Clovis should consider scenic biking routes

By Clyde Davis: Local Columnist

Like a line or theme from an alternative country song, this idea started in Austin. We’ve only been there twice and hope to go back this October. It seems that Austin is a valid place for worthwhile ideas — like worthwhile music — to come to life. This particular idea started on the riverbank walk.

We were walking the trail, feeling particularly healthy, because we had just ridden in the bicycle “Ride for the Roses” cancer fundraiser. We were excited about going on the bat boat ride later in the evening. Since we were feeling healthy, we couldn’t help but notice the number of healthy people who were walking, cycling or running in the area.

Fast forward to last fall – as we walked up Norris toward Llano, the route for a moderate two mile walk that Janice and I sometimes use. On a smoky evening, one couldn’t help but notice the road was well populated with walkers, runners and – you guessed it – cyclists.

After six years of marriage, we sometimes think on the same track. This particular track went something like this; with the number of people in Clovis who see exercise as vital in their daily routine, why not set off more areas in town to be turned into nice scenic trails akin to the one we walked in Austin.

An area which immediately came to mind is the wetland area to the west of Wal-Mart. A walkway around this would be approximately half a mile. There are, however, other options. Periodic cycling at Ned Houk Park has shown us that a new nature trail is emerging, perhaps even completed by now.

Albuquerque recently opened a cycling trail which runs along the Rio Grande. We don’t have the Rio Grande but we do have other areas where scenic exercise facilities could be developed.

Len Vohs is chairman of Clovis Pride and a lifelong Clovis resident. He said we have many existing opportunities to clean up and to make Clovis a better place to enjoy life. Green Acres Park is a prime example. With a little work done to it, it could be a showplace right in the heart of Clovis.

It isn’t about some kind of super facility, for super athletes to run miles in training for the Ironman. What I’m thinking of is a place to practice wellness, the kind of moderate exercise nearly everyone is capable of, in an environment that is conducive to enjoyment. I really admire people who can ride an exercise bike or walk a treadmill; I admire them because it isn’t anything I can discipline myself to do. I love to ride or walk in the fresh air, with scenery and events going on around me. Thus, outdoor recreation areas are much more empowering for me.

Albuquerque and Austin have rivers, it is true; I am not suggesting that we go out and build a river. But with the obvious number of Clovis residents who are committed to carrying out their exercise routine outdoors (just take a look around) and with our temperate climate where all but the most easily chilled can be outside year around (yes, I know this winter has been the exception) — well, what have we got to lose? With a little work and planning, the payoff in town spirit, health and appearance could be huge.

Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University. He can be contacted at: