Underground bike park a possibility in Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Underground bike park a possibility in Louisville

Posted: Updated: May 12, 2014 05:16 PM
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Mountain bike enthusiasts are excited about the possibility of the world's first underground bike park being built in Louisville.

It would be constructed at the Louisville Mega Cavern, the series of caves under the Louisville Zoo and Watterson Expressway.

The Mega Cavern is already the home to a number of underground businesses and attractions including the popular Zip Line.

"We are seeing huge growth around here with mountain biking," says the president of the Kentucky Mountain Bike Association, Matt Harris.

Harris talked with WDRB News on Monday in Cherokee Park, one of several metro parks that has trails for mountain biking.

"Louisville is becoming a city that has great facilities for mountain biking," he says.

And there is more to come.

The Parklands of Floyds Fork, the new series of parks being built along the Floyd Fork watershed in Jefferson County, already has some trails for mountain biking. But more are planned in the southern parks of the parklands which are still under development.

"Although the design process is still underway, we plan to build north of 10 new miles for mountain biking," says Parklands spokesperson Ellen Doolittle in an e-mail to WDRB News.

"Those plans will really put Louisville on the map as an urban ride destination," says Harris.

So too will the building of the underground bike park.

"This will be the world's first underground bike park," reveals Harris.

Mega Cavern owner Jim Lowry says that the project is in what he calls the investigation stage.

He says design work is underway and a financial analysis is being conducted to determine if the project should proceed. He is optimistic that it will become a reality.

"We are trying to come up with a good plan on how we would install a great bike park underground," says Lowry, "we think it is a natural addition to what we have here at the mega cavern as far as attractions."

Lowry believes Louisville is a perfect place to have an indoor and underground bike park that would include a mountain bike trail.

"We are being told that Louisville will be a mecca of mountain bike parks in the United States," adds Lowry, "there will be nowhere else in the country where a hundred miles of bike park trails will be located.

And according to Harris, all of the bike trails together in one community will be good for economic growth, attracting young people to a city with such amenities.

"Things like the Parklands, and the opportunity at the mega caverns, that is going to attract businesses, it's going to attract tourism, it's going to be great for our city," says Harris.

Lowry says the new underground bike park could open in a year if the studies underway now turn out the way he thinks they will.

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