By Scott House
July 1, 2011 – What do you get when you mix the first professionally built bike park in the state of Utah, 500 + people, and some incredible vendors?? The grand opening of the Trailside Park Bike Park in Park City!
The Trailside Park Bike Park is located in Park City. The park was built by Progressive Trail Design, an Arkansas company that specializes in building bike parks, and will encompass nearly 22 acres when finished. Free and open to the public, the new bike park was partially funded from the Restaurant Arts and Park Tax, with the remainder funded from the Snyderville Basin Recreation District’s Capital Improvements budget.
Phase 1 which officially opened on June 18th features a beginner skills loop, a beginner flow trail, a beginner pump track, an intermediate pump track, and an intermediate slopestyle trail. Future plans for the park include an expert slopestyle line, as well as a 4000 linear foot all mountain loop to be completed in the near future.
The Trailside Park Bike Park is the brainchild of the Snyderville Basin Recreation District, and their trail maintenance supervisor, Bob Radke. The Trailside Bike Park meets a need in the Park City trail system. Allowing riders of all ability levels to build, and hone their skills, the Trailside Bike Park will be an invaluable part of the Park City trail system long into the future. The mix of trails available allows riders to follow a progression at their own pace building skills on their terms, and allowing them to become more accomplished cyclists.
Who Is It For?
The Trailside Park Bike Park is for everyone! Free and open to the public as conditions permit, the park is non-exclusive. No longer do you have to pay to ride a chair lift, or travel out of state to experience a professionally designed, and built bike park!
The park allows riders of all ability levels to follow a progression allowing them to build their skills without having to put themselves in an uncomfortable situation. Things start with the beginner skills area, and beginner pump track. The beginner skills area is loaded with features to help riders learn better balance, body positioning, and line choice. Features include wood bridges positioned low to the ground, teeter-totters, and more.
The beginner pump track is the next step for most riders. A pump track is a closed circuit loop that consists of rollers (mounds of packed dirt), and berms (banked turns). A pump track is designed so the rider should not have to pedal. By “pumping” or pushing the bike down on the backside of the rollers the rider gains speed, and momentum. The berms help the rider keep that speed, and momentum while allowing them to practice their cornering skills in a controlled environment. Riders who master a pump track can go as long as their legs, and lungs allow without taking a single pedal stroke.
For the more advanced rider, or riders looking to move along the progression provided by the park, there is the beginner flow trail and intermediate pump track. A flow trail is usually a downhill only trail that has manmade features to challenge riders, and help them build their skills. A flow trail is designed to allow minimal pedal, or brake input from the rider to ride the trail. The rider just “flows” down the trail like a stream of water would.
The beginner flow trail at the Trailside Bike Park consists of berms, and rollers similar to a pump track, but is gravity fed. The rider starts at the top, and works their way down the trail focusing on body position, and line selection. Because the trail is gravity fed the rider learns how to handle increased speeds, and potentially getting their wheels off the ground. Once riders are comfortable on the beginner flow trail they can move over to the intermediate pump track. The intermediate pump track is similar to the beginner pump track but increases the size of the rollers, and berms to allow for more speed, and the potential to get the bike off the ground.
The piece de resistance at the Trailside Bike Park currently is the intermediate slopestyle trail. A slopestyle trail incorporates jumps, berms, wooden features, and more to challenge and excite the rider. The Trailside Park intermediate slopestyle trail features numerous table top (no gap) jumps, berms, rollers, as well as four large wooden features. These wooden features include a large curved wooden berm (banked turn) at the top of the trail which can be jumped out of, or just rolled through without your tires leaving the ground. In the middle of the trail there is a large wooden ladder bridge that features an up-ramp to a flat top, and a down ramp. Riders can choose to role the entire box with their wheels on the ground/wood, jump on, jump off, or any combination of the afore mentioned. As riders near the bottom of the trail they will encounter two wooden wall rides. A wall ride is a vertical, or near vertical wooden or natural feature that riders use their momentum to ride up on in a turning motion. You can enter and exit by rolling in, and out, or you can jump up on the wall, and off.
