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  1. #1
    Build More = Ride More
    Reputation: YoPawn's Avatar
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    Building a future: Seattle Colonnade MTB skills park!

    You know, I see a lot of motivate guys here in the Turner forum.

    Maybe this will get you guys fired up to do something similar in your neighborhood. We've proven it's possible, now ride the wave of progression!

    I know FM and Ebxtreme have done a lot of work here already. Thanks guys!

    I gotta say, even the best trip to Whistler doesn't leave you feeling as good as building fun stunts (legally!) and watching people and their little kids get into riding them.

    What better way to introduce our MTB park, than with one of the best riders in the area?
    I was out doing work this day when Mike Metzger (transition rider) came by to ride some of the stuff we built.


    Pinkbike just did an article on it too.

    http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Colonna...Trip-2009.html

    Colonnade has pretty much blazed the path for more MTB parks in our area. Right now we're starting to build on a much larger piece of land out in the woods just outside of Seattle, called Duthie Hill. All made possible by the hard work over the last 8 years to get Colonnade going.

    http://evergreenmtb.org/wiki/index.php?title=Trailuthie_Hill

    How's that for a healthy dose of stoke?

    Have fun, and if you're ever in the area, give'r!

  2. #2
    NOT Team Sanchez
    Reputation: wasea04's Avatar
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    I love to build as well so I know how you feel, brotha what you've done is Sick, and yes that's with a capital "S." I lived up in the Seattle area for two years and wasn't able to do any riding, I'm kicking myself now!
    I like bikes.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasea04
    I love to build as well so I know how you feel, brotha what you've done is Sick, and yes that's with a capital "S." I lived up in the Seattle area for two years and wasn't able to do any riding, I'm kicking myself now!
    I'm only one of hundreds of people who worked on it.

    A guy on these forums by the name of Mwestra is one of the true heroes.

    It really has brought a lot of the guerrilla trail builders out of the woods, including myself. It's great being able to build without the threat of having it torn down, being able to let others ride it, and being able to build things properly.

  4. #4
    FM
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    luxatio erecta
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    Good stuff!

    I drove this bobcat around for a few days in november '07 getting the basic lines scraped in. About every 20 minutes we'd come across a needle or syringe. But the park is pretty clean now.


    Weird to look back now on the early progress photos of that area!




    Major props to Mike Westra. He was there dang near every day, working hard.

  5. #5
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
    Reputation: cactuscorn's Avatar
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    too friggin cool! congrats guys. if i could, id buy ya each a beer.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  6. #6
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactuscorn
    if i could, id buy ya each a beer.
    I don't know about YoPawn, but I have a paypal account

    JUST KIDDING!

    Buy some beer for the guys building your local trails instead (if you aren't already building with them, in which case, cheers!)

  7. #7
    Build More = Ride More
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Good stuff!

    I drove this bobcat around for a few days in november '07 getting the basic lines scraped in. About every 20 minutes we'd come across a needle or syringe. But the park is pretty clean now.


    Weird to look back now on the early progress photos of that area!




    Major props to Mike Westra. He was there dang near every day, working hard.
    Great shots FM.

    Wait until they see what's coming in the future out at Duthie.

  8. #8
    Just roll it......
    Reputation: ebxtreme's Avatar
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    Nice YoPawn. Yep, these things don't happen quick, but if you have some politically savvy (and patient) people who continue to push the issue with land managers, parks departments, etc. anything is possible. JVP (aka Juice) really was instrumental in working with the parks dept., getting grants and corporate donations, etc. For reference, he began discussions with King County folks about the Duthie Hill park for 5 years before that deal was signed.

    I have to say I was surprised when Seattle Parks Dept. came through on tours to check out the progress and gave everything the thumbs up (some of which we thought they'd poo poo). When you think about it though, this isn't any more dangerous than skate parks and most towns have those these days.

