Local News

Adaptive Mtn Bike Trails Assessment Starts This Week

BEND, OR -- Central Oregon Trail Alliance plans to upgrade trails for mountain bikers with disabilities.

“We’re focusing on a hundred miles of trails for this grant project mostly in Bend, some near Sunriver, and cascade view trailhead in the Redmond area, as well. So, our intent is for these experienced adaptive riders to provide us feedback,” COTA’s volunteer project manager Abbie Wilkiemeyer tells KBND News starting Monday May 1st through Friday the 14th expert adaptive riders will document their experiences on trails, as well as trailhead facilities, and accessibility barriers.

“We know that narrow tree gaps are one area that may need to be addressed, as well as rocky sections. One extra rock might be what it takes to let the adaptive bike rider get over a rocky section. COTA will be having 2 to 3 volunteer crew leaders riding along to really understand what works and doesn’t work. The outcome is going to include 5 documented routes with really clear descriptions,” Wilkiemeyer says adding the plan is to have easy, intermediate, and difficult route designations.

COTA's trail assessment is managed by Empowering Access, which leads disability equity and inclusion consulting in the built environment. The on the ground team will be led by Quinn Brett and Joe Stone of Dovetail Trails. Additional project partners include Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS), a local nonprofit that has been guiding adaptive athletes on skiing and biking adventures in Central Oregon since 1996, and the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), which facilitated a private grant that made the work possible.

COTA members are excited for the prospect of designated adaptive routes according to Wilkiemeyer, “I’ve been approached by a number of crew leaders wondering how they can get involved because I think that speaks to the amount of engagement that we’ll have as we see what changes need to be made to be a little bit more accommodating on these trails.”

This Saturday, the public is invited to a mountain biking celebration to learn more about accessibility for adaptive riders at the LOGE Camp Bend, from 4 pm to 8 pm.


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