Bikes Belong awarded six grants to cycling projects on Wednesday, including two mountain bike trail systems in Oregon and South Dakota.
The City of Vernonia, Oregon, will receive US$5,000 to help build a bicycle skills park. The grant will go toward construction of the skills development trail, the first element of the park. When complete, the skills park will include also a BMX track, pump track, cyclo-cross course, and singletrack trails. Most of the project will be funded through volunteer time and in-kind donations. Riders will help design and build their track and trails, and a 20-hour trailbuilding class held by the Community Learning Center, adjacent to the park, will also harness local elbow grease.
The Black Hills Mountain Bike Association (BHMBA) in South Dakota will receive US$5,000 expand the singletrack in the Cowboy Hill trail system. The funding helps match a federal Recreational Trails Program grant for the project. BHMBA has hired IMBA Trail Solutions to assist with sustainable trail design and initial construction, and the rest of the job will be handled by dedicated volunteers. In addition to regional recreational use, the new trails will be used by a local Trips for Kids chapter and the YMCA, and will also host thousands of riders at the annual Black Hills Fat Tire Festival.