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  1. #1
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    Papago Park dirt jumps

    Hi there riders,
    I just got a letter from my neighborhood association in North Tempe about a meeting that's scheduled about the future of what the city calls the "unofficial bike park" in Papago Park.
    If you care about saving and hopefully improving that area for riders, instead of letting the city of Tempe turn it into a concrete playground or a golf course parking lot, Make plans to attend this meeting!

    The Place: North Tempe Multigenerational Center
    The address: 1555 N. Bridalwreath st. Tempe, Az. 85281
    Date: 4/11
    Time: 6:30 PM

    The more people show up and speak up, the more likely we are to save it as a place to ride bikes, instead of parking SUVs!

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the heads up, Bubba. I will plan to attend.

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    Any idea if this is for Tempe residents only or is it an open meeting?
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    With the right support maybe it can become the "Official bike park".

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    Worth saving. Thanks TGiles...

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    are they building a new golf course in the papago area ? i know it's cool to hate golf on here but I can't imagine the Papago or the Rolling Hills courses needing additional parking ,

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    I heard from a neighbor that's involved in Tempe politics that the water treatment plant has interest in takiing over the jump area.

    And yes it's an open meeting. The more riders show up, the better. They're keeping it low key, hoping nobody comes, so they can do whatever they want.

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    but i thought it was only going to benefit golfing suv drivers.

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    It's been a long time since I rode there, I'll try and make this meeting though. I think we've all donated some blood there. It would be sad to see it go
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Papago Park dirt jumps-jonny5.jpg  


  10. #10
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    I'll plan on being there...

  11. #11
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    Whatever is going on there has already been in the works for months. They've graded the main path that follows the canal (to the south of the jumps). They graded smaller paths just down a little bit from there, near the Asu building, and actually made them into sidewalks in the last month or so. I'm guessing that main path will become a road soonas well. Not only are there the jumps but it's a nice connector between the zoo area of Papago and the lower (202 and mill) areas of Papago. Not anything to write home about but stuff that a lot of local runners, horse riders, and cyclists enjoy

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    It's a done deal if nobody says anything. The bike path is supposed to lead to Van Buren throrugh an area that's been neglected for years. That would be an improvement. The path that's supposed to connect to the Tempe museum might destroy the descent to the tunnel under Curry. So we need to discuss that. This meeting might be our last chance to let the city know what we think and get them to make adjustments to their plans. If we don't say anything now, we can't complain in the future that we didn't have a chance to intervene, as we ride by a parking lot where the dirt jumps used to be.

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    This is tonight! We are pretty lucky to be able to ride our mountain bikes in the middle of our sprawling city. I hope we get a good MTBer turnout so we can preserve that access. Once its gone, it will be gone for good.

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    I'll be there!!!

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    I'll be there.

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    Looks like it's going to be a good turnout!

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    Major props to Bubba for the heads up for this meeting. The strong biker presence was noted and appreciated. After most of the bikers left, I got called back into the room and asked to explain what a pump track is. After a rather feeble effort, I called Alan S. in who gave a rather eloquent and fun description. The meeting chair stated that once the Water plant folks are done and fence off their section that the now graded area just east of the "pit" would be nice for expansion of the bike park. They seemed receptive to the idea of a pump track here.

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    Great seeing everyone out there...the pit will be saved for now. But lets work towards making the spot official out there. Stay tuned for good things from GRO-AZ and ways to join and help the cause to bring bike parks to our cities!!!

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    Sorry, I ended up working wayyy later than expected.
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    Thanks for everybody coming out. I didn't manage to say much, but that wasn't the point. Just the presence of so many people showing interest in Papago, will hopefully make Tempe open to input from local riders. If we're successful here, maybe we can help save other "unofficial" areas around the Valley! It was fun meeting some of the local MTBR legends too!

  21. #21
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    bob sounded so official when he spoke! "im on the board" i felt so proud. lol

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    thanks to all the peeps that showed up... even though i am in colorado right now.. and bombarded with bike parks - i plan to return to az someday and i loved the papago djs .. i've spilled my share of blood there haha.. anyway again thanks everyone //g
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    since comments have settled down, I wanted to hijack a little and see if anyone would be willing to show a not-very-good jumper some of the pit sometime next week. I work close by, afternoons are best for me.thank you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    since comments have settled down, I wanted to hijack a little and see if anyone would be willing to show a not-very-good jumper some of the pit sometime next week. I work close by, afternoons are best for me.thank you.
    i wanna come. as a second not very good jumper...

