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Thread: Bike Park!!!

  1. #1
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    Bike Park!!!

    cross post from WA.
    http://www.fttrc.org/campsekani2.cfm

    OMG, we are so excited. Yes, it's still in the verbal stage, but we are baby stepping forward each week. Even since I made that page some new things are happening. We are getting "City Park" and "No Motorized Vehicles" signs to post on the property perimeter, a bag of native seed for some revegetation, and a key to the gate. They are going to provide the signs, we get to install them. We have the OK to rebuild one of the most visible, old, ladders on the DH course that has seen better days. That's going to be a great project, do it on a sunday when lots of riders are out so that they can see we haven't been blowing smoke.


    ~f.

  2. #2
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    Awesome news

    This is awesome, congrats.

    How long did the whole process take? Who did you speak to along the way? Was it mostly parks/rec staff or did you have to get politicians involved?

    I'd like to do something like this in my area, but don't know where to start yet. I'm hoping to get lots of great ideas from the IMBA summit.
    Jason Murray
    Rep for Ontario, IMBA Canada
    Visit the IMBA Canada site to keep current on all things IMBA in Canada.

  3. #3
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    the short version is it's been about 1 year to get where we are; we are working directly with city park operations, so far no politicians involved. Long version coming up.

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    The long version

    omg, let me see if I can be succint. (no) Property in question is a neglected city park that has had all sorts of trails on it for years. Most people don't know it's a city park.

    first thing we did was signed up for that park under our city's Adopt a park program, which just happened to get started right as our club was forming. We did a big trash clean up last spring, and then asked if we could do some maintenance projects on the existing trails. I got invited to speak to the city park board and give a presentation about what we did. I made a powerpoint that had the goal to show the park board how the area is used for both XC and DH riding, destination riding, what the club has been doing, and what ideas we had for the future.We did a few more maintenance projects.

    Over the winter, we wrote a letter that had three main points. What we could do as a volunteer group, what we wanted to do that might require community assistance (like eagle scout projects) and the things that we would need city help with ( blocking off vehicle access) This was very well recieved, but the adopt a park program got kind of rearranged and it tooks some fits and starts to get back on track this spring.

    We are now working with the operations manager. Our first meeting, to review our letter, we went in very prepared. We brought with us the IMBA trail solutions book, the whistler building manual and a few other documents to show we'd done our homework. We mentioned other parks that already exist: Post Canyon, Blackrock Freeride etc. We emphasized IMBA trail standards, caring for the land, educating people that it's a city park, that it's a destination area for DH/FR. The meeting went very well: in our area, skateboarders and frisbee golfers have done a lot of work to get special interest parks in prior to us. Also, the skateparks have laid groundwork in terms of the whole liabilty thing and how different degrees of skill/ablity are handled.

    Right away we got carte blache to continue any maintenace and erosion control projects. The trickier part was getting the OK to build some new stuff. One thing we really needed to do was bring some of the area's respescted dh/fr guys on board, because they have a direct line to the guerilla builders. We ended up spending three hours at our first walk thought the site meeting. Our parks guy is very cool, his kid used to huck mountain bikes so when he saw even the biggest, most "holy crap" ramps and dirt jumps built in this one gully, he didn't have a cardiac. It was more like, "wow, lots of creativity and energy here, how can we re-direct it?"

    So, we've got an educational component we have to deal with, of educating the guys about the opportunity to build things that you don't have to worry about getting torn down.
    As for building new stuff, this is were having something like the whistler manual on hand to show, yes, there is a right way to do things, is a real great tool. ( still looking for a dirt jump manual ) We just, like two days ago on the second walkthrough, got the ok for two building projects. The first one is to rebuild a really old ladder on the old DH course "leap of faith". It's seen better days. This will be good becuse it's right next to the road that every one pushes thier bikes up. After than, we get to start on a ladder trail that we flagged in. This will be ladders up and off rock out crops, probably an intermediate trail.

    What has really worked for us to to take it baby steps at a time, and to really be clear in our communication, no gray areas. We focus totally on what we can do for them, and try to ask for as little as possible in return. We are not afraid to ask if we can do this or that, understanding that we might get told no. Also, we have not hidden anything that's on our long term agenda, so there are no surprises. Sure, why not have a vision to have all the landowners in the area ( larger riding area connected to this park is private, other park, and utility) We've told them our idea for more trails, a beginner ladder/stunt area, signs etc. But right now we don't do anything new without asking for permission first.
    I even asked what kind of verbiage to use when talking to people about what we are doing. I'm doing a lot of PR, and I would hate to say something that our parks guy would read and say "holy crap what are they thinking??!!". "citizen's proposal for a mountain bike park".

    We have even drafted up an MOU. Our local IMBA rep helped with that. I just pulled a bunch of stuff off the IMBA site, put a draft together, had the IMBA guy review it and handed it over... understanding that it will go through a city lawyer review and who knows what happens after that.

    It's all come pretty easy so far. We anticipate bumps in the process, but have no idea what form they will take.

    A project we did that was cool, another way of us doing something for them, was to get the local community college survey class involved in mapping.... city didn't know exactly where the property lines were, and we sure need to know if we were going to build anything new. So, this class is working on a multi layer GIS type set of maps for us, this will be a long term project. They need something non-commercial to do, and we can use the information. Our park guy is thrilled. "data is good". It helped that the instructor is a good friend of mine. Now we know where the corners are, this is a good thing.

    Keep in mind we are really, reall small. We have about 30 paid members, about 10 people that are doing different things. It's been mainly me and my terrific club VP doing all this. But slowly, others are getting involved. I imagine that as we move more into the actual doing there will be a few more folks working on things.

    ~whew~ hope this helps someone else, or you get some ideas from it.

    I can provide links to the power point if anyone wants to see it.

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    Congratulations! You said it was easy but don't kid yourself...your hard work in all the preparations is what made it seem easy. You anticipated any possible objections and came up with solutions beforehand.

    I would love it if you could send me the link to your powerpoint presentation.

    PS Thanx for the long version...very informative.

  6. #6
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    powerpoint. IMBA has a copy too.

    http://www.specialtyoutdoors.com/misc/sekani.ppt

    Everything is in the verbal agreement stage which feel precarious but I'm staying positive.

    I must add that my whole selfish reason for doing this is that I want to put in a beginner area... you know, really easy ladders and stuff.
    Last edited by formica; 04-24-2006 at 07:11 PM.

  7. #7
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    An inspiration to the rest of us (well me at least)

    Formica I think your work is great. You are blazing a trail that I hope to be able to duplicate in my area. It is encouraging to know that just a small amount of people can accomplish such things. It keeps my motivation high to read of others successes. It's too bad you're on the other side of the continent or I'd come out personally to shovel some dirt at one of your projects.

    Will you be at the IMBA summit? I'd like to meet up and go for a ride.
    Jason Murray
    Rep for Ontario, IMBA Canada
    Visit the IMBA Canada site to keep current on all things IMBA in Canada.

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