Riders fly high at Frisco Bike Park | SummitDaily.com

Riders fly high at Frisco Bike Park

Geoff Mintz
summit daily news
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

Extreme athletes these days can’t seem find enough different ways to hurl themselves through the air. The Frisco Bike Park, currently open and free to the public, offers another option for horizontally challenged among us.

All types of mountain bikers can utilize the new bike park, which is made up of jumps, berms and features. BMX riders, downhillers, cross-county riders and dirt-jumpers alike will find the park fun, educational and challenging.

“This is what you would consider to be a new-school bike park. It’s kind of a combination of downhill mountain biking and traditional dirt-jump riding,” said bike park manager Josh Olson as he pointed to the flow lines that have been created over the last four months.

The park currently consists of over 30 features and three flow lines – beginner, intermediate and advanced – with varying levels of speed, pop and scale. In other words, the progression advances riders toward increasingly faster lines with increasingly bigger airs. However, none of the jumps are mandatory – there are no gnarly gaps, so you can bail at anytime.

Additionally, the airs are designed so a rider can’t get him or herself into too much trouble. If a rider is unable or unwilling to thoroughly hit a jump in the flow line, he or she won’t have enough speed to hit the subsequent features in the course.

The vertical drop is about 100 feet and the lines are more 12,000 feet long. Any type of credible mountain bike can be used, as long as it has reliable, well-maintained breaks. Road bikes and cruisers are obviously not recommended.

The three courses 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.

The park will also be adding a more traditional, flatter pump track later in the summer.

“Think of a figure-eight and you kind of pump your way around it. You’re using those jumps and gravity to push your way around,” Olson said. “You can use it as an expert to increase endurance and also as a beginner to get the idea of what a larger scale feature might feel like.”

Other additions to be added this summer include some sort of racecourse, perhaps a slalom of some kind, and a dirt jump area.

It all leads up to the grand opening on Sept. 24, at which point all the features will be completed and pro-level riders are scheduled to come and demonstrate. There aren’t many other facilities in the country that are as complete and extensive as the Frisco Bike Park, officials said. The closest one that is similar is in Boulder.

“There are very few bike parks of this scale in the country. … We have a steady flow of people throughout the park. We’ll probably see between 20 and 50 people throughout the course of the day. As the weekend gets closer, the park gets a little busier, but we’ve been seeing family coming out all day long,” Olson said.

Frisco will be starting a program next week that instructs riders on how to appropriately use the bike park. Etiquette and safety will be the primary focus of the clinics. There will also be a small amount of skills instruction, something they will offer quite a bit more of after the grand opening.

“We want to promote responsible usage of the bike park, so the plan is to start some programming that makes it easy for Dad and his kid to come enjoy the facility without feeling intimidated,” said Seth Blackmer, recreation manager for Frisco.

Next summer, the park will open at full speed with all facilities and programming available. Until then, anyone can come out and enjoy the initial features.

“All the dollars and all the work that is being put into this goes right back to the community. I think that’s incredible and it hasn’t really been done before on the community level,” Olson said. “This has been a lifelong dream of mine to put something like this in place. Partnering with Frisco, I think we’ve really got something cool, and a lot of people are enjoying it.”

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