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SOUTHERN UTAH — The mountain biking community is rallying around one of its own who recently underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his jaw. Donation jars have been set up and a fundraiser is being held in September to support Morgan Harris.
For decades Harris has been a staple in the mountain biking community for his commitment to building and maintaining mountain biking trails in Southern Utah. He, along with his twin brother, is widely credited with building many of the trails that put southwestern Utah on the map as a mountain biking mecca including the Gooseberry Mesa trail network, which is a designated national recreation trail, and the Little Creek Mesa trail.
“They built some of the most famous trails, really, in the world now,” said Jay Bartlett, an avid mountain biker and bike mechanic at Bicycles Unlimited. “Gooseberry is well known all over the world and people come from all over to ride it.”
Harris has also given much of his personal time to maintaining the existing trails in Southern Utah. Harris is often seen on the trails with his dog, Hazel, and a bunch of tools, clearing debris and fixing obstacles.
His years of dedicated service to creating and maintaining world class trails earned Harris the nickname of “The Godfather” of trails, Bartlett said.
“Our trails wouldn’t be what they are without him,” said Bobbi Hughes, a mountain biker and longtime friend of Harris.
But Harris is also known for the service he has given to others in the mountain biking community as well as the greater Southern Utah community.