Pedal Fergus Falls is excited to celebrate Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day on Saturday, Oct. 5. Festivities will be held at the new bike trail in Ferber Park off Highway 111 just past Calvary Church. Many groups, including Pedal Fergus Falls, the city of Fergus Falls, Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa and the Minnesota DNR, have been working for two years to establish the trail at Ferber Park and Pedal Fergus Falls is looking forward to inviting families to the park to try the trails out this weekend. “We’re trying to increase awareness of the trail and trail usage because it’s kind of a hidden gem. It’s not getting used as much as it should, a lot of people don’t know where it is,” says event organizer Dave Jensen.
Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, started in 2004 by the International Mountain Bicycling Association and is recognized by U.S. Congress, is celebrated on the first Saturday in October each year and Pedal Fergus Falls is kicking off the event at 10 a.m. with fun and relaxed open riding on the trails. A free lunch will be provided at 11 a.m. “We’re going to be grilling hot dogs and brats right out there on the trail,” says Jensen.
After lunch at 11:30 a.m. there’s a kid lap challenge. Whoever finishes the most laps around the trail in 20 minutes wins, with a Central Lakes Cycle gift card going to the first-place boy and girl. There’s also an adult lap challenge starting at 12 p.m. with the same rules, although adults have to ride for 30 minutes and the first place man and woman will receive gift cards to Union Pizza and Brewing Co. The kids’ trail is about a half-mile loop while the adult trail is about 1.25 miles. Awards and drawings will be done at 12:30 p.m. after the adult lap challenge.
Participants are encouraged to use mountain bikes or hybrid bikes as the trails are not suitable for road bikes. “I would call it rustic,” says Jensen about the trail. “It’s predominantly grass and dirt covered with some rocky sections. It’s pretty safe for all skill levels, but I still wouldn’t recommend a road bike on it.” There will be mountain bikes available to borrow if participants need one.
Jensen considers the current state of the trails a completion of Phase 1, but the plan is to expand the 1.25 mile adult trail to 2 miles next year. He hopes people come on Saturday to see and try the new trail. “We need to have more people using it to justify expanding it,” he says.
Last week, Pedal Fergus Falls celebrated Bike Your Park Day, an event from the National Park Service and the Adventure Cycling Association. The Sept. 28 event started at 10 a.m. at City Hall and spanned about two hours and 10 miles around the city parks and sites in Fergus Falls.