Cyclists reap benefits of new initiatives

By Paul Hughes
U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart

Matthew Dollins takes his bike for a spin over the Advanced Driver Mobility course. Photo by Paul Hughes, USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs.

Stuttgart’s Family and MWR warrior adventure quest program and Outdoor Rec have a new vision for cycling in the community. One that could see off-road cycle events make a return to the calendar.

Jenny Tomaszewski, the warrior adventure quest program manager, and her team recently held an open house on the Advanced Driver Mobility course, located within the Panzer training area.

Cyclists got an opportunity to ride the course and help determine the feasibility of hosting future cyclo-cross events.

The course located just outside Panzer Kaserne, is regularly used to test drivers skills using the latest military vehicles. If the test goes well, its graveled ways, rutted tracks, and steep inclines will also be used to test cyclists. Welcoming news to the Stuttgart cycling community, who have recently lost access to the Panzer training area’s trails.

“It’s nice to open this up to the community,” said John Cummings, a Stuttgart community cyclist.

Cummings, who was one of more than 130 people who signed up for MWR’s recent “1000km club” – a challenge to community members to ride a thousand kilometers over the summer – was the first community member to take a lap.

Bright yellow DIY cycle service stations have been newly installed on Patch, Panzer and Kelley. Robinson Barracks soon to follow. Photo by Paul Hughes, USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs.

“It was fairly challenging. It’s different from just riding the trails and roads.” Cummings said.

Tomaszerski, who is behind the ambitious idea said, “The vision is to provide an opportunity for the community to have biking events, so we can build a community of cyclists outside of the wire. We want volunteers to help make this a reality.”

Before cyclists take a spin on the course at their next event, they can give their bikes a once-over at one of the newly installed cycle service stations on Patch, Panzer and Kelley. (Robinson Barracks to follow soon.) These bright yellow stations contain all the tools riders may need to make small repairs to bicycles, such as tightening bolts, changing a flat, or pumping up a tire.

For those “pedal heads” in the community with a passion for all facets of cycling, there are maintenance volunteer opportunities to help repair and maintain Outdoor Recreation’s rental fleet and get it ready for winter. Also coming soon are DIY bike tuning workshops being held in conjunction with Park Tools.

Check the Family and MWR Outdoor Recreation webpage for additional details.