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|Lake Norman Times: Fisher Farm Park
|Phase I trail complete at Fisher Farm
By Emily Chaffin
Tom Mathews takes the option of riding over a boulder and a log descent at the new two-mile bike trail at Fisher Farm Park outside of Davidson. Mathews helped trail coordinator Mark Sullivan to design and layout the trail. The Tarheel Trailblazers will begin construction of the second bike loop in the fall.
As Mark Sullivan pedals his bike past a blur of trees, he sees one in particular and decides to stop.
"The trail definitely goes past this tree for a reason," Sullivan said.
Sullivan coordinates the construction of the mountain bike trails at Fisher Farm Park, located off Shearers Road in the Davidson ETJ. He and a handful of volunteers went out to the park almost every weekend in the fall and winter to construct the two-mile loop that comprises Phase I of the bike trail.
Sullivan said that the tree with its wide-reaching branches, looked as though it could hug you. He knew early on that he wanted to make the tree a part of the ride at Fisher Farm.
When he designed the trail, Sullivan realized it was more than a trail he was designing. He wanted to build an experience for riders to enjoy.
When people think about a place they visited, "they remember the experience," Sullivan said.
Phase I of the trail is now open to bikers. Sullivan plans to begin work on a less-technical second loop this fall.
The section that Sullivan and volunteers recently completed contains several technical options for advanced riders -- a drop over a large boulder, log bridges, a rock garden, and a wooden ramp.
The trail winds around land that slopes up from a creek. Because of the water, Sullivan tried to keep the trail to elevated areas with good drainage. Where there were a couple of wet patches, Sullivan and volunteers made use of slabs of broken concrete on the property to buffer the trail against erosion.
A sign at the head of the trail asks bikers not to use the trail up to 24 hours after rainfall. Sullivan also said not to be afraid to use the front brake.
"It does up to 80 percent of the braking," he said, "and when you lock up the back tire it tears up the trail."
Sullivan has one other bit of advice.
"Ride it like you stole it," he said, smiling.
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