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  1. #1
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    Bend needs a bike park

    Am I the only one who thinks we need a centrally located bike park in town?:

    Mountains out of molehills | Features | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Am I the only one who thinks we need a centrally located bike park in town?:

    Mountains out of molehills | Features | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
    Yes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Am I the only one who thinks we need a centrally located bike park in town?:

    Mountains out of molehills | Features | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
    Great idea. Where? Best on the East Side of town.
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    What does a bike park bring that we don't already have?

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    Actually surprised there isn't one. Most towns with that much going on typically do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Actually surprised there isn't one. Most towns with that much going on typically do.
    the Lair? or is that too far?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmar123 View Post
    the Lair? or is that too far?
    Valmont Bike Park | Boulder Mountainbike Alliance

    This place rocks. Good example. Build it on the east side to lengthen the season.
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    Big Sky would be an obvious option. It already has the BMX track, and there are two large areas undeveloped. Not sure what they have in mind, long term, for the undeveloped areas, but I did a little work on-line with some GIS appliations and the aerial plats, and it looks like there is about 15 acres adjacent to the BMX track, between the athletic fields and Hamby Road, south of Buckingham Elementary, and another 37 acres in the northeast corner of the park. Even if they have long-term plans for more athletic fields, bike park development would represent a relatively low impact/investment interim use. Here are some aerial photos I worked up for the Big Sky Park area (all within the existing ownership of Bend Parks & Rec District).

    Bend needs a bike park-big-sky-park-whole.jpgBend needs a bike park-big-sky-park-west.jpgBend needs a bike park-big-sky-park-northeast.jpg

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    The Valmont Bike Park involves 132 acres, for sake of reference. Sure it would be nice to have that kind of space, but I don't know that we would need that, given the pretty damned good set of winter trails we do have around here.

    Not sure if BP&R has more room over at the Pine Nursery site.

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    Bend needs a bike park-valmontbikepark-trailmapno.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    Valmont Bike Park | Boulder Mountainbike Alliance

    This place rocks. Good example. Build it on the east side to lengthen the season.
    So people don't have to click the link to see what Valmont looks like:

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    Why do we need more? There is so much already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    Why do we need more? There is so much already.
    Come out to our little bike park at 7th Mtn on a Tuesday morning and your question will be answered for you. It is not for you, obviously you don't think we need one. This would be a great place for kids or folks who currently don't ride, they may find a bike park fun and non intimidating (can't get lost, don't need to be able to read a map, no lions tigers and bears etc.
    Attached Images Attached Images           

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    Yes. I don't see kids able to ride there and then ride. Not a lot of beginner stuff there, no pump track, not really any wood features (which kids love). Ever seen a kid on a kicker bike there? I don't think so.

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    I sold my Company Trail Dynamics earlier this year. TD helped build Valmont and you are correct it is awesome. On a nice weather weekend, there will be 500-1000 riders who visit. Best guess is 40% of them only ride at Valmont.

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    Nice research. Thanks for supplying the maps, a bike park there would seem a good fit. I will venture over that way at some point to look at potential.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Come out to our little bike park at 7th Mtn on a Tuesday morning and your question will be answered for you.
    Is this a summer camp type of thing where the parents drop the kids off for the day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Yes. I don't see kids able to ride there and then ride. Not a lot of beginner stuff there, no pump track, not really any wood features (which kids love). Ever seen a kid on a kicker bike there? I don't think so.
    Isn't there a pump track right over at Phil's TH? And I see kids on kicker bikes in lower Phil's often.

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    A bike park in town would be awesome! Why does Bend need one? To help push the progression of the sport.
    Last edited by granitematt; 07-28-2013 at 01:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by granitematt View Post
    A bike park in town would be awesome! Why does Bend need one? To help push the progression of the sport. We are very fortunate to have miles of s
    one word: irrigation!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmar123 View Post
    one word: irrigation!

    Yup. Our bike park here at 7th mtn gets watered every night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmar123 View Post
    one word: irrigation!
    Bentonite, wooden berms and a plate compactor would defiantly help out.

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    What does "push the progression of the sport" mean?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    What does "push the progression of the sport" mean?
    Mountain biking is ever evolving, changes continue to be made in what we ride, where we ride and how we ride. To me progression is taking a passion and opening the imagination to what may be possible.

