By Chad Hobbs
Meade-Olin Park has long served as a destination of family fun, exercise and entertainment, whether it is the baseball/softball fields, playground, soccer fields or disc golf course.
Work began last fall to build a new feature at the back of the park to further diversify the park’s offerings. This past Saturday the work was revealed to the public at the grand opening of the Meade-Olin Bike Park. Magistrate Gary Chapman performed the honor of cutting the ribbon at the entrance, as people of all ages waited on their bikes to pedal in as soon as the ribbon was cut.
Members of the Kentucky Mountain Bike Association, KyMBA, who played a large role in helping this park come to light, were on hand to provide a skills clinic for anyone who was interested. They also sponsored the event along with Middletown Cycling and the Meade County Chamber of Commerce. Middletown Cycling had brand new bikes on display while offering information to riders, as KyMBA also did at its booth. The Locals were on hand serving lunch from their food truck to anyone who had worked up an appetite.
The park offers a little bit of everything for riders regardless of age or skill level. One section provides small gravel hills and wooden plank course for the younger riders. There is also a gravel and asphalt course on the opposite side of the park with medium sized gravel mounds and curved asphalt banking at each end. The feature that seemed to get the most attention was the elevated platform in the center of the park. Riders headed down the ramp only to encounter the two largest mounds in the park, which the bravest riders jumped. The track then enters a banked boardwalk like obstacle which leads the riders down a curve and one more jump before the dirt track disappears into the woods, looping the riders back eventually to where they started.
Throughout the event, there was no shortage of children or adults uttering phrases such as “this is so cool” and “this is awesome.” Smiles were abundant as well. Some parents watched from the wood fence around the park while others joined in.
This bike park will no doubt offer a great opportunity, for not only the citizens of Meade County, but bicyclist from around the state to enjoy a unique experience, the ability to embrace exercise, the outdoors and entertainment for all.
For anyone interested in checking out the bike course, it is located towards the back of the park. Upon entering the gate, you drive past the train caboose and it is straight back on the right side of the road.