This bike trail joins others in the Tyler area, including those at Faulkner Park, The University of Texas at Tyler and Tyler State Park. The trail winds 10 miles through the 130 acres of Lindsey Park on Spur 346, west of town. The entrance and exit can be found across the park road from the parking lot for the lower softball fields, according to the release.
“The Lindsey Park Mountain Bike trail came about through a creative partnership between the city of Tyler, the Tyler Bicycle Club, and the Smith County Justice system,” Tyler Parks Director Stephanie Rollings said in the release.
She said that Tyler Bicycle Club volunteers, along with Smith County jail trusties and individuals doing community service for probation with Smith County Court-at-Law No. 3 cut the trail through the forested tract during the past 18 months. Local competitive cyclist Nevada Thomason designed the trail.
“The city of Tyler is so excited to offer to our citizens this type of recreational opportunity at now two of our park facilities. It is with these types of partnerships that such great projects come to fruition,” Ms. Rollings said in the release.
The trail started to slowly take shape during 2011. Work accelerated about a year ago when Smith County Court at Law No. 3 Judge Floyd Getz set up several community service trail work days for those he placed on adult misdemeanor probation.
“We ran crews of as many as two or three dozen people, broken up into several small groups,” Getz said in the release. “Each crew was supervised by one or more bike club volunteers and assigned to clear a different section of the trail. It amazed me how much we were able to get done that way in such a short time,” he said.
Getz added that many of the people initially court-ordered to be there on certain dates came back out again on later work days simply because they enjoyed getting their hours that way, according to the release.
“If someone wants an introduction to mountain biking, Lindsey is a great place to begin,” Getz said. “It's an easy trail if you ride it slow but becomes increasingly more challenging the faster you ride it. It's set up so that you can ride just a short portion to get started, and then add more and more trail as you improve.”
There are also optional portions available for more advanced riders. David Hartmann, one of the “trail stewards” at Lindsey, has added some challenging expert sections as optional runs off of the main trail, according to the release.
Hartmann said that Lindsey is also an excellent choice if someone wants to get into night riding on a mountain bike. There are now super-bright LED bike lights available powered by rechargeable lithium battery packs, he said in the release.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind if someone wants to go out and tackle these trails on a bike, the release stated. One is a helmet.
“Trees and rocks are unforgiving if you hit them at biking speeds. Most other injuries heal up with time and treatment, but a head injury can last a lifetime. A decent helmet is cheap insurance.” Dr. Justin McInnes, another of the principal trail builders at Lindsey, stated in the release.
Another rule of mountain biking is to leave nothing behind but tire tracks, according to the release. Take empty drink bottles and other trash with you. All riders are encouraged to help by clearing away branches or other debris that may fall on the trail.
To get involved with other Tyler areas mountain bikers and road cyclists, to register for the Lindsey Four-Hour Endurance Race or to contribute to the maintenance of the trails, visit tylerbicycleclub.com.