Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Daily Camera Update on the Park!

Valmont Bike Park coming together

Latest plan details pump tracks, dual slalom race course

By Marty Caivano (Contact)
Monday, January 26, 2009

If you go

What: Campaign party at Boulder Cycle Sport

When: 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday

Where: 4580 Broadway, Unit B, Boulder



BOULDER, Colo. —

It may be January, but Pete Webber dreams of pump tracks.

Two state-of-the-art pump tracks, to be precise — among the most professional and sustainable tracks he’s known. And, best of all, they’re planned to be built at Boulder’s Valmont Bike Park.

“The tracks are being designed by Alpine Bike Parks, and they’ll be larger in size with more radical features and more speed, with a wall ride in the advanced version,” Webber said.

The trail specialist from Boulder’s International Mountain Bicycling Association has plenty of experience with these dirt loops, which combine undulating rollers and sharp turns into a feature that will improve every rider’s skills.

The tracks — one for beginner-to-intermediate riders and the other for intermediate-to-advanced — are just one of several new projects planned for the park, which is scheduled to begin construction this summer.

Other additions include a dual slalom race course, a slopestyle area (a ski resort-style section with wall rides and hip jumps) including beginner, intermediate and expert lines, a 250-foot dirt-jump area, a sand pit and staircase for cyclocross, a four-mile trail system and lots of technical features.

“All the bike terrain is going to be carved into the land much the way a golf course uses innovative earth shaping to create unique terrain,” Webber said. “We’re not trying to replicate terrain found in nature; instead we’re creating new terrain that stretches the imagination.”

The latest site design for the park, including a photo-laden schematic that brings the plans to life, is now ready for approval from the city planning department. Local riders can ogle the artwork, as well as 50 pages of detailed line drawings, at a campaign party Tuesday night at Boulder Cycle Sport in north Boulder.

The party also showcases another step forward for the park: a matching-funds drive offered by the Boulder-based coalition Bikes Belong, which will further fundraising efforts for the park’s amenities. The drive runs through Feb. 6, and all personal and business donations made in that time will be matched up to $10,000.

“This is such an important project, and it will have a big impact on Boulder,” said Elizabeth Train, grants director for Bikes Belong. “And it’s a great model for folks to do this kind of thing nationally.”

The park is a partnership between the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance. Although the city has allocated $800,000 to the bike portions of the park, BMA and the bike park committee are working to raise an additional $500,000. That money will be used to make sure the cycling features are as high-tech as Webber describes.

About $121,000 has been raised, which includes a $50,000 grant from the Dalbey Foundation. In March, the parks and rec department will apply for a $200,000 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, a state trust that helps projects like these.

But in the interim, the park’s planners are trying to bring in as much money as they can for the matching-funds drive.

The Pro’s Closet, a local company that resells outdoor gear on eBay, is stepping forward with a check for $500.

“We had planned on donating, and thought that this would be a good time to get the ball rolling for more donations,” said Pete Lopinto, co-owner. “We’re just super excited that something like this is happening in Boulder. It’s a natural evolution of everything we believe in, and what everyone in this town believes in.”

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