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    Has anyone considered discussing adding to/maintaining the freeride area at Papago? Last time I was there it was pretty torn up and only a few smallish jumps remained. They have a ton of room over there, a pump track would be a sick addition as well as smoothing out the current lines (if you can even call them that anymore). I for one would be down to put in some man hours digging.

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    Is there a map of the papago trails in general? I work right off of Washington & 54th, and I drive past every day, but I have to admit I have no idea where to park and what to ride out there. I can't seem to find a map of the area. Thanks

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    ive seen a few maps and they are all worthless.. the place is a spiderweb of trails. you gotta go either a bunch to figure out a route that you like and plan on a several hour trip, or go with someone who already has done that. every time i go with my buddy i try to remember his route, and i am always surprised. its worth the extra 15 minutes drive to ride haws. much better trail system in my imo. but the jumps at papago are pretty sweet looking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Nice Guy
    Is there a map of the papago trails in general? I work right off of Washington & 54th, and I drive past every day, but I have to admit I have no idea where to park and what to ride out there. I can't seem to find a map of the area. Thanks
    As long as you arer familiar with the area you can't get lost. You can park anywhere that looks safe. Just check out the area on google maps.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by latedropbob
    Great seeing everyone out there...the pit will be saved for now. But lets work towards making the spot official out there. Stay tuned for good things from GRO-AZ and ways to join and help the cause to bring bike parks to our cities!!!

    Great job guys! Hopefully this is a start to many great things to come for us mtb dirt jumpers and freeriders.

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    Thanks to all that went- I'm out of town but spread the word to a lot of the guys who used to bmx out there alot back in the late 80's thru the 90's . Glad its saved since I have a DJ bike now!
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    since comments have settled down, I wanted to hijack a little and see if anyone would be willing to show a not-very-good jumper some of the pit sometime next week. I work close by, afternoons are best for me.thank you.
    I live a couple of blocks up the street. Let me know when you're in the neighborhood!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dinglespeed
    I live a couple of blocks up the street. Let me know when you're in the neighborhood!
    I work at Scottsdale\McDowell. Just need a day or 2 to coordinate around work\family. Next week is open for me, what works for you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    I work at Scottsdale\McDowell. Just need a day or 2 to coordinate around work\family. Next week is open for me, what works for you?
    Any afternoon, Mon-Thursday. Where do you park, SE corner of College and Curry?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dinglespeed
    Any afternoon, Mon-Thursday. Where do you park, SE corner of College and Curry?
    SW corner, I mean!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Nice Guy
    Is there a map of the papago trails in general? I work right off of Washington & 54th, and I drive past every day, but I have to admit I have no idea where to park and what to ride out there. I can't seem to find a map of the area. Thanks
    The most easily accessible and popular parking place is off Priest/Galvin Parkway/64th. There's a light where you can turn to go to the Zoo but instead of going to the Zoo you turn the other way and there's a lot there which is in the middle of the main trails.

    If you want to go to the jumps there's a lot that's really close to them off College. You have to turn off on Campo Allegre/Marigold (where the water treatment place is). It is kind of hard to find and seems like you will be entering the water treatment plant but the lot is before that. There is more parking down at Curry that Bubba referred to. You can also park off of McDowell where the ampitheatre is. Or even right by Hole in the Rock is more parking that is right by a trail. Pretty much anywhere you park between McDowell and Curry/Priest and 52nd will put you right by trails.

    As others alluded there are some main trails you could follow if you had a map, but there are trails all over. They are all pretty similar.. just explore. There are trail markers if you want to follow the main park built trails.

    Edit: From 54th and washington you could just ride in from work easily enough. There's a trail visible from the 56th/Van buren intersection

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dinglespeed
    Any afternoon, Mon-Thursday. Where do you park, SE corner of College and Curry?
    i'll just ride over from work. Monday or Wed are better for me, but I can do any of em. once it goes on the Outlook cal, I can pushback all thermonucular-like on my nagging coworkers
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    Great job on those that went to speak up or just show up. Guess we'll have to get more people out there to get more support for the next meeting that will probably be not too far off if its anything like trying to save jeep trails they wont stop anytime soon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theycallmebrown
    ive seen a few maps and they are all worthless.. the place is a spiderweb of trails. you gotta go either a bunch to figure out a route that you like and plan on a several hour trip, or go with someone who already has done that. every time i go with my buddy i try to remember his route, and i am always surprised. its worth the extra 15 minutes drive to ride haws. much better trail system in my imo. but the jumps at papago are pretty sweet looking.