    Another video before the park was completed with interviews with Mike and JVP. Those two are riding in it as well as Jon K. Music by Seattle hip hoppers - Blue Scholars.


  9. #9
    Dream Design Dig Repeat
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    As YoPawn says, lots and lots of people put in huge amounts of work to make it happen. The project was lead by Evergreen Mountain Bika Alliance - http://evergreenmtb.org. Art T, Brian J got the thing rolling and did much of the early work. Then Mike took the reins, with the help of Maarten and Glenn doing a lot of really critical behind the scenes work. Not to mention the Evergreen board of directors, who did a ton of great work behind the scenes to guide the project through some lumps and bumps. Then there's the uber-builders - Dave S, Joel, Kim, Tim (Skookum), Ben & Tanya, Chuck & a different Tanya... and now I'm worried that didn't mention some the other builders that were literally down there for 3 days a week for, sometimes, years.

    A quick history of the project:

    2000 - Seattle passes a big levy to revitalize parks and add parks in neighborhoods that don't have enough open space. Eastlake is a small neighborhood, jammed between I-5 and Lake Union, and it has hardly any park space. The neighborhood found this nasty, steep spot that had good views, under the deck of I-5 (which is elevated along this stretch), and identified it as one of the only places to put in a park for the neighborhood.

    But what do you do with a needle-infested dirt pile under a freeway? One goal was to reconnect the neighborhoods, Capital Hill and Eastlake, that were separated when the freeway was put in. People also wanted an off-leash area for pooches. Simon Lawton a mountain bike coach and owner of the DH shop, Fluidride, pushed the idea for some kind of BMX or mountain bike jumps.

    2001 to 2003 - Planning. Simon hands the project off to Evergreen (we were called BBTC back then). We convince the city to let us build a mountain bike course. No one had ever done something similar in a compact downtown setting, but they still gave us the go-ahead. They said, "you can build it, but since it's never been done, you need to pay for it". The rest of the park was funded through $1.8 million (half for planning, half for construction) in park levy money. They probably thought we wouldn't take the bait, but we did, thanks to the leadership of Brian, Art, and others. We didn't know how we'd do it, we just knew that we had to give it a shot.

    Once they gave us the initial go-ahead, we then went to countless public meetings, worked with the neighbors, the city, off-leash folks and any one else who was interested. Things were collaborative, and good vibes all around. We originally wanted most of the 7.5 acre park, but a compromise gave us about 2.5 acres. We were ok with that, at least we got the hilliest parts that no one else could use.

    2004 through 2006. Funding and Design. I wrote a lot of grants, we begged for lot of money, and Art drew up a schematic design that was ultimately approved by the community and city. This is harder than it sounds.

    2005 through 2008. Build it... and scramble to find the rest of the money. We built it in two phases, and learned a lot in the process. I could write a book on what we did right, and what we did wrong. In a nutshell, strong oversight from a board of directors is imperative, and you MUST have a full-time paid project manager on a project like this. Colonnade is a tough site to build, lots of geotechnical issues, tight spaces, avoid columns, the dirt totally sucks, and it's actually steeper than ideal. Off the top of my head, I think we raised about $240k in cash, plus 7,000 volunteer hours, to build the park. If we did it again, we'd need at least another $100k to ensure that we had full-time, paid project management on board for the entire process. This is peanuts compared to the $1.8 million for the rest of the park, and the city loves what we've done. Absolutely loves it!

    Lots of people love to build trail and dig in the dirt. But before they have a chance, there needs to be hundres of hours, over several years, of grinding behind the scenes planning. Support you local mountain bike group with fat wads of cash or volunteer your time on thankless, grueling, slow, planning and advocacy - these are the first steps in getting something like Colonnade in your city.

    http://evergreenmtb.org

    Now on to Duthie! Then Olallie! Momentum is fun!

  10. #10
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    Nice post Juice.
    You're the best.



    I'm glad I get to do all the fun tasks.

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