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  1. #1
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    Oct 19th High Park Skills Park Meeting

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    Hello mountain bikers and BMXers,

    This is to inform you that City of Toronto staff have recently closed an informal BMX freestyle area (skills park) in High Park to restore an ecologically significant area. The site has been replanted, fenced off and is currently being monitored for any further cycling activity.

    A new skills parks, offering technically challenging riding in an accessible and controlled environment, will be built on the site of the existing parking lot in the south east corner of High Park. City staff are currently working with accomplished skills park designer, Jay Hoots Hoots Mountain Biking, to develop the new site that will include appropriate off-road cycling features, skills areas and landscape amenities.

    Please join Jay Hoots and City of Toronto staff on Wednesday, October 19 from 6:00-8:30pm, at the Rousseau Room, Swansea Town Hall, to participate in the design consultation for the new skills park in High Park. Jay wants to hear from you.

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    Talked with Scott Laver at the Bayview jumps. He needs all available bodies to show up. needs numbers.

    *** Edited by moderator ***
    Last edited by Circlip; 10-05-2011 at 09:02 AM.

  3. #3
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    This would be awesome... a formal skills park with actually maintained features inside of Toronto.

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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    This would be awesome... a formal skills park with actually maintained features inside of Toronto.
    It's the beginning of change in city mentality. But as Scott mentioned people need to start showing up. He doesn't care if you say nothing at the meeting or can only be at the work day for half an hour. Just show up.

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    Thanks for x-posting Endura, really appreicate it.

    All, if you can make it out, please do. A big showing will help us gain momentum to complete this skills park and catylize the development of more in Toronto.

    The location is Swansea Town Hall

    95 Lavinia Ave, Toronto, ON M6S 3H9

    2 streets south of Bloor, East of Windermere

    RSVP here or on the facebook event page.

    Cheers,
    Graham
    Graham Seaman
    Vice President
    Toronto Off-Road Bicycle Association

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    :: DROPMACHINE.COM:: • View topic - High Park Skills Park Consultation w Jay Hoots Oct 19th

    From Paul the DJ king.

    I was told by Scott that it is absolutely mandatory for us to show up in numbers, that means even you if think you'll never use it, we still need you to come and show your face. I wish signatures could show them that we can stand behind projects like these, they've seen them, now they want to see that we can come together as community and voice what we want/need in person

    In speaking with our city contact, it was suggested that we get a letter writing campaign going. So here are some points:

    - the mountain biking and bmx community needs a high quality skills development facility in High Park to replace that which was lost
    - such a facility should be designed for all off road cyclists, from toddlers on run-bikes to skilled adults
    - the cycling community will work together to maintain the skills park

    If you can't attend on the 19th or even if you can please put a note together to support this initiative. Send the note to trails@toronto.ca, the local Councillor Sarah Doucette at councillor_doucette@toronto.ca and your local Councillor.

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    Jason Murray just sent this out to the IMBA membership as well with the same urgency (it was combined with the similar Copeland announcement).

    Quote Originally Posted by IMBA Canada
    I want to stress that these are not you run of the mill "show up and support MTB" meetings. IMO these are once in a generation meeting that will act as turning points in the respective areas. So if you are anywhere near these areas at the dates these meeting are happening, please show up and lend your voice to the cause.
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Jason Murray just sent this out to the IMBA membership as well with the same urgency (it was combined with the similar Copeland announcement).
    Yes. This matches exactly what Scott innuendo'd on Sunday.

    *** Edited by moderator ***
    Last edited by Circlip; 10-04-2011 at 06:19 PM.

  9. #9
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    Nothing to see here folks. Move along, so that this very important thread may continue.

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    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Nothing to see here folks. Move along, so that this very important thread may continue.
    Actually it's funny because the group in question is not even recognized as being native(an actual tribe) by any of the other tribe. It's basically one dude and a bunch of follower who are notorious for stirring up ****.

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    I'm going to try make it there. I'm going to see if I can get a few friends to show up too.

