Photos and article by Laura Niemiec
There is much to do at Soldiers Memorial Park in La Porte, Indiana from fishing, wandering the nature trails, playgrounds for the little ones, picnic areas, or just taking in the scenic views but the best part is the mountain bike trails. It had been years since I had taken my bike off the pavement and onto the dirt but just after Christmas I loaded my bike in the truck and met up with some friends to hit the trails.
With just over 7 miles of trails to traverse, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. When I arrived to meet up with some new friends, I felt like the odd one out with my ancient mountain bike and standard uncool helmet but they were quick to give me pointers and made me feel at ease as we prepared to hit the trail. My biggest fear, and let’s be honest, pretty much anyone’s biggest fear hitting a mountain bike trail for the first time, is crashing. As we wound down and around the trail through the heavily wooded area in the park I was surprised at how quickly my fear started to ease up. The further we went, the more fun I was having.
The guys gave me a lot of pointers that I kept repeating to myself while trying to enjoy the ride – keep your feet level when you stop pedaling because you don’t want the pedal to catch on something, use your back brake and go easy on the front, lean back when you’re going downhill so you don’t go over the handlebars, and don’t forget to shift gears. After a 5 mile adventure we finally emerged from the woods, all of us unscathed, including myself much to my surprise. I had a surge of adrenaline and a newfound love for mountain biking. Mountain biking may not be for everyone, but if you have a little bit of daredevil in you, I encourage you to give it a whirl at Soldiers Memorial Park.
For more information on the park check out their website: https://www.cityoflaporte.com/Facilities/Facility/Details/Soldiers-Memorial-Park-6
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