies.
“The first year that we did it, we were very serious about it,” Nicholson said. “We looked at grades, and this and that — the hoopla that goes along with scholarships. It really didn’t help us decide who we wanted to give it to.
“The second year, we decided that you have to write a short story about your favorite April Fool’s joke — which we still do. Our first winner is actually teaching in Germany right now and plans on coming back to Indiana to study at Indiana or Purdue University. We’ve also helped a lady take a test to get into nursing school among others. We’ve been able to do some good with it.”
Jones started as a rider, and as Matt’s kids have grown, he has taken over most the responsibilities with the trial series.
“I didn’t want to race for a championship,” Jones said. “The time trial is a great thing because it doesn’t matter your skill level. You’re just racing yourself. You’re looking to get the best out of yourself.”
Jones said that riders vary from casual to triathletes who are training for their next big event.
Applications for the scholarship are due by April 1 and can be submitted at the shop on South Chestnut St.
If interested in biking one of the time trials, sign up is available the day of the event.
For more information, visit the B2 Time Trial Series Facebook page.
Dates for the 2016 B2 Time Trial Series include: