For those of you who have been following along, you know that there’s been a lot of drama in the local mountain biking community. For those of you who haven’t, let me fill you in.
A Lesson In History
There have been many people before me who have worked hard to organize, get approvals, plan, design, build, and maintain the trails we have. To all of them, my most sincere, thank you!
In years past, the vast majority of trail building and maintenance has been spearheaded by one or more of our local bike shop owners. At different times, there have been different people who have stepped up to be our adopted/quasi appointed/unofficial mountain biking community leader. Someone the entire community looked up to and respected. Someone who had a vision for more and better trails that the community could get behind. Someone who poured out their spare time, their own money, and would selflessly do the work necessary to make all of that a reality. And I think most people within our community would recognize, currently that person is Mike — owner of Cycletherapy in Lewisville.
I say most people because, apparently there are people — or at least a person — who would disagree.
I’m not going to get into the details of the drama, it was well documented on a well known public forum back in May, but the core issue that was discussed was the unauthorized construction and maintenance being done on the mountain bike trails in Tanglewood. Something that could cost us the ability to use the trails at all.
The person who admitted to doing the unauthorized construction on the forum said he was doing so under the blessing of Forsyth County Park Department. Which I found to be a bit peculiar so I gave them a call.
When I talked to Alex from the parks department, I verified that was indeed the case. So I thought I would let the department know about what was happening and ask if there was any solution going forward. It turns out, they were aware of the issues and were already discussing ways to solve it. Less than a week later, I was sitting down with them at a table to discuss steps moving forward.
After I relayed the plan with Mike, we decided to move forward.
In reality, the people who came before me didn’t just build trails. They have built an entire community, and I think it’s time for that community to take on the mantle of future trail building and maintenance.
Since my meeting with Forsyth County Parks Department, I have met with Winston-Salem Parks and all six bike shops in Forsyth County about our steps moving forward and I would like to have the community’s support and input.
The goal is to form a governing committee made up of riders from the community to take care of the mountain bike trails in our area and give our bike shop owners a rest.
If you would like to be a part of how we build and maintain mountain bike trails in our area, I urge you to come out for one of our info/feedback sessions on Tuesday nights at 6pm, August 2nd through September 6th, and attend the townhall meeting with Forsyth County Parks at Tanglewood on September 14th. We will have food and delicious beer available at each event except Tanglewood.
Make sure to check out our Facebook events page to see when we will be at your favorite, local bike shop.
Until then, rubber side down.