A view from above: Tannery Knobs bike park near the finish line

Robert Houk • Updated Mar 3, 2018 at 11:37 PM

Chad Wolfe, owner of the Trek Store in downtown Johnson City, never tires of the view from the city’s bike park under construction atop Tannery Knobs.

“Just look at that,” he said last week while looking down at Memorial Park Community Center and the Johnson City Cardinals’ TVA Credit Union Ballpark. “People will want to be married up here.”

Wolfe, a member of the Southern Off-Road Bike Association and member of the bike park’s task force, said the project is progressing on schedule. He said he is confident the park, which will include a picnic and viewing area in addition to the mountain bike trails, will be completed by June.

“We would love for it to open in time for the Blue Plum Festival,” Wolfe said.

A number of the trails are ready to be ridden. They include the green trail, which winds about a mile or so near the top of the knob. A walking trail is also being built at the top of the park so non-riders can also enjoy the views and action of the park.

The green is the easiest trail in the park, but Wolfe said “that doesn’t mean it’s not fun for the entire family to ride.” He said an intermediate rider can tackle it and “never touch his brakes.”

The blue trails are more challenging. They have dips and sharp turns that will give bikers the sensation of riding a roller coaster.

The black trail is for the most advanced bikers, with stone features at the start that let riders know it’s not for the faint of heart.

Wolfe, who came to Johnson City from Chicago three years ago to sell speciality bicycles, said he is hopeful the bike park will build on the success of the Tweetsie Trail. He believes the park will attract serious mountain bikers, as well as riders coming to the sport for the first time.

And Wolfe said being located on Tannery Knobs, near Interstate 26 and close to downtown Johnson City, could make the park a popular destination for mountain bikers from areas near and far.

Many hands and many talents have gone into making the bike park a reality, Wolfe said. He credits local developer Grant Summers for having the vision to push for its creation, and making it happen by donating the land on Tannery Knobs to the city for the park.

He said local business owners, community leaders and government officials have also been dedicated to the project.

Wolfe said he and other members of SORBA have been and will continue to be closely involved with the park. SORBA members are charged with maintaining the integrity of the bike trails for the city.

“It’s been an honor to have had an influence on this project,” he said.

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