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Bike Track modular path systems

More extensive information on the currently available modular surface can be found at While the NICM surface panels shown on the Bike Track web site work well for paths, the target market is now tent flooring, thus all information on the web site relates to tent flooring. The current panels shown on are easier to connect than the original panels and are now produced in a tan color that brightens the inside of tents. As a path system, the tan panels blend more naturally with the environment. Panels are designed to connect in edge to edge in straight lines, or right angles, but can be custom cut and joined with standard carpentry tools to form any angle or curve.

What type of ground preparation is needed for long term installations?

The only ground preparation needed for long term installations is to level the surface below so that you do not have too much side slope (up to several degrees of side slope is tolerable) and to remove or fill over obvious stumps, humps and rocks so that the surface is evenly supported by the ground below.

The panels are 2 inches thick, so a surface installation will leave you with a 2" lip along each edge that can be easily beveled out by adding a little soil. Recessing the panels into the ground is an option, particularly across lawns and golf courses where there may be frequent cross traffic by mowers and other light vehicles.

There is no need for any aggregate or subsurface preparation since the panels spread their weight over the subsurface. If the ground is wet and soft (if you sink in over your ankles), you should lay geotextile down first.

Geotextile or landscaping fabric underneath can also be helpful in reducing the growth of grass up through the drain holes in the panels, although foot and wheel traffic on high use paths will naturally keep the grass in check.

Can the path system be installed close to trees?

Installing a path close to trees does not disturb the roots and as the trees and roots grow, root heaving of the path causes little problem. Rather than crack and buckle from root growth, like concrete or asphalt, the path will gently flex up. Water and air can flow down through the path surface to the roots below.

Is the plastic bike path material plowable in the winter?

The path is made from the same material as pickup truck bed liners, so it will withstand much abuse. It shovels off very easily because snow and ice do not stick to the surface. The raised arcs and drainage holes allow water to go right through rather than freezing on the surface. We don't know that mechanical plowing has been used.

How does it compare in cost for materials for asphalt path?

There is a great deal of variation in the cost of an asphalt path depending on the ground it is constructed on. Much work must go into excavation and preparing a base before asphalt can be laid. Also there are significant planning and engineering costs for permanent asphalt paths. The modular, semi-flexible characteristics of Bike Track allow it to be laid over most terrain with very little planning or engineering expense, and with generally no more than leveling of the ground and laying down inexpensive geotextile before the panels are placed. Maintenance costs are low since the Bike Track surface does not frost or root heave and stands up very well to bicycle, pedestrian and wheelchair traffic. The path at Presidents' Park and around the National Christmas Tree has had an estimated 800,000 users per year since 2003 and the surface shows no signs of wear. 

In a true wetland you would use the NICM Bike Track panels in place of pressure treated lumber as a boardwalk surface.
On spongy ground you can lay down the Bike Track panels over geotextile directly on the ground.
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Forest Savers® LLC

796 Wayside Road Ext.

Woodstock, VT 05091

PHONE: 1-802-356-3215


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