Hi. I'm a DH rider from Finland, and today I drove 500km for the grand opening day at Laajavuori Bike Park in Jyväskylä - One of the official Kona bike parks in the world. The park was described as a "cyclist's heaven" on Kona official site and I had such high expectations. My expectations turned out totally wrong - Laajavuori was one of the most unprofessionally managed and totally unmaintained bike parks that I have ever ridden, and I've ridden in parks all over the world.
The routes that were marked fit for beginners were full of water drainage ditches one feet deep that ran straight down the trails. All the dirt had been washed away by the water and there were loose rocks the size of a human head left on the trail. Same with berms - totally eroded by the flow of water with abrupt gaps in the berm walls. I'd hate to be a beginner on these tracks, because they were too hard for me to ride too!
Tabletops and jumps were all tilted and had deep foot imprints on the lips and the landings. When I say footprints, I don't mean the usual markings. I mean holes that are knee deep, something that you can easily push your front wheel into. How are you supposed to take off from such a lip?
Worse than the washing away of dirt and the footprints were the sink holes with a diameter of half a feet to a feet on the trails. These were all over the place - in flat trail sections, right in the middle of berms etc. What are these, sudden death traps?
Is this the kind of maintenance and quality control Kona expects from their parks? The snow has been gone for 1.5 months here already, there would have been plenty of time to do trail maintenance. From talking with the local DH riders, I got the impression that the upkeep of the trails has been next to none for years now.
Kona reps (I know you're reading this forum), what do you say? Why do you not make parks that operate under your name and brand to follow at least SOME quality standards? Having your name displayed all over the place in such sub-par riding conditions is going to cause a lot of harm to your brand!
MTBR members, are the other Kona parks you've been to in similar shape?
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