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    Are the features in a park different from the features out on the trails?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    What does "push the progression of the sport" mean?
    Could mean different things to different people. One thing it may mean to many bendites is sharping your skills/working on your weak points which translates to more trail shredding. A couple of hours in a bike park riding at or above your skill level can really elevate trail riding skills.

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    This might help you understand

    I Only Ride Park - YouTube

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    My wife and I attended the IMBA world summit this last season and actually signed up for an all day class on building bike parks. Good info there. Lots of Valmont examples and people from Valmont.

    Problem with Valmont is the overall cost. Millions. I think that's unattainable.

    One of the reasons we were looking into this is that we also think Bend needs some type of bike park or skills area. Especially for kids. Phil's, lair, 7th mountain, wanoga are all too far for a young kid to ride really.

    I was originally thinking the empty area next to the volleyball courts in the old mill which is used each year for CX, but that's gonna be a hotel soon and its obviously spendy real estate.

    The park doesn't need to be huge. Just something small.

    You can even buy pre-engineered obstacles, ramps and features and just set them up. popup bike park style.

    Valmont btw is only about 40 acres. They have more land, but the park itself is about 40.

    CX events are huge and any bike park could serve as a race course if planned properly. Some parks offer this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    A couple of hours in a bike park riding at or above your skill level can really elevate trail riding skills.
    Why would that be better than doing the same over near Phils with the pump track, jump area, the Lair, and the many features available on the trails?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    Why would that be better than doing the same over near Phils with the pump track, jump area, the Lair, and the many features available on the trails?
    Again, young kids can't get to any of these areas.

    Other than being a devil's advocate, what is your problem with a bike park in town?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    Why would that be better than doing the same over near Phils with the pump track, jump area, the Lair, and the many features available on the trails?
    Depending on the features of the bike park maybe it wouldn't. Having all the features of the trails you just listed in one 2-3 minute run + a super steep roll in , a skinny, a really tech boulder section etc that you could session over over without taxing your energy for the climb would. Either you get that or you don't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    Again, young kids can't get to any of these areas.
    What age of kids can't get to these areas?

    Parents drop their kids off at many different areas throughout Bend on a daily basis. Why is Phils any different? Should young children be hitting a bike park without their parents being present?

    Regardless of the location of a park some children will be too far to ride on their own. Even if the park was dead center in Bend, the majority of young children would probably be too far to ride there without parents being involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    Other than being a devil's advocate, what is your problem with a bike park in town?
    You need answers to these and many other questions if you want to sell this idea to the community.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalitup View Post
    This might help you understand

    I Only Ride Park - YouTube
    Hilarious. Thanks.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is youíll crash.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    Again, young kids can't get to any of these areas.

    Other than being a devil's advocate, what is your problem with a bike park in town?
    Thank you for this very valid question. I have never heard any mountain biker say we don't need more mountain biking opportunities. It is like saying: I like beer but don't want any more brewpubs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    I have never heard any mountain biker say we don't need more mountain biking opportunities.
    Did you read the first reply to your original question?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Am I the only one who thinks we need a centrally located bike park in town?
    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    Yes

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    What age of kids can't get to these areas?

    Parents drop their kids off at many different areas throughout Bend on a daily basis. Why is Phils any different? Should young children be hitting a bike park without their parents being present?

    Regardless of the location of a park some children will be too far to ride on their own. Even if the park was dead center in Bend, the majority of young children would probably be too far to ride there without parents being involved.

    You need answers to these and many other questions if you want to sell this idea to the community.
    4-16. Pre-drivers. Granted 4 year olds can't ride alone many place, but I live in the SW area and ride downtown with my 4 year old all the time. This is a small town. But you bring up a good point. Why stop at 1 park? Maybe several small parks. Just need a bit of dirt...

    Also Phil's is great but it's a little 1 dimensional. Rollers, a pump track, and some massive jumps that are not approachable to most people. I think for teens if you want to drive your kid to this that's great. I have teens, and I would rather them ride their bike somewhere.

    Look at how fast the park at 7th mountain was constructed. 1 week. How much did it cost? Free labor and some equipment rental probably? Doesn't sound hard to sell a community. I think the idea is finding some spaces that would allow this.

    In the old mill there many empty lots and fields. Around the theater, all over the place.

    Someone also mentioned the ability to irrigate. Very important.

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    This park is a bit 1 dimensional as well: but a good case of effective use of space.

