A disused mine in Louisville, Kentucky is now home to a spectacular bike park including BMX jumps and singletrack runs – all of it 100 feet underground. The Mega Underground Bike Park covers 320,000 square feet, and opens next month.
Opened in 1930 as the Louisville Crushed Stone Mine, limestone was quarried there until 1972. In 1989, Jim Lowry and his business partner bought the quarry and turned it into a high-security commercial storage facility, which continues to occupy part of the complex.
According to the website RoadsideAmerica.com, in 2009 they realised that they also had a potential visitor attraction on their hands.
Now, Mega Cavern offers adventure activities such as a network of ziplines, and people can also undertake an hour-long tour of some of the 17 miles of caverns.
Highlights include a nuclear war survival cave that was designed to house 50,000 troops from Fort Knox as well as the great and good of the state – including, according to a tour guide, Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame.
The latest addition, however, is the one that has got people in BMX and mountain bike circles talking – the Mega Underground Bike Park which, according to its website, has “over 45 trails, Jump Lines, Pump Tracks, Dual Slalom, BMX, Cross Country and Single Track,” with a “60 degree temperature year round.”
In this video uploaded to YouTube last September, co-owner Lowry took WorldBikeParks.com on a tour of the cavern while the finishing touches were being put to the bike park.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.