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    I am very tempted to get out to this meeting (whether or not I'm available then is up to the baby, ).

    If this project were to go ahead, it would be a bit of a drive but at least it's in the west end and as Jason says, it's win-win for advocates in other municipalities if Toronto builds it and it works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I am very tempted to get out to this meeting (whether or not I'm available then is up to the baby, ).

    If this project were to go ahead, it would be a bit of a drive but at least it's in the west end and as Jason says, it's win-win for advocates in other municipalities if Toronto builds it and it works.
    Yeah, new babies have a way of deciding things for you.

    Drive? Nah, take the train. Ride down to Aldershot station, relax for a while on the train, ride over to High Park from Mimico or Exhibition. I've been taking the train downtown when I do evening rides in the Don with my friends, and I've found it to make for a much more enjoyable evening than if I take the car.

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    Ooh, traveling by train! How civilized!

    As a complete aside, I love that the meeting is going to be in the old Swansea Town Hall. I love when old community names like that pop up in what now is the "middle" of Toronto.

    It would be cool to see a map from, say a 150 years ago, showing all these little spots as separate entities!
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Actually it's funny because the group in question is not even recognized as being native(an actual tribe) by any of the other tribe. It's basically one dude and a bunch of follower who are notorious for stirring up ****.
    In the next 24 hours please give us the benefit of a reference link you can provide or someone else can post up) containing some balanced report of this item, so that our mtbr users may educate themselves further on this issue. Aboriginal rights and land use issues are a component of this topic, and therefore I'm not going to instantly take moderator action on posts of this topic pretending it doesn't exist, but anyone choosing to post should be mindful that this is a not a sociopolitical forum and a short leash will be used.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Aboriginal rights and land use issues are a component of this topic,.....
    They are, but I'd like to suggest to anyone who goes to the meeting, that it not be brought up. I don't think it should have any part in what we have to say during the meeting if we speak up. We should be there to show support for building the skills park and expressing what we would like to see built. Yes, that group (who/whatever they are) was responsible for having the DJs flattened. Was it right? Are they legitimate? I don't care at this point because it's happened, and now the city wants to talk about building us a skills park to replace it. They've got a contractor coming, and they're asking us to show up to show our support and express our wishes for the site. Any time we spend talking about who did what in the past, or whether or not they are who they claim to be, or whether the dirt jumps were a burial ground or a hill just takes time away from getting the point across that we want this to happen, and how we want it to happen.

    I'd love to see the place packed full of riders showing their support of the park, offering suggestions, and not taking any bait to waste time arguing about the recognition or land rights of the people that got the DJs flattened. I think that would be a very strong message to the city.

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    I agree. The land rights thing is immaterial to the topic at hand. Griping about why the old stuff was flattened would only divert energy away from what could be a really cool project.
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    Lu Mach had some info he shared. But since that was a PM conversation I will leave it for him to decide.whether to share.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I agree. The land rights thing is immaterial to the topic at hand. Griping about why the old stuff was flattened would only divert energy away from what could be a really cool project.
    Easier said then done. The group in question has and will be there. Been very vocal in opposition to this. So be prepared.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Easier said then done. The group in question has and will be there. Been very vocal in opposition to this. So be prepared.
    Are you saying that they are also making a claim on the parking lot?
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Are you saying that they are also making a claim on the parking lot?
    I have a suspicion that for them allowing anything bike related is evil. And they will oppose it and claiming something along it being "Sacred" ground is their MO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    claiming something along it being "Sacred" ground is their MO.
    No need to speculate about what they will or won’t say, here is what they are saying:

    Request to Stop BMX/Skills Park in High Park by THPS, FOSM and Six Nations Grandmothers | Taiaiako'n Historical Preservation Society

    JM2C, but I agree that rehashing the events leading up to this meeting and disputing their claims and/or legitimacy are non-productive. Without agreeing or disagreeing with their point of view, I see the process being most useful to the democracy at large if it ends up that so many people speak out against the park giving reasons X, Y, and Z, and so many people speak out for the park giving reasons A, B, and C. Using your time to give reasons for the park adds great value, and I strongly suspect that the question of burial grounds and so on will be decided in some back room somewhere, with very little attention paid to who says what in the meeting. Thus, if I am correct, speaking out against the park does little or nothing to change a decision about Aboriginal rights that will be made by/with lawyers and insiders, while speaking out for the park will add weight to the argument that the park will be popular with the public.

