Work continues to bring the slalom bike course to the park | New
A years-old idea of bringing downhill bike racing to Weldon Peete Park in Bowling Green has gained momentum.
The Warren Tax Court on May 21 approved a request from County Parks and Recreation Director Chris Kummer to purchase $ 6,200 worth of land from Jimmy White Trucking, a purchase that will serve as the county’s consideration in a demand for grant to bring a double slalom course to the park near the Barren River.
Kummer said the trash purchase would not be made until after the grant was awarded.
Jennifer Schmidt, who helps the county with grant applications, said the grant awarded through the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program requires a 20% match.
“Dirt is part of the game,” Schmidt said. “We won’t know if we’ll get the grant until the end of August.”
A wait of a few months sounds good for Chip Winger, president of the Southwest Kentucky Mountain Bike Association who has been working to bring the slalom course to Weldon Peete since at least 2015.
“We started many years ago trying to get a double slalom course,” said Winger. “It was just difficult. Money is always a problem. Recreation seems to be taking off now, so we thought it was a good time to come back. “
Winger said enthusiasm for the course was growing, noting that a recent “impromptu” public meeting in support of the course had drawn more than 50 people.
He said the course plans called for two winding 1,000-foot tracks parallel and allowing two cyclists to race.
The slalom track will also include a ‘skills course’, a return path that runners can take back to the starting point while maneuvering through wooden ramps and other obstacles that help runners improve their skills. .
“It will be an amazing course if we can get the grant,” Kummer said at the tax court meeting.
Winger said the double slalom course would be a good addition to the existing 2.6-mile Low Hollow mountain bike trail that opened in 2012 in part of the park maintained by the Town of Bowling Green.
The double slalom course is planned for the part of the park maintained by the county. Winger said the course has the potential to enhance tourism through recreational or competitive events.
“We’ve had seven Low Hollow Trail festivals,” Winger said. “We could expand that to include the double slalom course.”
The development of the double slalom course would have the added benefit of providing a site for an emerging local mountain bike team for school-aged riders.
The Warren County Hollow Riders, made up of kids in grades 6 to 12 from across the county, compete in the Kentucky League of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association.
Winger said this was the first year that Kentucky students could participate in NICA events, which he says are growing in popularity.
“It (NICA) is really expanding,” he said. “We want to get things done here.”
Judging by the growth of the Southwest Kentucky Mountain Bike Association, Winger believes interest in the sport is growing locally.
“We declared in 2010 with five members,” he said. “Today we have 106.”
The double slalom course would not be the first mountain bike trail the club helped develop. Winger said the group worked on creating the Big Hollow Trail at Mammoth Cave National Park, as well as the Barren River, Nolin and Rough River Lakes trails.
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