Bike Parks 101

The Basic Elements of a Modern Bike Park

Bike Parks and Bike specific recreation areas are a fairly new phenomenon; it’s only been in the last 10 years or so that public land managers have begun to embrace the idea on a much wider scale.  The lasting physical and mental benefits of cycling have been proven time and again, providing your community with a purposefully designed, controlled and safe facility to enjoy it adds quality of life to its citizens and a valuable asset for the stakeholder.  

These Bike specific facilities offer purpose built trails, designed and built by cyclists to maximize the potential for two-wheeled fun.  Its not enough to solely offer Expert only terrain, in order to encourage participation, you must provide challenging trails and riding features tailored to each ability level.  When you encourage progression through design you create a supportive learning environment that will inspire lifelong enthusiasm.  

Like most sports, Bike Park based cycling has inspired its own vocabulary.  It is useful for non-cyclists, land managers and public officials to understand the importance of terms like “jump” and “pump” and to gain an appreciation of these concepts as they apply to bicycle specific features.  

Dirt by design

Progressive Jump Lines

Kids have been jumping bicycles since the advent of the wheel, thankfully through innovative design and construction practices taking flight is safer than ever.

dirt by design

Pump Tracks

Pumping describes the technique of generating momentum on a bike without pedalling.  By shifting your weight on the bike and “pumping” over the rollers and through turns a rider can produce forward motion.  This action encourages focus, concentration and intensity. 

Who Needs a Bike Park?

Many Bike Park advocates are asked, “Why do cyclists need a special park - can’t they just ride in the woods?”   Here’s a list of the advantages Bike Parks offer:

  • Creates a bustling hub for the cycling community

  • Keeps youth safe from vehicle traffic and out of otherwise restricted areas

  • Specific sections designated for younger children and beginners

  • Progressive features to build skills and confidence over time

  • Incorporates jumps and other features that may not be appropriate on a multi use trail network

  • Contests and events foster pride and strengthen community involvement 

  • Enhance the location through environmental design and creative landscaping

  • Promotes a healthy, active lifestyle and enhances the communities profile

  • Routine maintenance ensures a consistent and predictable experience

  • Professional design and construction guarantees a safe, challenging and fun Park

  • Economic and tourism benefits can be substantial when promoted

  • Family friendly designs encourage parents to participate alongside their kids 

  • Volunteer programs allow users to take pride and ownership in the facility

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