Love To Hike, Bike, Or Run? Check Out These Trailblazing Mountain Bikers
We’re talking today with Josh Taylor, Vice President of PASA, a local group of mountain biking enthusiasts that build trails all over our area for hikers, runners, and mountain bikers.
GA!: Josh, tell us a little about PASA?
Josh: PASA (Piedmont Area Singletrack Alliance) is a cycling advocacy and volunteer mountain bike trail building club. As a club we strive to promote land access and trail preservation, to secure land for new trail development, and to help manage and maintain both new and existing trail systems. Currently we’re on that mission in Gaston, Cleveland, Lincoln, and Mecklenburg County. Public land and trail advocacy is very important to us but so is our play time. We will always also be about having fun, riding our bikes, building camaraderie, and promoting recreation throughout the communities we encompass.
GA!: The trail at Poston Park is one you seem to be especially proud of – how did that trail come about?
Josh: Poston Mountain Bike Trail is our mothership. It’s the place where we first really rallied, got organized, and even surprised ourselves with the outcome. Poston is line one of our resume. Want to see what happens when a small tight group of friends with a common vision and good trail building knowledge dedicate themselves to building something for all the community to enjoy? Go bike or hike Poston. At over 3000 volunteer hours and growing PASA volunteers spend almost every Saturday of the fall/winter expanding the trail at Poston. It was a ground- up initiative; there was nothing there when we started. It was an amazing experience to take a blank canvas and create the vision in your mind across the park landscape. The only thing more rewarding than building that trail (and all our trails) is seeing people enjoying it and of course, getting to enjoy that sweat equity ourselves as well!
GA!: The trails seem like a great benefit for folks that love hiking or mountain biking-what is the cost to taxpayer for what you do?
Josh: We cost the community next to nothing. We are 100% volunteer and proud of it! Short of Gaston County Parks & Recreation spending some nominal funds on things like trail signage (which we hang for them) and lumber for bridges (which we build for them) our trail is built free and clear of the taxpaying public.
GA!: What is a good beginner trail for folks that want to hike or bike locally?
Josh: Sticking with Gaston County I would have to say that the South Fork River Trail is a good launching point for someone who has never ridden a bicycle off-road. It’s flat for the most part and the trail stays about 6-feet wide on average. This out and back two-way trail is only 4 miles total so the distance won’t be too much for a newbie. This is also a perfect place to get your legs and lungs in good working fashion from a hiking standpoint. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Crowders State Park for the hikers (no bikes allowed) as well which we’re very lucky to have so close by.
Josh: You could visit our website at www.bikepasa.com or people are more than welcome to email me directly with any questions they might have – firstname.lastname@example.org
By David Hamrick