New York City and mountain biking are two words not often occurring in the same sentence, but New Yorkers will soon have a new place to practice dirt jumping at Inwood on Manhattan, a new three-mile trail system.
"On the face of it, it sounds preposterous," admitted city Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe to the New York Daily News. "But we really do have it, and it takes advantage of the terrain that was always there. It's probably the only mountain-bike course in the country you can get to by subway."
The trails are result of 18 months of work and a US$100,000 state grant. They are aimed at BMX jumpers, casual riders, and hard-core experts. The Parks Department was looking for an area appropriate for cyclists.
"It's pretty impressive for mountain biking in the middle of New York City," said Jamie Bogner of the New York City Mountain Bike Association to the New York Daily News. The club helped plan and build the paths and will host a cross-country race Sunday after the trails open Saturday. "We look for the longest way from point A to point B, with every technical obstacle we can find."
The Fort George Hill Trails twist and turn through a section of Highbridge Park once considered unsafe by park goers and littered with stolen cars.
New York City Parks Department officials are also looking at trail opportunities at Cunningham Park in Queens and at capped landfills in the Bronx's Pelham Bay and Staten Island's Fresh Kills.