When people think of mountain biking they always think of the same sorts of things: mountains, trees, dirt trails, rock formations, and sunshine. A city in Virginia is looking to change the way people think about mountain biking as well as how inaccessible it can be to those who don’t have the time or the means to venture out into the woods. Richmond, Virginia had a field that was sitting there doing nothing and two groups of cyclists that needed a place to practice. The field, between the Fairfield Court Elementary School and the Fairfield Court public housing complex (the 4th largest in the city) will be a place for both the cycling teams and the community to gather and connect in new ways. The elementary school is known as a hotspot for drug deals and so the field is also being used as an outreach program so that kids don’t engage in harmful behavior.
Along with an actual cycling course, the new field also offers hills, obstacles, and dirt embankments to imitate real life mountain biking conditions and terrain. The project is estimated to cost about $25,000 and the funds have been provided by the nonprofit Richmond Cycling Corps (who supplied half the money) as well as other donations from local companies and private citizens. In a show of unity, local companies also sent volunteers to help with the grand opening so that everything would run smoothly. With only half of the money used to far, there are plans to also open a community garden as well as build storage sheds and other structures and more landscaping. The number of these sorts of courses have swelled in the past few years which points to mountain biking growing in popularity. And with added benefits from parks such as this one is adding, it’s only a matter of time before there are even more.
If you’d like to read more, the link is here.