    JM2C, I will gently suggest, but in the end it’s your moment to speak and you are the only one who has a right to decide what you will say. That’s democracy as well.

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    Interesting quote from my link above:

    In 2008, the City was advised that the site was believed to be an aboriginal burial mound. The City contracted a licensed archaeologist to conduct an archaeological assessment in accordance with the Ministry of Culture’s standards and guidelines. The assessments, completed in September 2009, determined that there is no evidence of archaeological materials. In May 2010, the province accepted the conclusions of the assessments. Based on information provided from these assessment, the City does not recognize the land as a burial ground. The group claiming the site to be culturally significant have been invited to participate in the restoration process.
    (Make of this what you will, it’s just copy and paste from a web site, not an official communiqué.)

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    Oh ya, this is going to be messy...

    One thing's clear though, this group has figured out how to read Pinkbike and it's only a click away to MTBR from there so I'd advise all here to keep your comments civil and in good taste.
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Oh ya, this is going to be messy...

    One thing's clear though, this group has figured out how to read Pinkbike and it's only a click away to MTBR from there so I'd advise all here to keep your comments civil and in good taste.
    It's possible that they have, but find the posts here not useful as evidence to back up the picture they wish to paint of the potential users of the park. Many of the posts on Pinkbike on the other hand, seem to work great for that purpose.

    I think one of the best ways to disprove the image of cyclists that they seem to be pushing is to not respond to what seems to be bait by arguing, but to demonstrate as a group by our behaviour how we do not fit the image they are pushing.

    You can argue it with words, or you can show it by example.
    Last edited by nickboers; 10-05-2011 at 11:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickboers View Post
    It's possible that they have, but find the posts here not useful as evidence to back up the picture they wish to paint of the potential users of the park. Many of the posts on Pinkbike on the other hand, work great for that purpose.
    I think that in 2011 everyone—including the civil service--has figured out that comments on a public internet forum disproportionally reflect the opinions of a small minority of the forum’s users, who is turn disproportionally reflect a small proportion of the sport as a whole. And that’s not even getting into the question of whether posts could be made by Agent Provocateurs who don’t even ride.

    JM2C again, but I expect that the “powers that be” will form their conclusions about the numbers and character of the BMX and MTB communities from the people that show up to speak, not from hearsay. I think what they are looking for is for riders to talk about what the skills park would mean to them, and they will also give top marks to groups that appear to be organized, such as IMBA, TORBA, OCA, or whomever.

    Politicians and bureaucrats know how to recognize a kindred spirit

    p.s.

    Quote Originally Posted by nickboers View Post
    I think one of the best ways to disprove the image of cyclists that they seem to be pushing is to not respond to what seems to be bait by arguing, but to demonstrate as a group by our behaviour how we do not fit the image they are pushing.

    You can argue it with words, or you can show it by example.
    Slow clap, rising to thunderous applause.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    JM2C again, but I expect that the “powers that be” will form their conclusions about the numbers and character of the BMX and MTB communities from the people that show up to speak, not from hearsay.
    I think your 2c are right on with that one, and why we need to show them who we are by what we say, and how we say it.

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    As mentioned above please tread carefully. I've had to delete and block a few folks from the facebook event already. We are only concerned with the needs and wants that the skills park should fill and not with the land access issue.

    That being said, please come out on the 19th and/or send a note to the Natural Trails Program, Councillor Doucette and your own local Toronto Councillor supporting this project and let them know what you think it should include.

