Bike park could join attractions at Rock Hill Outdoor Center

adouglas@heraldonline.comMarch 8, 2013 

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    Want to vote for Rock Hill’s skills park idea?

    Visit the “Bell Built Grant” application at www.facebook.com/BellBikeHelmets. Click on the “Bell Built” link towards the top of the page.

A new bicycle skills park could join other outdoor attractions at Rock Hill’s Outdoor Center if it is chosen from among 12 projects in the running for a grant from Bell Helmets.

Rock Hill’s bicycle club and the city partnered to enter the competition. A winner will be announced in April.

The new attraction would be like a “playground for bicycles,” said Matt Clinton, the city’s outdoor center maintenance supervisor.

Unlike mountain biking and cycling on a trail, he said, a skills park is about “honing your technical skills” – not building up a rider’s endurance.

Rock Hill was chosen from about 100 applicants as a finalist to possibly win part of a $100,000 grant.

Bicyclists in the local community see a need for a skills park suitable for cyclists of all ages, Clinton said.

Even if Rock Hill doesn’t land the grant, he said, a concept of the skills park now exists if the city wants to find other ways to pay for the development.

A concept for a child’s bicycle skills park is already under way in Rock Hill, he said.

City officials say the popularity of Riverwalk and the Outdoor Center is growing, with about 9,000 people visiting every month.

Visitors range from walkers to casual bikers to avid exercisers on mountain bikes, Clinton said.

Plans for the Riverwalk area include more housing and mixed-use development. Rock Hill also has been making headway on designs for an Olympic trial-caliber Bicycle Motocross Supercross race facility, expected to host future USA BMX national championships.

Rock Hill’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism department is offering a guided mountain bike trail ride on March 17 from 2 to 4 p.m.

The event will introduce families to the new 3-mile green loop that is part of the new mountain bike trail system at the Rock Hill Outdoor Center. Guides will focus on safety and skills during the ride.

Organizers say the trip is appropriate for people ages 10 and up. Helmets are required.

The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Pre-registration is required. Contact C.C. Williams at 803-329-5527or ccwilliams@cityofrockhill.com.

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068

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