    This Might Be the Most Impressive Pop-Up Park We've Ever Seen - Sarah Goodyear - The Atlantic Cities

    My thoughts personally for adult skills are:

    1. Drop progressions. A course with several drop heights to choose from. 6", 12", 18" etc.

    2 Jump progressions. Same as above but with tabletop jumps. Small to large. Lots of variation.

    3. Skinny progression. Same as above. Different heights. From 4" or so and up.

    4. Some type of cornering practice area. See how tight you can take a corner without braking. Could be progressive as well.

    5. Some rock gardens to help people learn how to pick lines. Help people learn to trust their bike to go over rough sections. Start with small short sections of techy stuff. Then gradually make the sections longer and get people used to pedaling through them. Would be nice to be able to show people that a Full susp MTB actually is made to go through rough sections at speed.

    Note I have no experience with any of this. But these are some thoughts off the top of my head which would be helpful for learning.

    These are not really bike "park" things, but more skills building for mountain biking in general.

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    If a minor isn't old enough to ride to Phils then shouldn't they be accompanied by an adult when riding in a bike park?

    Phils and an empty parking lot provide much on the list above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    If a minor isn't old enough to ride to Phils then shouldn't they be accompanied by an adult when riding in a bike park?

    Phils and an empty parking lot provide much on the list above.
    I think you are getting the point. You can create this out of an empty parking lot. Problem is where is the empty available parking lot?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    Did you read the first reply to your original question?
    Yes, I read that "first reply" and your many replies. We had a steady flow of families at the bike park here all day today, I will listen more to that
    as a vote of what we need and what the community wants way more than a few nay-sayers here on MTBR. I was just out there at 9PM and there were 4 adults watching and 2 kids riding. That is one of the things a bike park offers, a comfortable place for family members who don't ride to hang out and watch.

    I have been summering here in Bend for 8 years now, and ride a ton when here. I have seen more kids on bikes in the last month since we built our little bike park than I have seen in those previous years.

    Bike parks are in indeed great for the progression of our sport, someone pointed that out. But there are also great for folks who currently don't really ride to have a safe and fun place to get involved in this great sport. Many kids and others who ride at bike parks don't ride trails no matter how many miles of them there are. Valmont in Boulder gets between 500-1000 users on a nice weekend, 40% or so of them don't go ride USFS trails. Perhaps you don't care about folks like that, but I do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    I have seen more kids on bikes in the last month since we built our little bike park than I have seen in those previous years.
    Aren't they running a summer camp for kids at the resort? Were the adults and kids you saw at 9pm staying at the resort?

    I see kids on bikes out at Phils all the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    But there are also great for folks who currently don't really ride to have a safe and fun place to get involved in this great sport.
    How is a bike park safer and more fun than the Phils complex?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Many kids and others who ride at bike parks don't ride trails no matter how many miles of them there are. Valmont in Boulder gets between 500-1000 users on a nice weekend, 40% or so of them don't go ride USFS trails. Perhaps you don't care about folks like that, but I do.
    How are the 40% that don't ride trails helping to grow or progress the sport of mountain biking?

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    "Problem with Valmont is the overall cost. Millions. I think that's unattainable."

    Valmont price tag includes: purchase of land and infrastructure development (Parking, bathrooms etc). Parks and Rec dept. spend 2-5 million for a 4-plex baseball field all the time, and how many folks get to use that (not very many).

    Bike parks can be small and inexpensive, or large and expensive. My last project before selling TD was a small bike park in SC, this was about a 50K project (planning/design, labor to build and materials):

    Gateway Park - Greenville Rec

    Maountain bike skills park scheduled to open on Sunday in Travelers Rest

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    Woody,

    I showed the pics of the 7th Mtn. Resort bike park to my 9 year-old daughter and her reaction was, "COOOOOOL!!!" She gets to ride it herself this week. Even though she's ridden all over Phil's and the MRT she thought the resort park looked exciting. I think younger people prefer a more focal and social environment while we old men enjoy dispersing into the woods where we're in relative solitude.

    I know some folks who own mountain bikes (Costco-style) but they're not "mtb type" people (think Sportsman's Warehouse rather than REI). I think if there were an urban bike park nearby they might give it a whirl. I think their reluctance to head into the woods on their bikes is that 1.) It's a different crowd of people from what they're used to, and 2.) Biking in the woods, even Phil's, is unfamiliar and maybe a bit intimidating.

