February 17, 2011

Richie speaks for Orlando Mountain Bike Park

Mountain bike trail coming to Orlando

mountain bike trail, orlando
By Dave D'Marko, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, February 12, 2011 3:23 PM
Saturday, a group of about 100 volunteers grabbed their gloves, rakes and shovels and prepared to head into an area where few people had gone before.

Area C, the long abandoned former site of the Orlando Naval Training Center in the Coytown neighborhood, is about to become a mountain biking trail.

"Even though Florida is flat, we are going to make it a mountain bike, or maybe a hillside trail," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

With donated land, a $50,000 grant for preparation and upkeep and a lot of sweat equity, the biking enthusiasts plan a first-of-its-kind venue for the area. A city survey found mountain biking was the number one leisure priority of residents.

Currently, the closest trail is in Ocala.

"Now the kids won't get harassed downtown anymore," said biker Richie Klier. "Skate boarders have Vans everyone has a place. Now we have a place to go"

In coming months, builders will be turning flat land into trails that will appeal to mountain bikers of all ages and skills.

"Drops and climbs are good. Maybe we can build some bridges or boardwalks," biker Andy Schier said.

There may still be a lot to do, but for the group that fought hard to convince the city of the plan, just getting to Saturday has been a victory.

The city is also planning to create public gardens at the entrance to the 17-acre park. It should be open sometime this summer.