Members of the Bijou Bike Park nonprofit hope to break ground on the project this fall, but first they need city approval.
Parks and Recreation Chairman Peter Fink presented an overview of priority projects to the South Lake Tahoe City Council Tuesday. He stressed the importance of the proposed Bijou Bike Park, an undertaking he said won’t cost the city any money.
“If you don’t give kids a good opportunity to have healthy recreation, they don’t always make good choices. If you don’t provide good recreation opportunities, they’re going to find something else to do,” Fink said after the presentation. “We’re going to have to diversify our recreational appeal.”
Fink said the commission will likely list the Bijou Bike Park as one of its top two priorities for this summer.
Bijou Bike Park — a new nonprofit built on the foundation of the former South Lake Tahoe BMX Association — has already raised $8,000, enough money to complete the first phase of the project according to Ben Fish, the organization’s president.
The first phase, which includes a pump track and children’s skill zone, could be built in two weeks once the city gives the nonprofit permission to build on the public land, Fish said. The city listed the project under the Capital Improvement Program earlier this month. The CIP plan includes infrastructure, facility and equipment projects according to the city website.
The Bijou Bike Park plans published April 2012 outline two main components — the relocation of the BMX track and a mountain bike skills park. Overall, the proposed land area would cover about four acres, none of which would affect the current disc golf course, Fish said in a previous article. The Bijou Bike Park website outlines the construction of the BMX track beginning next year while the park would be completed in 2015 with the installment of the slope style courses.
Riders would have a variety of trails to chose from. A series a cross-country trails for beginning to experienced mountain bikers would weave around the park, while a small pump track, children’s learning area and terrain park would abut the BMX race track.
The Bijou Bike Park project started about two years ago at roughly the same time another group north of Tahoe began planning the Truckee Pump Track project. That park now consists of a dirt pump track and could include $45,000 worth of dirt jumps starting June if the all-volunteer organization gets its way.
For BMX Track Association President Lauren Thomaselli, the new bike park fits well into the Lake Tahoe outdoor recreation brand. It would establish a permanent park and move the current BMX track from school district land meant for track and field.
“I absolutely think it’s a real need. It fits the direction of expanding recreation activities. This bike park will serve every type of bike interest. It’s promoting healthy lifestyles and a healthy environment for youth to gather and ride,” Thomaselli said in a previous article.