Tricks track underway

Construction has started on Cranbrook’s Bike Skills Park

Volunteers help to lay a water line to the soon-to-be-open Bike Skills Park behind Western Financial Place in Cranbrook

Volunteers help to lay a water line to the soon-to-be-open Bike Skills Park behind Western Financial Place in Cranbrook

Bike riders will soon have a place in Cranbrook to practice their tricks when the Bike Skills Park opens next month.

After three years of planning, the Cranbrook Bike Skills Park Society is getting ready to build the tracks in Balment Park, behind Western Financial Place.

“We’re getting there, we really are. It’s been three years and I can’t wait,” said the society’s Bonnie Hayes.

Last weekend, volunteers pitched in to install a water line for the park and build a storage shed.

Dirt has been delivered, and on Saturday, May 25, track builder Dustin Greenall will start to put the park together.

Volunteers are being sought to help out that weekend, said Hayes.

“We’re looking for people who will be around to do whatever it is Dustin needs done. A lot of it is raking and dealing with that top layer of dirt to make sure it is the way it needs to be.”

The park is expected to be complete by the end of May and open for riders in early June.

There will be something for every level of bike rider.

“It’s going to have two pump tracks – one gnarly, a little more intense, and one a little simpler. Then there is going to be a beginner line — basically it’s going to be bumps. Then an intermediate line — smaller features where they can start to jump. Then there’s the expert line where you’ll have big jumps the kids can flip off of and do tail whips and 360s and all that cool stuff,” said Hayes.

The Bike Skills Park Society first approached city council with its plan in August 2011. Council agreed in October 2011 to give the society a 4,000 square foot piece of Balment Park for the bike facility.

The society then went about raising the more than $70,000 estimate to pay for the park.

Once the park is complete, the city will own it, but the society will continue to maintain it, which could include weeding the park, maintaining jumps and removing hazards.

Fernie, Creston and Kimberley each have a bike skills park.

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