The following story by Natalie St. John was published in the Daily News on July 9, 2012. Photo credit to St. John as well.
CASTLE ROCK — The grand opening for the Castle Rock Bicycle Park is set for Sept. 22, but cyclists of all ages and skill levels are already taking advantage of the park’s “pump track” challenge course.
For a year, 100 volunteers have donated 1,700 hours of labor and $20,000 to build the region’s only comprehensive practice and training facility for trail-riding enthusiasts, said Jim LeMonds, who has led the effort to build the park. Much of the donated money came from about 15 major sponsors, who donated more than $500 each, but many “regular people put in $75- to 150,” LeMonds said.
A raised pathway on the east side of the park, which is located on city land at Dike Road and Warren Street, has been in use since early this year. However, over the last few months several new features have been developed on the west side of the park. They include three new ‘log-over lines” — at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels — where riders can practice jumping over fallen trees, which are a common obstacle on mountain biking trails.
“There’s a lot of those where we ride, so people wanted us to put in a practice area,” LeMonds explained.
Riders also can test their skills on a series of drops ranging from one to four feet high and improve their agility on the moguls — several clusters of mounded earth where the most advanced riders can “catch air.”
While some of the elements of the park’s design may sound intimidating, LeMonds said even novice riders can have fun at the park.
Each feature is designed to accommodate riders of all ability levels. For example, on the “Skinnies” — a set of narrow trails of varying difficulty — the easiest trail is just a place to practice staying in line on a narrow track. The most advanced trail is “much more technical and difficult — it’s got a teeter-totter built in,” LeMonds said.
“Our motto is, ‘There’s something for everyone,’ ” LeMonds said, “My five year-old grandson loves riding the pump track.”
Even though the park is already used regularly, LeMonds said improvements will continue long after the official September opening.
“It’s one of these things where we’re never really going to finish, but we need to celebrate before the rain comes again,” LeMonds said.