Eau Claire sled hill gets put to use during warmer months

By: Amanda Tyler, Nikki Junewicz Email
By: Amanda Tyler, Nikki Junewicz Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) A popular Eau Claire sledding hill is getting new life this summer.

Since this spring a group of volunteers has hauled more than 500 tons of dirt to create a bikepark at Pinehurst Park.

Now the high flying course is ready to ride. It includes plenty of jumps sending bike riders into the air as they hone their skills.

"When you're up in the air you feel a moment of losing all gravity and there is nothing better in the world like that feeling," explains rider Cody Curry.

Curry has been catching air on two wheels since he was eight. His cycling has taken him around the country, now he can ride closer to home.

"Shovel rakes and a wheel barrow are my best friend," explains Curry.

Curry and dozens of volunteers from a group known as the "Pinehurst Project" have worked to make the park what it is today, thanks to community donations and 500-tons of dirt donated by Hoeft Builders

Christian Peterson says once the project was announced, says bikers from around the community came out to help make the dream a reality.

"It's about getting kids introduced to the sport getting them outside," says Peterson.

While riders make jumps like that look easy, its all about safety on the course.

"We are bringing the sport out into the open where I think it will be much safer I think it will be educational for kids," says Phil Fieber with Eau Claire Parks and Recreation.

Fieber says helmets and safety equipment are essential when it comes to an extreme sport like biking.

He adds Pinehurst is like any park where participants assume the risks and the city isn't liable for accidents.

"Kids are encouraged to wear helmets we don't even want you showing up there if you don't have a helmet," he explains.

And while spills and wipe-outs happen, life long bikers like Cody Curry say its all part of the learning process.

"That's part of the fun is picking yourself backup and wiping the dust off and getting back at it," says Curry.

The Pinehurst Project group is still working to put the finishing touches on a begginner's course at the park.

At the same time the group is working on building longer gravity trails for riders who don't want to catch as much air.


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