In The Flow

“That’s really quite the amazing thing about it,” Russell says. “The pre-manufactured features, they create the landscape for you. You know, whereas in the past, we’d be hauling dirt or building the trail through a hillside to try and create a rolling effect, transitions, and now you can put them anywhere. You could put them in a Wal-Mart parking lot if you wanted.”

Regardless of the size of the bike park you decide to build, Russell recommends doing the necessary homework before selecting a partner, and staying true to the parks’ mission:

“I think these sorts of pre-fabricated structure parks are still a little bit in their infancy. There are probably a number of other companies that are getting on board. Have a good look at references and other successful projects, and talk with those municipalities and see what was successful for them, and if they’re enjoying it. Ultimately, what’s the demographic? What’s the goal? Are you keeping to that goal?”

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Bike Park Lingo

Bike Skills Parks/Trails

Beginner and intermediate areas full of elements and defined lap paths designed to help users improve their skills and advance to the more challenging jump, pump, flow, and slopestyle trails.

Jump Parks

Designed specifically for BMX bikes, these parks are full of dirt jumps with transitions and tabletops. Expert parks also include gap jumps.

Pump Parks/Trails

Designed for riders to pump and work their way around the track without pedaling, and to learn to use gravity and momentum to navigate from beginning to end.

Flow Trails

Downhill trails feature elements, drops, and changes in direction. The idea is to get in the “flow” and work the bike through the course. More time with wheels on the ground than a slopestyle trail.

Slopestyle Trail

Downhill trail features more challenging elements, drops, and air time in contrast to a flow trail.

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Best Practices

Consider using a company that specializes in these types of trails. Similar to building a skatepark, organizations that specialize in this type of work are more likely to lay out a trail in an appealing way.

Consider whether you’ll be programming the area. If so, consider designing the park or trail in a way that a coach/instructor can interact with multiple riders at once.

Depending on the size of the project, actual construction can be relatively quick—as little as one month. But consider the time of year and the type of weather you may encounter.

Consider risk-management issues. Although a park may not be staffed, rules and instructions on how to use the park safely should be displayed.

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Related posts:

  1. Alaska Trail Rondy
  2. Alabama Trails Conference
  3. Gaining Ground
  4. Learn To Ride, Love To Ride
  5. Transforming Rails to Trails

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