By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
Bicycling enthusiasts are tailwhipping.
They’re front flipping.
And they’re getting airborne.
And it’s all thanks to a collaboration between the City of Barbourville, Barbourville Tourism and the Union College Cycling Team.
The three groups worked together to open the Barbourville Skill Park, which is located behind the water park where the BMX track area used to be housed.
On Wednesday, city and college representatives came together for the official ribbon cutting to open the track.
Sean Trinque, head cycling coach for Union College, said the current “pump track,” as this type of design is known, has a second phase to be added in time.
“Stage 1 was getting the pump track,” Trinque said, adding that bicyclists of all stages of expertise “will be able to practice their bike-handling skills in a controlled setting.”
The second phase, Trinque explained, will be a type of obstacle course. It will include ladder bridges and other things to challenge mountain bikers “whether experts or beginners,” the coach said.
The facility is open to the public.
Trinque said work started on creating this first phase of the Skill Park in October. “We finished about three weeks ago,” he said, adding that his cycling team and other volunteers worked many hours to get this track complete.
“There’s a long history of cycling tradition in Barbourville,” Trinque said. “Now that tradition will continue.”
Those in attendance included Tanner Chaney, a Union freshman and cycling team member, Jeremiah Bailey, a senior at Barbourville High School, Kara Uhl, a Union junior and cycling team member, Emily Baker, a senior at Union, Charles Frazier, with tourism, Denise Wainscott, tourism director, Dave Nevels, a teacher at BHS, Austin C. Sebald, director of community outreach for Union, and Janet Jones, assistant tourism director.