Mountain bikers only have a few more weeks to wait before the Campbell River Bike Park is finished.
Keen-eyed cyclists will have noticed a bit more activity at the future bike park site near the Campbell River Sportsplex facility starting last week. Funders including two Campbell River Rotary Clubs, representatives from the City of Campbell River, the builders and other stakeholders were present on July 20 to start the construction process. After a few speeches and a socially-distanced photo on the hill near the park, workers have been preparing contours at the site of what will eventually be berms and jumps.
“The site gets a lot of water in the winter. There’s a lot of fill and land-shaping required to build the park and ensure that we maintain a drainage pattern,” said Campbell River Bike Park Society President Wendy Ravai.
While it may not look like much now, that shaping action will soon be turning into jump and berm sculpting.
“They’re shaping the jump lines, shaping the drops and basically shaping the park. That will go on for another week to week and a half,” she said. “Then they’ll start working on the details of the park.”
However, as the park starts to look more and more rideable, Ravai cautioned people against going into the park too early. Bike park construction requires features to be packed down before they are rideable, and other features may be in place, but not fully installed. Liability issues also exist, and any trespassing will slow the process and delay the opening. The construction site is a private construction site and anyone breaking in will be considered illegal trespassers.
“We need to have the safety signage and things finished so that the City can take over and carry the liability of the park,” Ravai said. “We really struggled with that with the pumptrack. People went before the legal signage was up. That wasn’t as bad because it was complete. Kids are going to try to get in there. They’re seeing things get set up, but they won’t necessarily be set to complete. They can ruin the jumps and it becomes a safety liability.
“There are just so many things that can go wrong, I’m going to be very very clear. If we get word of anyone trespassing we will call the police.”
Those precautions are just in place to ensure the final stages of the project are completed with as few headaches as possible.
“There was so much extra stress that was unnecessary [last time],” Ravai said. “People just couldn’t respect the fencing and the steps that have to happen.”
Ravai said there is no hard opening date at the moment, due to the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 situation. However, she does expect the park to be open and complete by late August. More information will be provided as it is available.
The park is being built by the Coast Gravity Park construction crew who builds world-class mountain bike infrastructure on the West Coast.
“The guys are really excited to be here,” Ravai said. “They have so much passion for what they do, and they see this as a huge benefit to the community of Campbell River, the mountain biking community and families and young people. It’s a really great thing.
“It’s all about progression and building up riders so that they can go to trails, go to bike parks, travel. It’s going to be a great opportunity for everyone,” she added. “We’re building healthy active members of our community, and that’s important.”