Support building for Phase 2 of bike trails in Amherstburg

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Cycling advocates will go before councillors in Amherstburg next week to advocate for the next phase of a biking project in the area.

The Windsor Essex Bike Community (WEBC) is a registered non profit organization that looks to promote cycling initiatives in the region.

This past spring, the organization raised more than $30,000 in local donations while utilizing over 1500 hours by local volunteer hours to build Phase 1 of the Libro Centre mountain bike trails in Amherstburg. 

That also included signing a Land Stewardship agreement with the Town to build these trails, the first in Essex County.

Members say they're now on the verge of earning approval for Phase 2 of the project.

Director James Braakman says Phase 2 will see an additional four kilometres added to the existing Phase 1 trails.

"It'll be just another awesome addition to the Libro trails, and will really allow the Libro Centre trails to elevate and upgrade into a substantial recreation venue," he continued. "Where we hope to host races, more group rides, and one of the biggest things we're looking at doing is connecting with local high schools to create some high school mountain bike clubs."

Braakman says this fall they already did a sort of pilot program of that kind with North Star High School.

He says the genesis beyond the idea came out of the pandemic, when Braakman took up mountain biking for the first time.

"One of the biggest things for me was it really helped with my mental health, I was battling a lot of anxiety issues and some different stuff going on. When I got on the bike, something just happened where this was such a sort of saviour for me. That passion for cycling is something that I wanted to share with other people, and hopefully find or give the positive impacts biking gave to me, to other people."

Braakman says there's a lot of positive support, and over the last little while there's been a flood of emails in support of the project to councillors in Amherstburg.

"Really supporting this project and offering their support in pushing for approval. From the early signs I know there's been a lot of support, I don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but I'm confident that hopefully we get approval on Monday and then we can hopefully start a full on fundraising campaign for the project," he said.

Braakman and Windsor Essex Bike Community will be making their presentation at Amherstburg council on Monday, December 11 at 6 p.m.

Should they be successful, Braakman says this time around they'll be looking to raise $15,000 to help deal with Phase 2.

If things continue to go well and support continues to be there, he says eventually they'll be back to discuss a Phase 3 of the project.

 

- with files from AM800's The Dan MacDonald Show