POINT PLEASANT — For the second year in a row, bike enthusiasts will have an opportunity to support the development of the Point Pleasant Bike Trail with the Mothman Bicycle Numbers Run.
The event is a six-mile ride with five stops with registration at 11 a.m. and the run starting at noon on Sept. 19, the weekend of the Mothman Festival. Registration takes place near the corner of 6th Street and Main Street. All bicycles are welcome, even those with motors as are children and families though young children must be accompanied by an adult.
Entry fee is $15 to play the numbers run and have a chance at winning the big prize after the five stops. Entry fee is $10 for those under the age of 18 with all proceeds going to the Point Pleasant Bike Trail and its development. There will also be tickets for door prizes which will be awarded after the ride.
The Point Pleasant Bike Trail has gained momentum in the last year, with a clearly marked trail around the city. The trail was introduced as a way to encourage biking and as a destination for those bikers from out of town who wish to explore Point Pleasant. Bike trails have become a major vehicle for recreation in several communities across the country with local resident, Gabe Roush, initially going to Point Pleasant City Council about establishing one with council giving him its full support.
Roush still has plans to grow the trail in stages which is why the numbers run is so important to continue funding for the project. As for the next phase of the trail, Roush said the Point Pleasant Bike Trail Committee is currently in the planning phase of building a trail that connects Tu-Endie-Wei Park to Krodel park.
“At this point in time, we are looking into the most feasible way to accomplish this,” Roush said. “We’d love to have the trail run along the top of the earthen floodwall that surrounds First and Second streets along the Kanawha river. If that plan fails, we would like to run it along the outside base of the wall. With our proposed plan, we need the permission of a couple residents to utilize small portions of their property. We have been in contact with them and we are hoping for the best. However, we do have potential back up plans if we do not receive the needed permission.”
Roush said next, the committee would have to hire an engineer to draw up detailed plans before presenting it to the US Army Corp of Engineers for their final approval before proceeding.
“These are all things that we have to accomplish before we will be competitive for the grants that allot larger sums of money,” Roush said. “In all, the potential cost of this project ultimately depends on which route we’re able to proceed with. We understand that this is a large undertaking, but we feel that this phase of the bike trail is the most important because it makes traveling between two of our most utilized parks easier for cyclists and pedestrians alike. With all of this being said, the committee will continue smaller projects over the coming months. Projects such as installing bike racks at various locations and working with the state to post ‘share the road’ signs are already in the works.”
As for how the existing trail has been received so far, Roush said he’s heard nothing but positive feedback.
“After talking to a couple locals, they’ve told me that they’ve seen an increase in people out riding bikes through town this summer,” Roush added. “The current posted route is geared more toward the folks visiting who may not know their way around, and we understand that the people of Point Pleasant aren’t going to ride only the marked ‘safe bike route.’ However, I do believe that the posted signs and the attempt to make Point more bike friendly do encourage folks to get out and ride. That encouragement to get out and be active is our ultimate goal.”
Roush and those on the committee believe the trail is important because, as Roush put it: “It (the trail) is a new and refreshing idea to better our community. It is something that engages every generation that lives in our area. As a younger person, I’ve noticed that there seems to be more things geared toward older generations, but a project like this can offer so much to both young and old alike. Also, bike trails give people a reason to go out and be active, which can improve the health and wellness of our citizens.
Roush went on to say: “With our state’s recent history of health issues, a bike trail can help combat such problems in our area. Lastly, a bike trail could potentially bring in more tourism and business for our town. Many people around the country travel to different areas to explore trails and areas where cyclists are welcome. The way that I see it is, if a person comes here to ride their bike, they will see the Mothman Museum and want to check that out. Then, maybe, they see the Mason Jar and decide to stop in to find a treasure to purchase. At that point they’re hungry, so maybe they stop at the Down Town Deli for lunch. What this equation produces is money spent at our local small businesses. If we can build a respectable trail, then there is a new draw to our already beautiful town.”
For more information, find the Point Pleasant Bike Trail on Facebook.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.