Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Weekly cycling

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Trek and ‘The Birkie’ team up to build 17 miles of new trails

Trek Bicycle’s philanthropic arm, the Trek Foundation, is partnering with the American Birch Boots Foundation (ABSF), creators of North America’s largest cross-country ski race, to develop a 17-mile network of trails in the mountain village of Telemark, Wisconsin.

The network, simply called “The Trek Trails,” will feature more than 10 miles of enduro and downhill-style trails and up to eight miles of cross-country trails. Backed by $1 million from Trek, the ABSF are now moving toward realizing their ski bike vision.

When the ABSF purchases the 218-acre Telemark property in 2021, planning for mountain bike trails runs parallel to its plans for ski trails.

“For over a decade, mountain bikers have dreamed of the trail potential that exists on Telemark,” Trek says, and in four to five years, that dream will become a reality.

ABSF and the Trek Foundation, along with Traction Trail Worx and Rock Solid Trail Contracting, have developed a 4-phase plan, the first of which was completed and opened to the public late this fall. Planning for a second phase is underway, with completion scheduled for summer 2023.

“We have long been committed to advocating and changing the world through cycling. The Trek Foundation accelerates this commitment to investing in great places to ride and helping to build a world where everyone can experience the difference that cycling makes future,” Trek Bicycle President John Burke said in a statement.

“We’re especially excited to bring Trek Trails to Telemark Village in our home state of Wisconsin.”

The ABSF set five goals for the Trek Trails network:

Diversity: There will be cross-country, enduro and downhill experiences for all ages and skill levels.

Optimized: Trails will be optimized for mountain biking, including a variety of trail, flow, technical, jump and downhill trails.

Connectivity: The trail system will connect to the existing CAMBA trail and ski run network.

Practice Area: The bike park will feature pump tracks, jump areas, drop zones and technical skill loops to allow novice and experienced riders to grow and hone their skills. There are even balance bike paths for kids.

Race venue: The ABSF wants the track system to host cross-country and ednuro races, the NICA high school league and to position Telemark as a national cycling festival venue.

“ABSF is committed to making investments that help achieve our mission of getting people out there,” said ABSF Executive Director Ben Popp. “We’re excited to build the amenities and infrastructure that will continue to have an incredible health and economic impact on the surrounding region. We couldn’t do this without the help of partners like the Trek Foundation.”