The City of Eagan has had a BMX bike park for a few years, adjacent to the skate park at the Lexington-Diffley Athletic Fields (Google map here). It’s undergoing a complete revamping and currently has two pump tracks, beginner and intermediate levels, with a third advanced level pump track opening in May. Also planned: three levels of jumps.
Chance Glasford, MORC member and author of the Self-Sponsored Cycling blog (RSS feed now aggregated on my right sidebar), has been the leader of the effort to revamp the park. I met Chance at last month’s High School MTB Kickoff and expect to see him this weekend at the Leaders’ Summit.
(Update 4/22, 6pm: I’ve added the photo on the left of me and Chance taken earlier today at the Leaders’ Summit.)
Chance has cited an article in Elevation Outdoor Magazine titled The Park’s The Place , because “it pretty much says it all about why we, the riders in the metro, need bike parks, why I pushed for it and why we are working so hard to get this completed to make the bike park a reality and an enjoyable place to ride, train and improve as riders!” An excerpt:
Enter the latest trend in mountain biking: bike parks. Designed and built especially for bikes, these facilities offer everything from jaw-dropping stunts to beginner-level trails. While an in-town setting doesn’t provide the escape of a long ride in the mountains, bike parks are highly accessible and a great way to improve cycling fitness and skill levels…
“It’s been exciting to see the explosion in popularity,” says Lee McCormack, who teaches mountain bike skills clinics at Valmont. “The parks really have a broad appeal. Dads and moms, older and younger siblings can all find elements that challenge them, while staying in close proximity to each other.”
And, says McCormack, when you do get out for that remote singletrack journey, the practice you’ve logged in the park will pay off. “I’m riding better than ever on trails—smoother, faster and more controlled—because of all the time I spend honing my technique in a park context,” says McCormack.
I visited the Eagan bike park last night. Trevor ? (white shirt) lives nearby and has been working on the park with Chance. He was there with his friend Nate and gave me a few quick lessons on his new BMX bike. Saaaweeeet! I was able to get around the beginner level pump track without pedaling on my 29er hardtail. It helped to lock out my front suspension. The intermediate loop (they’re connected) is a hoot and definitely tougher. Trevor can fly around it and it was inspiring to watch him. Here are a few more photos:
It’s no surprise that Tim Wegner has had a hand in this. He wrote last fall in the MORC forum:
A few months ago Chance contacted me and asked if I thought we could renovate the Lexington Park. I told him I would assist with city type things and help him get approval for the work he wanted to do. This discussion went on for a while focusing around not only a dirt jump area but also building a pump track.
Chance and I met with the city of Eagan yesterday afternoon and have gotten approval to move forward with the plan Chance has put together. We are using some design plans from Lee McCormick as well as local input. The city of Eagan is going to begin to destruct half of the jumps this fall yet, move the dirt into piles with construction to begin next spring or earlier if this dry weather holds. Eagan is totally on board with the plan and are excited to see someone take hold of this project.
The big build day was last Friday. Chance wrote about it in a blog post titled, On the 8th day God gave us pump and we rode!
I just want to thank everyone that showed up to help build! We had a great turn out despite the on and off rain all day. I believe we had 12 people that showed up. I want to give a huge shout out to Tim Wegner and Mike Mullany for bringing their machinery and operating it all day long for us! We moved a ton of dirt and made a lot of awesome track!
I want to thank QBP for allowing so many of their employees to come out and help build. I want to think Josh Abrahamson for bringing a grill and sausages. I want to thank Clay Haglund for driving all the way up from Mankato to help out and donating a push broom to the cause! Shout out to Adam Buck for sending the beautiful Red Bull ladies our way for a nice mid afternoon pick-me-up! I also want to thank Thor and Nick for all their attention to detail and really making the two completed tracks super dialed in!
Over all it was a huge success. We dialed the beginner pump track, completed the second pump tack, which is a replica of the Whistler Crankworx ’10 and got the 3rd pump track, a replica of sea otter ’09 roughed in!
Here’s one of a dozen fabulous photos by Scott Haraldson from that build day:
You can follow the Lexington Street Bike Park on Facebook.