    For just riding- Papago is great for beginners or taking beginners to get thier feet wet. There are no really hard climbs or downhills, no really hard tech stuff and if you find the right trails (you can't get lost) there is some really fun flowy stuff too. The nice thing about taking beginners out there is that there is ample shade and water available, some easy loops that once they are shown them- they can fiind on thier own again easily for practice and there are lots of local places to go chill afterward for food and drink. There is also plenty of "bail outs" if they get dinged up, tired or sketched out. That is important to a new rider I think andd may keep them coming back for more- which is good for all of us. The more regular MTB riders we have, the more say we have, its good for the industry and its just cool...
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHNIPE
    Great job on those that went to speak up or just show up. Guess we'll have to get more people out there to get more support for the next meeting that will probably be not too far off if its anything like trying to save jeep trails they wont stop anytime soon
    I had no idea what to expect, but as others mentioned, we made an impression by having ~20 people come out. I thought Alan, Carmen, Bob etc. turned some heads by dispelling the notion of riders as disrespectful adrenaline junkies. Of course, it all comes down to politics and money, but it was a very good first step. The city people had no idea that a skills park is something that would attract whole families and cost almost nothing in materials or labor.

    LateDrop kinda took the lead by presenting himself and GRO-AZ as a contact for the mtb community. Its important to see this from the City Admin's pov - they are not going to listen to multiple unorganized voices, but when dealing with "an entity" that has a proposal and plan, we are on familiar ground for them. So, I'd strongly encourage everyone to follow and support what's happening with this new umbrella org. Keep any internal differences under this umbrella. I'm sure LDB will keep everyone posted.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    i'll just ride over from work. Monday or Wed are better for me, but I can do any of em. once it goes on the Outlook cal, I can pushback all thermonucular-like on my nagging coworkers
    Monday sounds good, about what time?

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    I might be able to swing Monday... Park at the parking lot off of Marigold, just east of College, N of Curry...

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    Chollaball: Something came up for Monday, can we do it Wednesday?

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    How about a online petition thread?

    \phx needs a bike park, like colorado srpings

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dinglespeed
    Chollaball: Something came up for Monday, can we do it Wednesday?
    wed is also good for me. anytime in the aft should work. Supermoto, you guys still interested?
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    wed is also good for me. anytime in the aft should work. Supermoto, you guys still interested?
    How about 4 or 5 PM?

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    I think I am going to invite myself to your party. As long as the wife isn't working that night I can do it
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dinglespeed
    How about 4 or 5 PM?
    let's call it for Wed at 4:38pm, not a second later!! anyone is welcome. I'll be on a blue Heckler and looking clueless. see ya there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    let's call it for Wed at 4:38pm, not a second later!! anyone is welcome. I'll be on a blue Heckler and looking clueless. see ya there.
    I'm riding a ratty old rigid green Univega. Are we meeting at the pit itself, or the parking lot nearest to it (service entrance to the zoo) or somewhere else?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    let's call it for Wed at 4:38pm, not a second later!! anyone is welcome. I'll be on a blue Heckler and looking clueless. see ya there.

    BUMP. see you and anyone else who wants to come on Wed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    BUMP. see you and anyone else who wants to come on Wed.
    4:30ish at the pit! I'll cruise by the parking lot across the street to check for riders.

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    How was the jumping last night? I was going to come by and introduce myself but it must have been too late (around 6), by the time I got there all I saw was a group of kids with skate boards (lol). I guess I don't know for sure that wasn't you though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonebone2000
    How was the jumping last night? I was going to come by and introduce myself but it must have been too late (around 6), by the time I got there all I saw was a group of kids with skate boards (lol). I guess I don't know for sure that wasn't you though!
    lol. it was fun, but not a good day for me. I left my floor pump at home and was fighting a leaky tire all afternoon, then ate s*** on one drop. still good to get a taste and find a couple easier moves that will keep me busy for awhile. Met BubbaDingle, who is a cool dude with great passion. Couple others were out that I knew from Rage PT and other rides were putting on a nice show, Turtlegerl was coming in as I was leaving. I'll definitely be back for some sessions around sundown - great playground so close to work. if i feel good on Monday, was thinking i might hit it again for a bit then head to Rage PT for total gravity mainlining!

