Letter | Pioneer Park for fun and fitness
September 20, 2011 · 3:07 PM
I just returned from a fabulous bike ride through Pioneer Park, and I was thinking that in 21 years living on the Island, I have seen only one other mountain biker who regularly pedals through the trails in Pioneer Park except for my biking buddies who come visit from out of town and ask to go to Pioneer Park the first day of the visit. Why? It is an incredible system of trails, and with the exposed roots and many twists and turns, quite a technical ride. Some observations in 21 years:
1. A lot of my tennis buddies and other athletes on MI have never set foot in Pioneer Park. I can’t get many off the stationary bikes and onto a real bike and out into the fresh air.
2. People have well-trained dogs who, when off leash, are very responsive to voice commands, so I have never had a problem sharing the path with them.
3. Speaking of dogs, my rule is: the longer the tail, the better behaved the dog. Goldens, labs and shepherds are the best behaved. Not well behaved are those fluffy little yappers with bows in their hair. Those little darlings should definitely stay on a leash!
4. One danger that has grown over the years: those with cell phones and mpg players who can’t hear you when riding behind them. Question: why isn’t a walk in the woods enough for them? Why not listen to the sounds of the woods?
5. MI Parks Dept. does a fabulous job maintaining the trails, and if there is a tree down, I just call them up and let them know. Next time I ride, it is cut and moved off the trail.
6. You can do all four quadrants; each has their own particular character. For those really in shape, you can ride up and down the canyon that connects Island Crest and East Mercer Way through the park.
In short, it’s a great resource and a lot of fun for those who want to get a great workout and want to avoid competing with traffic circling the Island and the interior atmosphere of the health club.