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Local riders enjoying new mountain bike trail

The first of its kind in the area, the River Bluff Bike Trail is not complete, but is already attracting many mountain bike riders from around the region.

Posted: Oct 14, 2021 1:45 PM
Updated: Oct 14, 2021 1:46 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Local bike shop Horizon Cycling is seeing the benefits of the newest mountain bike trail in town.

The first of its kind in the area, the River Bluff Bike Trail is not complete, but is already attracting many mountain bike riders from around the region. 

"It's awesome," said Blake Hoppe, the manager at Horizon Cycling. "I mean it's going to be the first trail of its kind, probably within four hours of here at least. At least until you get down to Northwest Arkansas, around Bentonville."

On Tuesday nights, Hoppe and a group of local cyclists ride the new mountain bike trail. Hoppe and the crew saying it compares to trails found in Colorado.

“So everything else we’ve got in town is hand built. It’s going to be more traditional, cross-country, narrower, single-track; just all volunteer built," said Hoppe referring to the other trails in St. Joseph. "This is all built with machinery. So like mini-excavators. So it’s all going to be flowier, wider-cut, smoother, faster, just a different kind of trail. More of a true bike-park like you’d see in Colorado.”

Because of the new course, Hoppe is seeing more business as well.

“We’re selling more mountain bikes than we have in the past. Everytime I’m up at the (River) Bluff, I see people from out of town and they’re coming by the store to get recommendations on trails, where they should ride, where they should park. So we’re definitely seeing an increase in sales from it. I think we’re just going to continue to see it grow as they finish the park" Hoppe explained.

Locals are joining the bike community as well. New mountain bike rider Sean Davis said the pandemic and his family is what got him outdoors and adopting his new hobby of riding,

“My brother in-law then showed me mountain biking and so I kind of fell in love with that instead, and kind of went away from the road-riding and kind of more into the mountain biking, said Davis. “This stuff is a lot more professional it seems like and anything new is fun, and so I feel like there’s stuff for everybody out here.”

Including females. Rhonda Jacobs has been riding a bike on all sorts of paths. Jacobs says she loves joining the group on Tuesdays and getting to learn from the guys.

"It's a great community," Jacobs said. "The guys are awesome to ride with."

Jacobs said a women's group rides on Wednesday nights. All are welcome to join.

The River Bluff Bike Park will take three years to complete. The first phase near Remington Nature Center is open to the public to ride. NoMad Construction is working on the project.

St. Joseph has a local group of those that like to bike. They can be found on the Joetown MTB Facebook Page.

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It was a pleasant start to the weekend with sunny skies and temperatures reaching the mid 60s. A cold front moving through the area will bring us down into the 30s for lows overnight with gusty winds up to 20 mph. This will keep our highs in the 50s on Sunday under mostly sunny skies with mild winds from the southwest. Temperatures will quickly start to warm up again on Monday with highs in the mid 60s. Rain chances look to stay minimal into next week. Temperatures are forecasted to stay above average for the first day of December on Wednesday.
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