Volunteers Clear New Mountain Biking Trail At Sherman Park - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Volunteers Clear New Mountain Biking Trail At Sherman Park


SHERMAN, TX -- City officials say tough budget times mean Sherman doesn't have the money to start up new park projects, but that didn't stop something new from opening this weekend.

Volunteers stepped in to form the city's first-ever mountain biking trail.

During the week, he's a nurse anesthetist at TMC, but on the weekends, Sherman resident Jason Griffin hits the trails, often traveling to bike races around the state. But there wasn't any bike trail for him to use in Sherman.

Griffin says he got to talking with an Austin College professor at his son's soccer game, and soon the wheels were in motion.

"We got a meeting together at Austin College with the city mayor, the city manager, parks and rec, and they came up with this land," says Griffin.

"I've been in love with bicycles since I was a little kid," says Jeff Harrison, who helped build the new bike trail.

Other bicyclists have been joining Griffin to clear the path, and on Saturday morning, they dedicated the trail at Binkley Park off West Houston Street that they've been working on since last April.

"You use loppers or chainsaws and you know cut all the branches out of the way and kind of flag it out and find the path we want to go and then come back and clean it up," says Harrison.

"It was 105, 106 degrees and we'd be out there in full jeans and long sleeves because the poison ivy is pretty intense," says trail organizer's wife Nicole Griffin. "I did a lot of stuff where I was cutting stumps out of the ground so people don't flat out, but the guys were out there with chainsaws."

"It takes a lot of time, you know, 10 hours just to go 300 feet sometimes," says Jason Griffin.

Organizers say right now they have more than two miles of trail cleared, and they hope to expand that to as many as seven miles in the months to come.

"He got me started, we used to live in Austin, and we started biking out there and he taught me how like if you're going downhill you scoot your bottom back so your weight is shifted back, and if you're going up a hill, shift forward," says Nicole Griffin.

"They're the riders, they know what needs to be done, and actually in the mountain bike community, that's part of kind of their code of the trail, that they are the stewards of the trail," says Mayor Cary Wacker.

City council agreed this week that it will be up to Griffin and his volunteers to maintain the trail, which Wacker says is not suited for every bike.

"You have to have a bike with wider tires to be able to ride this," says Wacker. "The narrow tires of a road bike just can't hold on this kind of surface."

"This is really going to be a really good thing for the community and the bicycle community in Sherman. It gives us a place to get together and you know, to do our thing," says Harrison.

A member of the Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association helped Griffin learn to build the trail. It's now open to bicyclists, and is located near Sory Elementary School.