Cyclists Give Input At Let's Talk Off-Road Biking In City Parks Open House

The first of two Let's Talk Off-Road Biking in City Parks events is in the books.

Cyclists from throughout Windsor-Essex made their way to the WFCU Centre Thursday night to give their input on a new off-road bike-park.

Terry Pargelen and a group of off-road cyclists pled with Windsor's city council to save a track they had built near east-Windsor's Ganatchio trail in November of 2017.

Well maintained — but built without permits on public land — the city elected to level the track due to safety and liability concerns.

Seeing the public interest in off-road biking, council made amends earlier this month by putting $500,000 in the 2018 budget for a new regulated park.

The 28-year-old says it might not be their "little piece of paradise", but everyone involved is happy to see a replacement on the way.

"I got the email last week that there was money approved for it and I sent it out in chat, "says Pargelen. "Everybody was happy."

The open house will answer some key questions, including where people want the park, but Pargelen says most riders don't care where it's built.

"Some of us are east-enders, some of us the west-end, most of us are from downtown," he says. "We're not really concerned about where the park would be, we'd be open to where ever it's at."

Many major Canadian cities have off-road bike-parks that can be used as examples, according to Pargelen.

He says no matter what's built, it has to be for everybody.

"You have your bunny-hills, you have your pump-track, you have your intermediate and your expert style jumps," Pargelen says. "There are all kinds of different sections there."

While most riders are open to pretty much anything to work with the city, Pargelen says there is one major sticking point.

"A dirt park, not gravel, not concrete," he says. "Concrete isn't very forgiving; with concrete you have more injuries in the long run. The dirt and the clay have a little bit of a spring to it."

Manager of Parks Development Mike Clement says information from a questionnaire will be brought to council to determine the direction of the park.

A second open house will be held at south-Windsor's Roseland Golf and Curling Club from 5pm to 7pm on Thursday Feb. 8.