Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bicycles & Drugs

Some opponents of a proposed mountain bike skills course in Rockburn Park in Elkridge believe that the 5,000 square foot course will be a haven for drug users. According to this story by Janene Holzberg in The Sun, some park neighbors are claiming the course will result in “illegal night riding and drug use.”


First of all, let’s put this into perspective. Five thousand square feet is less than an eighth of an acre. Secondly, I can’t see how a bicycle skills course could possibly be attractive to someone using illegal drugs. There are ample number of other isolated areas in the surrounding parkland for illicit activities without having to hang around an exposed fenced in place with lots of people.

This is actually a great deal for the county. The skills course will be provided free of charge and maintained by the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE) as part of their efforts to promote the sport of  mountain biking.

“The 5,000-square-foot, fenced-in course would be built on an acre in the center of the 415-acre park off Montgomery Road. The course would include rock beds, raised portions of trail and fallen trees — obstacles known collectively as technical trail features, MORE member Melanie Nystrom told the advisory board.

There would also be a pump track, which is an angled path used to teach turns, weight-shifting and balance, among other skills, she said.”

Mountain biking is big in HoCo. The East Coast Adventure Guide in Explore the East describes the bike trails in Patapsco State Park as “one of the most fun trail systems in the east". Rockburn Park borders the popular Cascade trail and Morning Choice trail. This is a good thing for HoCo and should be embraced. My new friend Doug Miller agrees.
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