BERLIN – Town officials this week approved plans for a bike event at Berlin Falls Park.
The town council voted unanimously to approve plans for Get Ramped, an afternoon of mountain biking and skateboarding. Officials were quick to voice their support of the Oct. 23 event.
“We’re very excited,” Berlin Mayor Gee Williams said. “This is one of the things we had in mind back when we were first talking about preserving this property.”
Organizer Tres Denk of the Eastern Shore International Mountain Bike Association says the free event, set for 2-5 p.m. on Oct. 23, will be similar to the ones he’s hosted in neighboring municipalities. His group and other area non-profit organizations will provide mountain bike instruction and helmet safety lessons. Ramps, donated by K-Coast, will also be set up for skateboarding and biking.
“We’ve talked several times about ways to make bicycling friendlier …,” Denk said. “Bicycling is not something I made up. They’re not going to stop making them. We should embrace bicycles and have more bicycle racks, have free bike pumps, have all that kind of stuff. This is merely a way to start that conversation.”
It will be one of the first events at the town’s new Berlin Falls Park. Denk, a longtime advocate for bicycling, said he’d seen the trails on the 60-acre property that were used for Jeep Week in the past and thought they could be converted for mountain bike use.
Williams said all potential uses for the site would be explored.
“It’s definitely among the many ideas suggested for somewhere in town,” he said.
Denk said he knew it was odd to talk about mountain biking at the beach but explained what he and members of his group basically did was bike on trails.
“Riding on the road is such a white knuckle experience,” Denk said. “Riding trails is like the ethereal white light. You can actually relax and enjoy yourself on a trail. Some are difficult, most not so much. It’s mainly about getting you out and enjoying the trails.”
Councilmember Lisa Hall praised Denk’s efforts to promote biking and suggested he promote the event to groups like Worcester Youth and Family Counseling and at local schools. Denk said he was planning to publicize it but didn’t have the printing capability to get flyers for school-wide distribution.
Councilman Thom Gulyas, who owns Ace Printing, offered to help with the flyers. Denk thanked him but pointed out that he didn’t want the event to be too large because he had a limited number of volunteers.
The council voted unanimously to approve the event.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea,” Councilman Troy Purnell said.