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President's Corner - 'Dozers at Catawba
As reported by some riders this week, there have been bulldozers and drilling rigs on the north end (far end) of the property at Historic Tuckasegee Ford Park.

According to Jeff Wise of Charlotte Whitewater Partners, these machines are there to do preliminary geotechnical investigation and drill core samples from the areas to be developed into the whitewater park. The drilling company is aware of the existing trails and intend to do as little damage as possible to them at this time.

One section of the "crater" trail was blocked on Tuesday, Aug. 3rd, but should be cleared by the weekend. Actual construction of the whitewater park is not expected to start until later this year.

When actual construction does begin, it is expected that the entire north end of the park will be closed to trail riding. The Trailblazers have spoken at a couple of different Park meetings expressing the importance of keeping the trails open to some degree during construction. We have been told by the park manager that they will make every effort to keep the trails open during construction. Safety is the biggest concern, so if we have to block part of the trail, it is very important that no one go "exploring" on closed trails. If they do, we may be forced to close the entire trail during construction.

We of course have no influence over the 4-wheelers and motorcycles that ride illegally on park property, and have voiced our concerns that their actions might have an adverse effect on the cyclists.

There is new ground being broken here in many more ways than one, so it is important for all of us to keep our minds open when dealing with the inconveniences that lie ahead of us.

In the big picture, the future of mountain biking along the Catawba River corridor looks very bright. The prospect of having a world class whitewater facility available in that same corridor is unprecedented.

Let's all be prepared to deal with the costs of progress along the way...

Keep on riding!....

Frank Pietras
President/Trail Coordinator

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Tarheel Trailblazers | 182 Saddle Road | Mooresville, NC 28115
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