Freeriding is for real in Breckenridge
BRECKENRIDGE – The North Shore has come to Breckenridge. Nestled in the trees off the side of Grandview Drive is Summit County’s newest freeride mountain biker’s paradise – the Breckenridge Freeride Park. Freeriding – the more aggressive side of mountain biking, which originated in the heavily forested North Shore of Vancouver, British Columbia – has been growing in popularity in the county in recent years, and now the town of Breckenridge has embraced it completely.The small mountain bike stunt park, located on the 4 O’Clock Trail off of a sharp switchback on Grandview Drive, features teeter-totters, log bridges and double jumps and was dedicated in a ceremony Tuesday.The park is a collaborative effort between Breckenridge open space coordinator Danica Rice, several local mountain bikers, and the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA).
According to Breck mountain biker Ryan Gau, the park was built in stages beginning last fall and resuming this spring.”It was really Danica’s idea,” Gau said. “She deserves all the credit.”Gau and Rice, along with local cyclists Cam Fulton, Ray Moretz and Scott Holm, put nearly four months of work into the park. “We built it off of Whistler standards,” Gau said, referring to the elaborate mountain bike features found at Whistler ski resort in British Columbia. “We surfed Internet magazines and then we all thought about it.” IMBA, a Boulder-based advocacy organization, became involved when they awarded the town a $500 grant to be used exclusively on construction of the park. “We’re really excited about the project,” said IMBA’s communications director Pete Webber. “We think it’s a model for other freeride parks.”
IMBA grassroots advocacy coordinator Brandon Dwight attended the dedication.”It’s really well built to really good specifications,” he said. “Everything is super solid and there are adequate fall zones. If you need to jump off a stunt or fall off one of the ladder bridges you’re not going to fall into a creek.” The park has already proven popular with local riders. “I think it really adds to the local trail system,” said 13-year-old Jeff Metzger of Breckenridge, who is capable of riding every feature in the park.Added Gau: “Everyone seems to really like it. I think people are really enjoying it.”
The park features several different lines catering to riders of all ability levels. “You start at the top and you have different options – a difficult, intermediate and beginner line,” Dwight said. “It creates a natural progression so people can get their feet wet and then develop those types of skills.” According to Webber, the park is already being promoted as a model for other parks around the country.”We’ve been telling people about it and pointing people toward it as a model for what other communities can do in regards to freeriding,” he said. Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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