On Saturday, Lunchbox and I headed out to the new Southview Recreation Center for the grand opening/ribbon cutting ceremony. This event was a culmination of hard work from the Tarheel Trailblazers, the Dirt Divas, and REI. This recreation center now boasts a 2.5 mile trail, with more to come. Imagine having a professionally built trail right in your neighborhood. I hope these kids will enjoy their new trail.
We arrived at about 9:30 a.m. for the 10:00 a.m. ceremony. The parking lot was starting to fill up pretty fast. There were lots of Trailblazers and Dirt Divas on hand for this event. Eventually we all made our way inside to the recreation center for the presentation. This featured speakers from the County Commission, REI, Trips for Kids Charlotte, the Dirt Divas, and the Tarheel Trailblazers. You could feel the excitement in the room.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, we all headed out for a trail ride. We were concerned that the ride wouldn’t happen, since we had a lot of rain. It didn’t rain that morning though, so the ride was on. Trips for Kids brought their giant trailer full o’ bikes and unloaded mountain bikes for the kids in attendance.
Paula from Trips for Kids Charlotte even got a little interview time, as well as some others. Reporter Jonathan Lowe from News 14 Carolina was on the scene, and he did a great job covering the event. I even got a few seconds of TV time, including a shot of me riding the trail, and also an extreme close-up of me filling my tires with air. Jonathan even took to the trails on a bike and filmed while he was riding. I want to give a big thank you to Carolina News 14 for sending him out our way. If you would like to see the story, click here.
As it was probably mentioned in the story, this trail was designed for the children in low-income neighborhoods (including the area where the trail is located), and also for children and adults with disabilities. There was one girl named Cheyenne that came out for the event, and she was happy to be out there. She was in an accident at the age of five (she’s now 12), and she has no use of her legs. However, she discovered the One-Off Handcycle, and the rest is history. Our club, the Tarheel Trailblazers, has two of these wonderful machines available for anyone who wants to take them out for a spin. She has been using one of them at the local BMX track, and she came out to enjoy the new trail on it as well. She was an inspiration to us all.
The rides went well, and everyone had a blast. Trips for Kids even had food for the riders at the end. This was a great event, and a wonderful thing for our community. This is what it’s all about, helping others. The little bit of time everyone took out of their lives to get this trail completed meant the world to these kids and this neighborhood. I am proud to have been even a small part of such a good thing.