After opening as a work in progress for most of the 2011 season, the Frisco Bike Park is ready for its first full season, operating at full capacity.
The biggest difference between this year and last will be the addition of more programming to accompany the park, which is one of a kind in the High Country. However, riders can also expect the slalom race course, which was tabled last summer, to be completed June 30, tentatively. The crew also made additions to the dirt jumps, which are the park's most popular feature, manager Josh Olson said.
"We haven't changed a huge amount (since September) in terms of construction," said Olson. "We've really transitioned into the maintenance side of the park. We really focused on the dirt jump features - different transfer lines and different options."
Olson, along with park technicians Cody Barger and Aaron Sanstad, have been dialing in the jumps, using a soil stabilizer to compact the dirt and create a denser surface.
"It's really the key ingredient in getting your dirt set up to the point that it's less maintenance and a better riding surface and more consistent - and it's a little bit safer too."
The new slalom course is visible, lookers left of the green flow line (aka slopestyle course). The staff is hoping to formulate an evening race series with three or four events, which could expand to a six- or eight-event series next summer.
Additional park programming will consist of clinics for riders of all ages and abilities. Olson said the clinics are a great way to ease riders who may be a little timid into the park - it's also a great way for experienced park riders to augment their skills.
"There's going to be a full array, from little kids in the pumptracks to adult clinics and everything in between," Olson said.
The crew was aided by the mild winter and beautiful spring, which helped get things going early this year.
"Last season, we were just getting on the site May 15 with loaders to start screening dirt," Olson said. "It's been dry for a month-and-half, two months now - so we were finishing our tubing hill operation while the bike park was dried out. ... It's extended the season by about two months."
Returning for the 2012 season are the original three slopestyle lines, which are broken down into green, blue and black like ski trails, with the green being more of a flow line and the blue and back classified more as jump lines, park designers said. The green course resembles a sloped pump track, which can be utilized by riders at all levels for various purposes.
Toward the end of last summer, the park added the pumptrack and dirt jump facility, and the staff completely installed new signage made from beetle-kill pine, which greets the riders with a map and explanation of all the features in the park.
The pumptrack serves two purposes: Advanced riders pump around the track for a complete cardio and muscle-building workout that can be applied to other elements of the sport. For beginners, especially children, it's a great introduction to bike park terrain.
The dirt jump facility at the bottom of the hill caters to BMX riders and dirt jumpers, and like the other features in the park, it offers a progression from easy to difficult. There are four lines, the easiest of which riders can simply roll through, that is, there are no gaps that need to be cleared and no air necessary.
The park is always free and will be open all summer into the fall from dawn to dusk. For more information on events and programs, visit the Town of Frisco website www.townoffrisco.com or swing by the office at the park.