    Thanks for you all your positive support.

    Best regards,
    G
    Graham Seaman
    Vice President
    Toronto Off-Road Bicycle Association

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    Quote Originally Posted by cracker77 View Post
    As mentioned above please tread carefully. I've had to delete and block a few folks from the facebook event already. We are only concerned with the needs and wants that the skills park should fill and not with the land access issue.

    That being said, please come out on the 19th and/or send a note to the Natural Trails Program, Councillor Doucette and your own local Toronto Councillor supporting this project and let them know what you think it should include.

    Thanks for you all your positive support.

    Best regards,
    G
    Graham, thanks so much for your contribution. Are you able to share email and/or other contact information for the Natural Trails Program, and/or Councillor Doucette?

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    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    Graham, thanks so much for your contribution. Are you able to share email and/or other contact information for the Natural Trails Program, and/or Councillor Doucette?
    You're welcome, its my neighbourhood and I'd love to have a skills park to take my kids to in a few years so they can learn bike skills in a safe and constructive environment.

    you can hit them up here:
    Natural Trails Program - trails@toronto.ca,
    Councillor Sarah Doucette - councillor_doucette@toronto.ca
    Graham Seaman
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    JM2C again, but I expect that the “powers that be” will form their conclusions about the numbers and character of the BMX and MTB communities from the people that show up to speak, not from hearsay.
    I wish this were always true but I've been through it enough times locally (Queensdale bike lanes, Meadowlands trails, the Velodrome, etc..) to know that no matter how strong your case is and how well argued it may be that the "powers that be" sometimes have inscrutable agendas. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

    People will grab at anything no matter how apocryphal or ephemeral to try and bolster their case and we don't need to give them any ammunition so let's keep the discussion clean and constructive.

    Rather than talk about a group that opposes the project, why don't we talk about what we want in a skills park? For instance, I want stuff that's low to the ground because I'm a huge chicken!
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I wish this were always true but I've been through it enough times locally (Queensdale bike lanes, Meadowlands trails, the Velodrome, etc..) to know that no matter how strong your case is and how well argued it may be that the "powers that be" sometimes have inscrutable agendas. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

    People will grab at anything no matter how apocryphal or ephemeral to try and bolster their case and we don't need to give them any ammunition so let's keep the discussion clean and constructive.

    Rather than talk about a group that opposes the project, why don't we talk about what we want in a skills park? For instance, I want stuff that's low to the ground because I'm a huge chicken!
    Good point GM.

    I'd like to see a kickass pump track and table top dj set like in the Don. Some low skinnies would cool too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cracker77 View Post
    I'd like to see a kickass pump track and table top dj set like in the Don. Some low skinnies would cool too.
    Oh a big huge pump track would be wicked!
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    .....why don't we talk about what we want in a skills park? For instance, I want stuff that's low to the ground because I'm a huge chicken!
    Most people start out as huge chickens. Low to the ground is a great thing to have in a skills park. We also need higher stuff for when the chickens progress and have the skills and desire to try something bigger.

    I like how the drops at McLennan park were implemented as being accommodating for different skill levels. They can be taken slow, and the resulting vertical drop and air time are quite short. They can be taken at high speed and you can cover a huge distance and hang for what feel like seconds in the air. They have a huge, long, wide downslope transition that is nearly perfectly planar. it doesn't matter if you go straight, left or right off the drop, or how far you go, it's smooth dirt at the same angle wherever you land.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cracker77 View Post
    Good point GM.

