JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – The Tornado cycling team at King University recently had the opportunity to help build a new trail at Winged Deer Park in Johnson City, Tenn. The trail is one of a new network of multi-use trails at the park.
“The current trails at Winged Deer are walking trails,” said Cycling Team Head Coach Alan Sparks. “The new network of trails will be multi-use trails utilized for walking, mountain biking, and hiking. The arrangements for the trail building was spearheaded by SORBA Tri-Cities.
The ongoing projects at Winged Deer Park and other area trails are supported by SORBA Tri-Cities, formerly Northeast Tennessee Mountain Bike Association. SORBA Tri-Cities is an advocacy organization dedicated to the enhancement of mountain biking and the preservation of and access to trails across Northeast Tennessee. They are a chapter of the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association and a member of the Tennessee Mountain Biking Alliance.
Marc Upton, treasurer for SORBA Tri-Cities, said, “The board of SORBA Tri-Cities would like to express our appreciation to all of our volunteers on projects past, present, and future. Recently, we set a work day attendance record at Winged Deer Park in part due to a group of volunteers from King University’s Cycling Team. As with any non-profit, donations whether in the form of time or money is the lifeblood of our organization. Many of the area trails are built and maintained by local SORBA members in partnership with the respective land managers. We love being able to contribute to the community and help trails flourish for all users of all abilities.”
Tornado cycling spent the day working to build a mile-and-a-half of new trail. King sophomore Fausto Crapiz said of his experience, “I [was able] to help the mountain bike community by working on sweet new trails. I also got to know my teammates better as we worked together to further the common good.”
Sparks says he and his team are lucky to be able to give back to the local community through cycling. “We are grateful to help provide new cycling trails in our community. In addition to building character, having hands-on experience in trail-building helps our students to feel they own a part of the trail and the community. Whether the students stay in the Tri-Cities after they graduate or move on to another location, they have left their fingerprint in the region.”