    i ride a blue heckler, waddle around with my tail between my legs, and am covered in armor cuz I suck! please say hi next time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    lol. it was fun, but not a good day for me. I left my floor pump at home and was fighting a leaky tire all afternoon, then ate s*** on one drop. still good to get a taste and find a couple easier moves that will keep me busy for awhile. Met BubbaDingle, who is a cool dude with great passion. Couple others were out that I knew from Rage PT and other rides were putting on a nice show, Turtlegerl was coming in as I was leaving. I'll definitely be back for some sessions around sundown - great playground so close to work. if i feel good on Monday, was thinking i might hit it again for a bit then head to Rage PT for total gravity mainlining!

    i ride a blue heckler, waddle around with my tail between my legs, and am covered in armor cuz I suck! please say hi next time.
    Nice to meet you Cholla! That was the longest amount of time I've spent there at one time. I usually cruise through there while riding the loop trails. But it was interesting to take time to stop, to take a closer look at the area and see what's possible. I can see the possiblilty for a pump track to the east of the pit. The chain link fence has been moved back, leaving a large open area. We need to keep bugging City of Tempe about it, so they don't forget that there are bikers who care about this area. Any body agree?

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    Here here!!! I send supermoto the info for touching base with the tempe people. Bubba maybe wanna step in with her and keep the bug in there ear???

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    i thought id post these pictures here... pretty crazy ride today. i decided i was gonna quit being a baby a do the cave drop, and as i was walking up to it to pick a line i found a ton of blood on the ledge as if someone had wiped out hard, so i investigated and inside the cave the walls were splattered with blood. about 5 yards down the hill was a little bigger than your fist rock that had been tossed down there... also covered in blood... it wasnt a wipeout but what ever it was, we left real quick, the sun was on its way down.






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    That is creepy as hell. Someone might want to let police know about that? Probably not anything they would do but you never know what may have happened that someone is looking for evidence of. Mostly I ride through there a lot and that kinda worries me what that cave is being used for.

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    i thought about calling the police... but i didnt want to draw attention to the jumps. haha.
    i figured it was probably a coyote destroying a rabbit or something... or a bum destroying a coyote...

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    Could have been an XC rider vs. dirt jumper fight. Now that I see the pics on a big monitor where I can see the scale of it, it doesn't look as bad as it did when I first saw them.. I was thinking it looked like a massacre then.

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    Thats a lot of blood with no fur or feathers present. Could be a crime scene or just where a kid waited for help after taking a digger on the jumps. I would let the cops know- though I think. the city knows the jumps are there through public meetings and the jumps have been there for almost 20 years. With "Anal" Park right there,I am sure the cops know about the area.
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    Maybe some of the homeless bums fighting over a sleeping spot the night before, or got rolled for their stash of weed!

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    I Did Not Steal His Weed!
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    We also don't know for sure if it's even blood... Did you taste it?
    Yeah, well, the Dude abides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strongbrown
    We also don't know for sure if it's even blood... Did you taste it?
    Good point. Blood dries brown, so really the only way to know is foryou to go back and taste it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyBoyR6
    Good point. Blood dries brown, so really the only way to know is foryou to go back and taste it.
    Good point, hopefully it was a tagger that had his paint can explore in his face!
    Yes, I'm the crazy christmas guy!

  66. #66
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    yeah, its still bright red. its gotta be something other than blood. but still, very convincing that it is!

    in other news...
    i broke my collarbone today at papago! hit a jump way too slow, front tire cased the landing and i went flying. didnt even have any footage cause it was just a warmup!

  67. #67
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    Man there sure has been alot of jumping injuries lately...

    Heal up man sucks to be off the bike.
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
    arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theycallmebrown
    in other news...
    i broke my collarbone today at papago! hit a jump way too slow, front tire cased the landing and i went flying. didnt even have any footage cause it was just a warmup!
    Bummer!

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dinglespeed
    Hi there riders,
    I just got a letter from my neighborhood association in North Tempe about a meeting that's scheduled about the future of what the city calls the "unofficial bike park" in Papago Park.
    If you care about saving and hopefully improving that area for riders, instead of letting the city of Tempe turn it into a concrete playground or a golf course parking lot, Make plans to attend this meeting!

    The Place: North Tempe Multigenerational Center
    The address: 1555 N. Bridalwreath st. Tempe, Az. 85281
    Date: 4/11
    Time: 6:30 PM

    The more people show up and speak up, the more likely we are to save it as a place to ride bikes, instead of parking SUVs!

    looks like the voices went unheard, went riding there and was suprised to see how much concrete there was, and workers in the process of leveling and making more concrete pathways.

    that sucks.

    and those hills over by the museum can be quite a challenge, esp if you ride a single speed*
    Last edited by desertrider83; 05-11-2011 at 05:11 PM.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertrider83
    looks like the voices went unheard, went riding there and was suprised to see how much concrete there was, and workers in the process of leveling and making more concrete pathways.

    that sucks.

    and those hills over by the museum can be quite a challenge, esp if you ride a single speed*
    They were heard...Tempe wants to work with us and not tear these down. They were letting us know about the multi use path and how best to work it into the area. They are interested in improving the area and adding a pumptrack. Stay tuned for details!!!