    I'd like to see a kickass pump track and table top dj set like in the Don. Some low skinnies would cool too.
    ...and a smaller pump track for the little kids too? My 3 year old daughter would love that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickboers View Post
    I like how the drops at McLennan park were implemented as being accommodating for different skill levels. They can be taken slow, and the resulting vertical drop and air time are quite short. They can be taken at high speed and you can cover a huge distance and hang for what feel like seconds in the air. They have a huge, long, wide downslope transition that is nearly perfectly planar. it doesn't matter if you go straight, left or right off the drop, or how far you go, it's smooth dirt at the same angle wherever you land.
    The Expert drops at Ray's are progressive too and IIRC, you can roll all of them. The thing I don't love about those ones though is the way they merge into the entrance to the Expert area. So many near misses!
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I wish this were always true but I've been through it enough times locally (Queensdale bike lanes, Meadowlands trails, the Velodrome, etc..) to know that no matter how strong your case is and how well argued it may be that the "powers that be" sometimes have inscrutable agendas. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
    We agree on this. I only said that they would form their conclusion about us from who showed up, not that they would form their conclusion about the bike park from who shows up

    Now to the skills park. I’m 100% ok with a pump track and I think that low skinnies are fine. The idea is to practice your skills, and then you take your skills onto the trails to work on your commitment.

    Some ride-overs would be nice as well.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickboers View Post
    ...and a smaller pump track for the little kids too? My 3 year old daughter would love that.
    A teaching square like the one at Joyride would be great for kids and adults too. I've spent hours noodling around on that thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Rather than talk about a group that opposes the project, why don't we talk about what we want in a skills park? For instance, I want stuff that's low to the ground because I'm a huge chicken!
    First suggestion when it comes to this is leave the ego and testicles at home.

    Skills park needs progression as mentioned. Meaning while accomodating you who doesn't like heights we still need to build stuff for the fearless and skilled. If not those riders won't stay around. And we need to include them as well, alot of those riders are the one's who will fix stuff at the park.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    In the next 24 hours please give us the benefit of a reference link you can provide or someone else can post up) containing some balanced report of this item, so that our mtbr users may educate themselves further on this issue. Aboriginal rights and land use issues are a component of this topic, and therefore I'm not going to instantly take moderator action on posts of this topic pretending it doesn't exist, but anyone choosing to post should be mindful that this is a not a sociopolitical forum and a short leash will be used.
    Enjoy

    Red Power

    I've heard of Cree, Huron.. but never red power. I don't mean to bring up "native issues" but really this got thrown in the face of mountain bikers simply because the terrain features look like so called snake-mounds. Seriously what doesn't get thrown at us though... next they'll find some newts. Frankly i think this Group neeeds to back off because there is no real evidence to support their claim - even after a dig was conducted! * Iroquois didn't use snake mounds from what i've heard.

    Finally, who the **** cares really because they stuff is now going to be moved to the parking lot instead... unless there were snake mounds there also. SO now that group can have their fake snake mounds and we can have an actual skills parks... the only people who won't be happy are the richy rich old retirees living nearby!

    The end.

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    I didn't mean to imply that *everything* needs to be low to the ground just some stuff.

    Even the beginner skinnies at Joyride had to be taken down a "notch". People thought they were a little too high.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Skills park needs progression as mentioned. Meaning while accomodating you who doesn't like heights we still need to build stuff for the fearless and skilled. If not those riders won't stay around. And we need to include them as well, alot of those riders are the one's who will fix stuff at the park.
    There is a difference between accommodating a progression of skills and accommodating a progression of fearlessness. For example, Joyride has a skinny that progressively narrows to two inches in height that is a few inches off the deck. That accommodates a progression of skill. Most of the expert skinnies are less than two feet off the deck. For skinnies, one can easily progress in skill within the park and go elsewhere to work on your ability to keep it together while looking at a bad landing.

    I understand that with certain types of jumps and drops, you cannot progress the skills without progressing the fearlessness. Likewise, if you want to work on big rideovers, you have to be prepared to bail off big logs and stones. That being said, I suggest prioritizing skill progression and only making things more dangerous when absolutely necessary.

    As presented, this is a skills park, not an alternative to riding D_ Q____ or G________. If folks want to go elsewhere to get their adrenaline fix, that’s fine. It can’t be all things to alll people, all of the time.

    Again, I accept that jumps and drops conflate the two issues substantially. But not everything in a skills park needs to be dangerous to be useful for training skills or interesting to ride.

