At the far end of East Calle Sonora in Nogales, the new Monte Carlo Trails park now offers a one-kilometer nature course for walking, running and mountain biking, as well as a newly-built BMX pump track in the middle of the property.
A collaborative project between the 0S3 Movement cycling organization, City of Nogales and National Park Service, the park was inaugurated last Saturday morning, Dec. 21, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that highlighted the various elements of the project that volunteers worked on for several months.
“It gives me great pleasure that in the past four or five months, you fulfilled all of this for the community – all volunteers and you did all of this,” Mayor Arturo Garino said, recalling when the concept of a bike park was first introduced in 2014. “The city helped with certain things, but you did all of this voluntarily.”
Just past the gates at the entrance of the park, a hand-painted sign points visitors to the start of the loop course. Other signs posted along the trail encourage visitors to engage with the environment around them, pointing out the local fauna and flora, such as the different varieties of cacti standing atop the hillsides.
But last Saturday morning, as community members and a few visitors from out of town sat down for the inauguration ceremony, their attention was mainly directed toward the newly completed, 19-by-33 foot bicycle sculpture towering near the entrance of the park. It was constructed entirely out of recycled material, including old air turbines, scrap metal from trampolines, pieces from old bikes and utility poles.
“I leave Nogales a huge bike in hopes that it makes a smile in many, many faces. I hope it lasts for a long time,” artist and 0S3 cofounder Karla Osete said, giving credit to her father for teaching her the skills to bring her idea to life, and thanking the families who volunteered their time with the other art components of the park. “This is the work of many residents of the community.”
The long run
While Osete headed up the artistic side of the Monte Carlo Trails project, 0S3 co-founder Edgardo Muñoz focused his attention on planning and gathering the manpower to build the trail and pump track – the other two principal features of the first phase of development.
Several visitors took their first walk through the trail soon after the ribbon-cutting and headed toward the center of the park to the pump track, where more than a dozen bikers, including several from the local Team 45, were ready to show off their BMX skills to the public.
As for the next phases, Muñoz told the NI in October, city officials and 0S3 members hope to add benches and add more trails, specifically a few exclusively for walkers and runners.
In the long run, Muñoz said perviously, the organizers hope the park will create opportunities to host youth biking competitions and events, which would boost tourism in the community.
“They tell me that they want to bring in tournaments, people from outside to visit Nogales and participate in biking events,” Garino said. “The city is going to continue, how it should be, helping you out.”