City of Windsor to remove unauthorized Little River bike track
City to begin building an alternative next month
The City of Windsor will be removing a mountain bike track that users have created in the Little River Corridor in the east end near Little River Acres for a second time. The first track was removed in 2017.
James Chacko, the senior manager of parks, says the track — which features mounds for the bikes to jump over — is unauthorized. He said it poses a liability risk.
"This isn't something that's unfortunately inspected, isn't something that the city has approved. And also, when you go about building something within a natural corridor, such as the Little River Corridor, there is definitely the possibility that they have disturbed potentially significant wetlands or species at risk," said Chacko.
Chacko says the city has authorized the spending of $200,000 on a bike track called a pump track that will be built nearby.
"That's the type of feature and facility that will allow residents the ability to perform the type of activities that they're looking to do at these unauthorized tracks," said Chacko.
But the users say the pump track is for beginners and doesn't afford the challenges for advanced bike manoeuvres which include flying over mounds of dirt.
"The pump track is going to be geared toward smaller people in a different crowd, and they want the dirt part, which is going to have bigger jumps and everything," said Terry Pargelen, who was involved in building the original dirt track back in 2017. That was bulldozed but another one grew up in its place because the bike enthusiasts weren't satisfied with the trails the city put in to replace it.
"There are a lot of people who want to get this place approved," said Josh Labonte, referring to the dirt track which he calls the Little River Corridor bike park.
He welcomes the pump track but also says it's not the same as the dirt track.
"We're hitting jumps and stuff like that. Pump track is more for beginner skills," he said.
"I think we can maybe get a compromise in here," said dirt track user Ryan Bertrand.
But Chacko said the dirt track will not be authorized because it is in too remote a location and emergency personnel would have a tough time getting in to help anyone injured.
Labonte says EMS paramedics have already come to help an injured person on the track without difficulty.
Chacko says the unauthorized track will once again be bulldozed when the weather improves.
He expects work on the pump track will begin next month, weather permitting, and be complete in May.