Grand Rapids MTB'ers aim to build '50 in 5'
"50 in 5" is the vision of mountain bikers in Grand Rapids, Michigan: to build 50 more miles of singletrack over the next five years.
Martin Hall, president West Michigan chapter of the Michigan Mountain Biking Association, said that's what it will take to make Grand Rapids a mountain biking mecca like Brown County, which has 40 miles of mountain bike trail, and Copper Harbor at the northernmost point of the Upper Peninsula.
Hall's chapter has already built a pump track at the Grand Rapids Bicycle Park, a nine-mile mountain bike trail complex at Lutton Park in Rockford, and maintains several other trails within an hour of Grand Rapids, according to The Grand Rapids Press.
But the group has a larger vision. West Michigan MMBA would like to establish an urban riding route linking the Grand Rapids Bicycle Park to four other city parks.
"It would be a series of parks that showcase good mountain biking trails," Nate Phelps, president of the Michigan Mountain Biking Association, told the newspaper. "They would be connected by green space lands and bike routes. It would be the kind of ride that starts and ends at your garage or your apartment. You wouldn't have to drive a car."
Hall said, "I'd be foolish to say this is a slam dunk. We have a lot of hard work to get this done in five years. But 50 more miles would give us closer to 100 miles in Grand Rapids and surrounding area. That would be a really good start at making West Michigan a mountain biking destination."
Build it and riders will come from Ontario, Ohio, Pennsylvania and throughout the Midwest, Hall said, according to the newspaper.
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