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by latedropbob
    They were heard...Tempe wants to work with us and not tear these down. They were letting us know about the multi use path and how best to work it into the area. They are interested in improving the area and adding a pumptrack. Stay tuned for details!!!

    Wow, sick!

  72. #72
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    thats good news. those wokers in front of the jump area today must be working around it.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by latedropbob
    They were heard...Tempe wants to work with us and not tear these down. They were letting us know about the multi use path and how best to work it into the area. They are interested in improving the area and adding a pumptrack. Stay tuned for details!!!
    yeah buddy! that would be awesome to be part of the crew building that pump track!!

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    I wrote a letter to the Mayor, and several council members about my concerns about the "unofficial" bike park. We should ALL let them know we want the bike park to remain, and get better. I also sent them a link to a documentary about the Seattle Colonnades bike park, just to show them how valuable it can be to Tempe.

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    its been a few weeks for me since ive been there, ill have to go check it out.

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    I just saw that monstrosity of a rail on that 'Interstate' looking path that the city built by the dirt jumps. My first thought was, why couldn't they allow a gap in the railing for through riders? Also, there's no way access the bike path from the trails or the dirt jumps. Both seem to be completely fenced off from each other. Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose?
    Anybody else have any thoughts on that?

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dinglespeed View Post
    I just saw that monstrosity of a rail on that 'Interstate' looking path that the city built by the dirt jumps. My first thought was, why couldn't they allow a gap in the railing for through riders? Also, there's no way access the bike path from the trails or the dirt jumps. Both seem to be completely fenced off from each other. Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose?
    Anybody else have any thoughts on that?
    Yep, I thought the same thing. At first the rail only went as far as where the jumps are and I thought it was for that reason.. But then they closed it all in. I have to use a new route for my xc rides that go through there. Not terrible but I was kind of surprised as you were.

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    I wonder if they can be persuaded to cut gaps in the railing. Looking at the gaps between the rail on the new 'pedestrian' bridge over the canal and the canal bank, just to the North, I don't wee why not!

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    So are the dirt jumps still accessible? Never been out there and was thinking about checking it out early one morning. Are they even worth driving out there for? Is there enough to keep busy for two hours or so?

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    They are still accessible, we were just talking about a specific path having a railing across it now. The answer to your next question depends on how far it is.. there's enough to keep you entertaining for two hours for sure but I wouldn't make a long drive for it.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonebone2000 View Post
    They are still accessible, we were just talking about a specific path having a railing across it now. The answer to your next question depends on how far it is.. there's enough to keep you entertaining for two hours for sure but I wouldn't make a long drive for it.

    Thanks. Not too long of a drive so we will probably check it out.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by fish-vw View Post
    I wrote a letter to the Mayor, and several council members about my concerns about the "unofficial" bike park. We should ALL let them know we want the bike park to remain, and get better. I also sent them a link to a documentary about the Seattle Colonnades bike park, just to show them how valuable it can be to Tempe.
    I'm new to AZ (from Seattle and Oregon) and new to mountain biking. I used to ride a lot of bmx in high school (5 years ago) I actually still have my bmx bike but haven't taken it out in forever....

    I knew about Colonnades and drove past it on the up hill side many times but never knew how detailed it was till I just watched the mini documentary.... I'm now kicking myself for not pursuing checking it out..... whats the latest news on Papago? I haven't been out there yet as I'm still trying to decide on what bike to get but it sounds like my cup of tea.

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    and besides papago is there any other places around the valley that have the similar jump style runs?

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    I'm fairly new as well Dewaholic, and i found the papago jumps by driving around the area and praying I was in the area when i took my bike off. It's pretty wicked, 4 or 5 nice kickers with a table and a few drop offs.
    There is a nice dirt jump line off of brown and ellsworth behind the CVS right off the NE loop 202.
    Other than that, not sure, i'll be living up in the valley shortly and can scout some more!

  85. #85
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    We're doing some digging on the new table top line out at McDowell Mountain Park this weekend. Feel free to come on out and throw some dirt and then get some air!!!

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