Because of how the park was designed, it is an ideal riding location for beginners all the way up to experts. Beginners will find the beginner skills loop and beginner pump track a great way to build confidence and skills. Intermediate and advanced riders will find the intermediate slopestyle line and pump track both fun and challenging. Whether you are seasoned veteran of the MTB world, or just getting your wheels underneath you the Trailside Park Bike Park is a great place to ride, train, and learn.
The Grand Opening
It’s not very often we get to celebrate the opening of a new trail system especially one that is the first of its kind in the state! The grand opening of the Trailside Park Bike Park was a major exception to this rule. The grand opening celebration hosted by White Pine Touring of Park City was held on June 18th 2011, and was a party for the ages.
The day started at 11:00am with an informal Q&A session with Progressive Trail Design and Snyderville Basin Recreation Staff. Once the formalities were out of the way the fun began. DJ Jalal started pumping tunes and the park started to see a steady line of riders waiting for their turn to check out the new lines. Free mountain bike lessons lead by White Pine Touring guides allowed new comers to the sport to get a jump-start on their skills so they could start hitting the park with confidence.
At 1:00pm the park was hopping, and there were nearly 500+ people in attendance. With so many people riding it was time to fuel them up for the afternoon, and sponsors Davanza’s Pizza, and El Chubasco of Park City had everyone covered. Fresh hot pizza, and an epic chip and salsa bar provided the energy people needed to keep shredding. When the Red Bull Wings Team showed up to quench riders thirst things really got going. Caffeinated and fueled there was a line of 50 riders at any given moment waiting for their turn to shred the one of the numerous trails.
A party would not be complete without prize giveaways, and with the help of numerous generous sponsors there was no lack of swag to give away. Great prizes from Contour, Oakley, Fox, and more drew people to the bottom of the park for the first of two chance drawings on the day. Surrounded by 100’s of people event organizer, Scott House, called out ticket numbers and tossed out prizes to the lucky winners.
As the day pressed on attendees were treated to something very special. Local pro mountain bikers Eric Porter, Chris VanDine, Josh Bender, and Ali Goulet had come out for the day, and they were ready to ride! At 2:30 this talented group of riders led a line 50+ people to the top of the intermediate slopestyle line for a chance to share a shred with them. It’s not every day you get to ride with a legend in the mountain bike world, and it’s even rarer when you get the opportunity to ride with four legends on the same trail at the same time. The boys showed the riders the parks true potential, and gave tips and pointers on how to attack the features.
The Trailside Park Bike Park and the grand opening celebration were, and still are a huge success. The overwhelming support for the event, and the park shows how strong the cycling community is in Utah. It shows that if we work together, and support those that maintain and build our trails we can accomplish great things. A big thanks to all those who attended the grand opening celebration, and continue to use the park on a regular basis
The grand opening was supported by the following generous sponsors: Snyderville Basin Recreation District, Progressive Trail Design, White Pine Touring, Jans, Smith, Bolle, Ryders Eyewear, Camebak, Contour, Ellsworth, The North Face, Skullcandy, Trek, SRAM, Red Bull, SockGuy, Davanza’s, Park City Coffee Roasters, Yakima, GoPro, Fox, El Chubasco, Oakley, Giro, Easton, Mtn Ranks, and Park City Television.
If You Go
The Trailside Bike Park is located at 5715 Trailside Drive, Park City, UT 84060. The park is open from sun-up until sundown conditions permitting (do not ride the park when it’s muddy). Thanks to Basin Recreation, and the funding provided to build the park it is 100% free to use! Currently there are no classes or lessons offered by Basin Recreation at the park, but if you are interested in instruction you can contact White Pine Touring at 435-649-8710, and they will be happy to arrange something for you.