EAGLE - The City of Eagle has been investing in mountain biking for decades. Now they're expanding their trail system over at the Ada-Eagle Bike Park- this time to bring in more adaptive athletes.
"We really need to provide trails for everyone out there and the adaptive cyclists are a big demographic of riders and so they deserve a place as well," International Mountain Bicycling Association trail care crew coordinator, Lani Bruntz, said.
Not everyone has the ability to hop on a two-wheel bike. But with recent technology, the disabled community is now able to enjoy one of the most popular forms of recreation, and they can do that right here in the Treasure Valley. Adaptive mountain biking has gained more and more momentum over the last several years.
The City of Eagle realized they needed to build something that would include that community and allow them full access to everything the bike park has to offer. They broke ground on a special new project to serve adaptive cyclists at the park Saturday afternoon.
"The trail behind us is going to be test bed for about the next year," City of Eagle Parks and Recreation Trails Coordinator, Steve Noyes, told KTVB.
Adaptive cyclists ride bikes modified to suit their riders who have some type of disability.
"Takes some getting used to," adaptive cyclist Jet Turner said.
Turner came in from Ketchum to help the City of Eagle test out this new path. Partially paralyzed, he's been into adaptive cycling for about five years now. City officials want the creation of adaptive cycling trails to invite riders like Turner to explore the bike park more.
"We're hoping that adaptive cyclists from all over the Northwest will someday find that Eagle is a place to go to have fun with their families," Noyes added.
About 40 volunteers were outside in the sun for hours on Saturday digging up a trail for adaptive cyclists to test out, with the goal of creating more trails in the next year.
"Very inspiring to see," Bruntz added.
These trails have to be about 40-42 inches wide in order for the adaptive bicycles to be able to get through.
"It's pretty incredible," Turner said. "It takes a lot of work to do this kind of stuff."
The city applied for a grant with International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) so the organization could come out and give presentations on trail sustainability and engage the local community to show the value of getting out and hitting the dirt. IMBA trained volunteers to build trails before they got to digging.
"Eagle is incredible. They have this bike park to begin with which you can tell it's already brought so many families and new people to the trail system, and people who already ride bikes," Bruntz said.
The cycling community is excited to have something like the Ada-Eagle Bike Park close to town, and with the new adaptive trail being a beginning level path, it's not intimidating for riders just getting into the sport.