    Having a more park-like environment would probably help those who feel uncomfortable about going into the woods and having to deal with navigation, trail repairs, etiquette, and all of the other unknowns. Have you guys ever wanted to try a new activity but weren't sure how to get started? Sometimes having a controlled environment is the easiest way to get people to take that first step. I picture Bend Parks and Rec having an intro class at an urban park.

    They live on the east side of town so I think it would be most helpful to build near there to attract people who aren't likely to make the effort to head across town to any of the trailheads.

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    Check this out: Video: Tour De Pump - Full Video - Pinkbike some pretty sweet pump tracks in urban settings. One of these in Bend would surely be a huge hit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I picture Bend Parks and Rec having an intro class at an urban park.
    Does Parks and Rec offer an intro skills class now? Plenty of locations around town for teaching intro skills including basic repair. This would be a great class for them to offer and could help get new riders started.

    I took a mtn bike skills clinic and at least half of the time was spent working on skills in parking lots. My skills (especially cornering, braking, manualing, and bunny hopping) jumped by a significant percentage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    Again, young kids can't get to any of these areas.

    Other than being a devil's advocate, what is your problem with a bike park in town?
    StreamRider clearly does not like the idea of bike parks. In my opinion, I think they are great. As a kid, I learned to do really cool things on my BMX in my backyard in a makeshift bike park.

    I would take my girls to a bike park before taking them to Phil's any day. Also, building one on the East Side would be nice for the residents out there as well as having a much longer riding season. It would be available from February till at least late November/early December. That would rock! I would use it as well. Your mountain biking greatly improves from spending time on a pump track.

    I think folks with kids would love it. It also makes for a safe place to learn skills without having to worry about oncoming traffic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    StreamRider clearly does not like the idea of bike parks.
    Incorrect. I am asking questions that need answers before there is much hope of generating real support from the broader community. To sell the idea of a bike park we need something that directly addresses the benefits, like this:

    http://www.nemba.org/documents/Shima...tsDocument.pdf

    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    I would take my girls to a bike park before taking them to Phil's any day.
    Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    Also, building one on the East Side would be nice for the residents out there as well as having a much longer riding season. It would be available from February till at least late November/early December. That would rock! I would use it as well.
    An east side location would probably require more water. Where will the water come from? Where are the funds to install, maintain, and operate the irrigation?

    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    Your mountain biking greatly improves from spending time on a pump track.


    You would bring your kids to an east side pump track but not the pump track that is right at the bottom of Phils? What is the difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    It also makes for a safe place to learn skills without having to worry about oncoming traffic.
    Do bike parks result in less injuries than the trails?

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    I love the bike park idea. My 6 year old daughter is in the Bend Endurance MTB class now, and while they go over to the Phils are Tues, Wed, Thursday, it's a larger group class, and what you can learn is limited. It's dusty as hell, you ahve to worry about other riders, etc. If I do find a cool rock to drop off or section to practice, she's pushing her bike back up the hill, getting tired of it.

    She spent this morning on my back patio for an hour plus, setting up chairs as obstacle course, with a ramp getting her back up on the patio, after dropping down the 2 steps. Kids DIG this stuff, and I know I would have too being younger.

    If there was a bike park, with a cool kick-back area for parents, there would be A LOT of time spent there by many families I'm sure of it.
    Bend, Oregon

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    Why does a bike park decrease the worry of other riders? Aren't there far more riders in close quarters in a bike bike?

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    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    StreamRider clearly does not like the idea of bike parks. In my opinion, I think they are great. As a kid, I learned to do really cool things on my BMX in my backyard in a makeshift bike park.

    I would take my girls to a bike park before taking them to Phil's any day. Also, building one on the East Side would be nice for the residents out there as well as having a much longer riding season. It would be available from February till at least late November/early December. That would rock! I would use it as well. Your mountain biking greatly improves from spending time on a pump track.

    I think folks with kids would love it. It also makes for a safe place to learn skills without having to worry about oncoming traffic.
    Big Sky Park is an obvious choice. First of all, it has all the infrastructure in place already. Parking lots, restrooms, etc. Secondly, it already has a BMX track. Third, it has two large areas of land. Fourth, it even has 1st responders immediately adjacent to the park, with the fire station right there on the west side of the park. It is located just east of some of the densest residential development in town.