    (That being said, I have no personal objection to having a six inch skinny wind its way through the trees overhead.)
    Last edited by raganwald; 10-05-2011 at 01:37 PM.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I didn't mean to imply that *everything* needs to be low to the ground just some stuff.

    Even the beginner skinnies at Joyride had to be taken down a "notch". People thought they were a little too high.
    Sorry... I keep forgetting not everyone wants no more the 6 inches off the ground for everything.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Enjoy

    Red Power

    I've heard of Cree, Huron.. but never red power. I don't mean to bring up "native issues" but really this got thrown in the face of mountain bikers simply because the terrain features look like so called snake-mounds. Seriously what doesn't get thrown at us though... next they'll find some newts. Frankly i think this Group neeeds to back off because there is no real evidence to support their claim - even after a dig was conducted! * Iroquois didn't use snake mounds from what i've heard.

    Finally, who the **** cares really because they stuff is now going to be moved to the parking lot instead... unless there were snake mounds there also. SO now that group can have their fake snake mounds and we can have an actual skills parks... the only people who won't be happy are the richy rich old retirees living nearby!

    The end.
    5....4.....3.....

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Sorry... I keep forgetting not everyone wants no more the 6 inches off the ground for everything.
    To argue against my earlier point, higher skinnies can have a skills component regardless of the commitment factor. Riding the skinny is much the same, however bailing off the skinny is a different matter when you cannot easily ride off it. Somewhere more than a foot off the ground, it starts to make way more sense to hop or pedal kick or go tail first when you need to get off that thing, and it’s hard to practice those things properly on a skinny that’s only a few inches in the air.

    And again, somewhere more than two feet off the ground, going tail first involves an extra bit of ju-ju to get the front wheel off the skinny. It’s hard to practice the move properly off something too low.

    Finally, things like bunny hopping over obstacles or zap-tapping onto them requires some height. I practice a lot of this stuff at the (concrete) BMX park near my house. They have things you can ride more than a few inches off the ground, and they’re useful.

    So upon reflection, I can understand why people might want some things higher up, and it might be entirely a skills development issue.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    First suggestion when it comes to this is leave the ego and testicles at home.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Sorry... I keep forgetting not everyone wants no more the 6 inches off the ground for everything.
    So which is it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    So which is it?
    Rather than circle down the drainpipe of ambiguity, can we not all agree that multiple progressive features to suit a diverse range of skills and cajones would be nice? Just purely from the rider experience, not worrying about any practical issues such as liability exposure, etc. which the city can figure out for themselves.

    For a facility that's proposed to be built from scratch with no pre-existing constraints, it's difficult to argue against that (isn't it?)

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    So which is it?
    Tom Pro said that when it comes to building. Alot of it is more about the whole-" We need 6 foot drops, Discombobulator's, and what not" that comes up. And most who want that will never ride it.

    As Raganwald mentioned. It needs to have progression- including stuff for the more advanced. If not people will reach a point then go build for themselves to make up for it.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    5....4.....3.....
    2... 1.... 0... Ignition.


    Honestly try to give a balanced picture, i mean their own website is there... but like i said this burial ground stuff is thankfully now a side-show. It will end up costing us some extra work to turn the lot into something, but at least it will be legit.

    I just hope it's not TOO bmx oriented, dropping in on a 26" is scary, probably impossible for the wagon wheelers

  50. #50
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    Some points for this,

    - Obesity in children is increasing

    - Kids are less interested in what used to be traditional recreation.

    -Traditional recriation activities are drawing less interest.

    -It costs less to build an maintain mtb infrastructure then what the city is providing now.

    -MTBing is an activity that is easier to access for those of lower incomes then tradional activities, look at all the kids from what are essentially social housing showing up at the DJ's and riding the Don. Have bikes that aren't what we think are great. But they need an outlet for what interests them.

    -Pan Ams, part of hosting games like this is building facilities like this.

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