TROY — The asphalt paths of the Great Miami River Trail are smooth, yet some cyclists still yearn to get off the beaten path and ride the dirt trails.
And one group of bicycling enthusiasts in Troy are starting to put together a plan for a rugged terrain trail, which would mirror the Montgomery County bike trail’s MoMBA dirt trail.
The Troy Foundation recently donated $10,000 to the Troy Parks Department to begin to design a mountain bike trail with the help of a newly formed Mayor’s Bike Cycling Committee.
Councilman Tom Kendall said he and other local bike riders hope to design a “ToMBA” or Troy’s own version of a mountain bike trail to add a twist to the paths of the Great Miami Bike Trail.
The group along with city of Troy’s Parks Superintendent Jeremy Drake are in the process of selecting a mountain trail designer. The proposed site is in a 40-acre area behind Riverside Cemetery. An access point to the trail is proposed to be south of the Riverside Cemetery. The proposed site also includes a walking trail and/or path to Duke Park.
“We are in the early phases of the trail, but we’d like it to be similar to the Dayton Metro Park’s MoMBA trail,” Kendall said.
Kendall said the committee is working with Drake as well as the International Mountain Biking Association to add a mountain bike trail to Troy.
“These guys are the best of the best,” Kendall said. “They have designed trails all over the nation, including MoMBA.”
Kendall is acting chair of the newly formed Mayor’s Cycling Committee to improve and encourage the hobby or sport of bicycling along the city trails. The members include Troy High School assistant principal and avid cyclist Jeff Schultz, John Terwilliger, Larry Menker, Fred Minnich and city of Troy’s project manager Stan Kegley.
The group currently is forming a list of volunteer groups to help clear the path of the proposed mountain bike trails. Kendall said the Troy Kiwanis, Troy High School’s Outdoor Club and other volunteers are planning to take on an area to remove debris and trash from the proposed site.
Kendall also said the committee is working on an “Adopt-a-Bike” program to donate bicycles to community members who many not have access to their own. Kendall said one unique part of the program would be to show the owner how to maintain the bicycle. Experts would demonstrate how repair the wheels, tires, brakes and other maintenance issues before they ride off into the sunset.
“What we’d like to do is work with the group to help fix up the bike, clean it up and show them how to fix the brakes. Then, they would have a bike safety class, fit them with a bike helmet and they can walk away with a bike of their own,” Kendall said. “There are other programs in Miami County that donate bikes, but we want to teach them how to take care of them.”
Kendall said he hopes the committee can launch the program this summer.
Kendall also said he and the committee members will be working on building the bicycling section of the city of Troy’s website to post bike rides ranging from family-friendly, educational, challenging and other features.
Kendall said he hopes the improvements to the trail will turn into a “bicycle boom” to get the community to experience the city of Troy on two wheels.
The League of American Cyclists recently rated the city of Troy as an “Honorable Mention Community” on its list of bicycling friendly communities. Last month, the city recently resubmitted its application to boost its rating to a “Bronze” designation to the LAC.
According to the League of American Cyclists, Ohio ranks 32 out of the 50 states. Washington state was ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Eight Ohio communities are currently at the “Bronze” level, including: Westerville, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Cleveland Heights, Dublin, Lakewood and Cleveland.
For more information about the Great Miami Bike Trail, visit www.miamivalleytrails.org.
To volunteer or help with the cycling committee, contact councilman Tom Kendall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melanie Yingst can be reached at email@example.com, or by phone at (937) 440-5254 or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews