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NEW TRAIL MIX: New course in W’ton gives thrills to bicyclists

October 22, 2009
HEATHER SACKETT, News Staff Writer
     WILMINGTON — Cycling enthusiasts now have another reason to visit Wilmington. In addition to downhill mountain biking at Whiteface Mountain, cross-country mountain biking at the Flume Trails and taking a spin on the Ironman bike course, cyclists now have a dirt track to practice jumps and other tricks.

    Constructed out of dirt by professional cyclist Kyle Ebbett, all sizes of table-top jumps, rollers and banked turns cater to all abilities. Ebbett, who hails from Essex, Vt., came over last week to start work on the park, which is located behind the Wilmington Youth Center. He was assisted by trails coordinator for the Adirondack Mountain Club Matt McNamara, as well as several local kids. McNamara said the bike park is a great addition to the town that will benefit Wilmington’s kids.

    “Growing up, I would have killed for something like this,” he said. “The young people here have a place where they can really progress and get good on their bicycles. They’ve got to learn in an environment where it’s been built correctly and professionally done. This is a community project.”

    On Friday, Oct. 16, Ebbett and McNamara were finishing up the project, using shovels, rakes and a mini-excavator. The park is designed for mountain bikes and BMX bikes. On Friday, local cyclists were already taking advantage of some of the jumps, turns and rollers.

    “It’s really cool and everybody’s going to love it,” said Cody Bryant, 14, of Wilmington.

    Bryant said he had been helping Ebbetts all week and first rode parts of the course two days earlier.

    “I’ve ridden BMX bikes before, but never really done anything as big as this,” he said. “The rollers are my favorite thing. They are fun to do.”

    Ebbett, who has competed as a World Cup-level downhill mountain bike racer, said getting Wilmington kids involved in the building process gives them ownership of the project.

    “Now they are taking care of it,” he said.

    The bike park was funded by a donation from local business River Stone Wellness. The town of Wilmington helped by hauling about 50 loads of dirt over four days and by providing the necessary equipment. Town of Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston said the finished park is worth every bit of work and money that went into it. He said that with the bike park and the Youth Center’s improved skate park, vandalism is rare because kids are kept busy.

    “We can see a difference in the attitude of the kids in town,” Preston said. “From what I gather, there is no other track like this elsewhere in the Adirondacks. It’s well worth the investment the town has put into it. It’s pretty spectacular for a town the size of Wilmington to have a park like this.”

Article Photos

Photos/Lora Bushy/For the News



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