    Seems like it would be an easy sell to do a bike park on the 17 acres adjacent to the BMX track, as it would not be a great expense, and it would not have to be a permanent thing if they have other long term plans for that land.

    As for irrigation, you can buy water rights right now, be they permanent or temporary, and given that you would not have to irrigate the whole area, but rather parts of it, you should be able to secure the water without a monumental expense. The actual irrigation equipment, not sure on how much that would cost, but would bet you could get a heck of a lot of volunteer work and donated stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    Why?
    First, I have to ask if you have kids. Many people would rather have their kids at a place that is closer in to town, whether that means easier/quicker to pick up and drop off, or the perception that they are in a more "civlilized" location, where the unknowns lurking in the forest are not as scary. It does not even have to be logical, just the "feeling". But most importantly, for most of the population in Bend, an urban east-side location would be way closer, for convenience, they would feel it would be more monitored, and would be closer to emergency services.

    An east side location would probably require more water. Where will the water come from? Where are the funds to install, maintain, and operate the irrigation?
    Why would an east side location need more water? Both sides are plenty dusty. Have you been on Phil's lately? Not any less dusty than the ground over on the east side of town. As for the costs of irrigation, it would only have to be as elaborate and expensive as people want to make it. You would not have to irrigated every inch a ton if designed correctly. And I believe COID and/or Arnold Irrigation District water runs right through that east side, through Big Sky Park. Very likely you could buy some water without it being super expensive. The folks are already right there at the existing park operating the irrigation, and after establishment of the systems, I can't imagine it being a massive increase in demands for their management.

    You would bring your kids to an east side pump track but not the pump track that is right at the bottom of Phils? What is the difference?
    Again, I have to ask, do you have kids. I'm sure many parents would prefer a more typical park like setting for young kids than sending them out to Phil's, and many kids could easily ride from the dense east side neighborhoods to a bike park on that side of town, or mom could drop them off on a quick run to the store and pick them up on the way home.

    Do bike parks result in less injuries than the trails?
    For mile traveled, I would bet, yes. They would typically be designed for one-way riding. Hazards would be much more limited, while skill development features enhanced in a lowered-risk manner.

    No one is saying bike park rather than trail riding, particularly for adults. Rather, bike park to increase the opportunities for kids to get into biking and hone their skills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GauchoGreg View Post
    Many people would rather have their kids at a place that is closer in to town...
    Big Sky is not close-in by any measurement. Nor is it centrally located. But it is a great location if access by bike is removed as a goal.

    Quote Originally Posted by GauchoGreg View Post
    Why would an east side location need more water?
    Depending on the location it may have more exposure to sun and wind because there are fewer large trees east.

    Quote Originally Posted by GauchoGreg View Post
    Have you been on Phil's lately? Not any less dusty than the ground over on the east side of town.
    Yes. But this is irrelevant because Phil's isn't irrigated.

    Quote Originally Posted by GauchoGreg View Post
    The folks are already right there at the existing park operating the irrigation, and after establishment of the systems, I can't imagine it being a massive increase in demands for their management.
    I would guess a large increase in water usage when attempting to increase the water content of acres of dirt that is exposed to the sun and wind all day.

    Quote Originally Posted by GauchoGreg View Post
    Again, I have to ask, do you have kids.
    I managed to raise kids that learned to ride without a bike park. Many people in town will say the same. Hence the need to identify the benefits of a bike park and more importantly how they are better than what we already have (a world class trail system with a skill development area at Phils TH).

    Quote Originally Posted by GauchoGreg View Post
    I'm sure many parents would prefer a more typical park like setting for young kids than sending them out to Phil's, and many kids could easily ride from the dense east side neighborhoods to a bike park on that side of town, or mom could drop them off on a quick run to the store and pick them up on the way home.
    The young kids I see at Phils are accompanied by adults. I would expect a bike park to be the same. Leaving young kids unsupervised at parks isn't a common practice that I have observed.

    Quote Originally Posted by GauchoGreg View Post
    Hazards would be much more limited
    How so? Looking at example park videos hazards appear to be more frequent than most of lower Phils.

    Quote Originally Posted by GauchoGreg View Post
    No one is saying bike park rather than trail riding, particularly for adults. Rather, bike park to increase the opportunities for kids to get into biking and hone their skills.
    Woodman stated that 40% of bike parkers do not trail ride.

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