Bike park throws grand-opening celebration Saturday
summit daily news
Driving past the Frisco Bike Park on Highway 9, one might get the impression it’s a big, gnarly facility for extreme riders looking to huck themselves through the air.
Well, it is.
But park manager and creator Josh Olson insists anyone who can ride on two wheels and has a bike with a functional set of brakes can have fun and learn new skills at the park, which celebrates its official grand opening throughout the day on Saturday.
When we last checked in with the bike park at the end of July, it consisted of three flow lines – green, blue and black – representing increasing levels of difficulty. Those have since been improved and augmented. The park added a wooden feature to the beginner’s green line. (It’s similar to the blue box visible from the road, but with a simpler, rainbow design.)
“We completed it full-circle and added a wooden amenity. It’s a wood feature for beginners,” said Olson. “It’s really beginner terrain – super friendly for any rider. If you don’t even ride bikes, it’s something you can go learn on.”
Olson said he’s actually seen people rolling down the green track on road bikes, although the park does not specifically encourage road bikes and cruisers. Mountain bikes and BMXs, they say, are better choices – nothing fancy necessary, just a reliable set of brakes.
The bike park is open to the public everyday from dawn ’til dusk, free of charge. Since July, they have also decided to allow mountain boards at the facility.
The park has added a pumptrack and dirt jump facility in the last six weeks. And the staff has 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 pump track serves two purposes: Advanced riders (as the name suggests) 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.
“Our expert riders are having a blast getting a workout (on the pumptrack) and beginners are having a blast just figuring out what’s going on at the bike park,” Olson said. “For the experts, you can only get about five laps out before your heart’s beating out of your chest. For the beginners, they can expose themselves to what rollers and berms feel like. … It’s our introduction to the park, but our advanced riders are also loving it.”
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.
“You can still roll all the beginner lines on this dirt jump facility, same as you would the rest of the hill,” Olson said. “As you get into the more advanced jumps there’s a little bit more of a gap to them.”
The flow lines – which were completed in July – will continue to evolve. The staff plans to erect a 15-foot-long, “wooden drop” on the black line, which will provide a challenge for expert riders.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday will officially open the park in its fully operational capacity. For the park staff and the Town of Frisco, it’s a two-year project that is finally coming to fruition.
“It’s been the most strenuous project I’ve been a part of in my life,” Olson said. “It’s taken everything from this whole crew to put everything we had into it. But we’re rounding that corner, coming into the finish line, and it’s the best feeling we could have. We’re really happy with the final product.”
In accordance with its grant from Greater Outdoors Colorado provided through the Colorado Lottery, which funded the project along with Frisco, the park has been built in the required two years and will open on schedule. But next year will really serve as the complete kickoff for the park with full programming, such as clinics for all levels, competitions and youth camps.
Saturday, there will be several free competitions throughout the day: a 12-and-under and 13-and-older competition on the pump track, a style competition on the dirt jump facility and style competitions on each of the three flow lines. But organizers said the features will be closed only briefly for the competitions, so riders who don’t necessarily want to compete will have plenty of time to play around the park.
There will be pros on hand to offer demonstrations and live reggae tunes will be provided by P-Nuckle at 5:30 p.m. Also, the county’s local bike shops have signed up to show off their latest bikes and gear.
“It’s going to be great for spectators, for people who want to just ride around and for people who want to compete at all levels,” said Seth Blackmer, recreation manager for Frisco. “It should be a good, full weekend of free stuff.”
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