Bijou Bike Park hosting clinics and volunteer maintenance days
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — It’s only been a few weeks since the grand opening of the Bijou Bike Park, but organizers have already kicked the community vibe into high gear. With the mountain-bike season winding down, park volunteers and Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association (TAMBA) officials will be offering free ride-clinics geared toward all ages and abilities. Clinics will be offered Sundays from 11 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m. — depending on number of participants — until the park closes for the winter in late October or early November.
“Everyone should come out for those,” said Kris Moorehead, one of the park’s lead builders. “They’ll work on all aspects of the bike park from pumptracks to slopestyle to BMX.”
TAMBA board member Amy Fish further elaborated on the program and emphasized its broad reach.
“The clinics aren’t just for advanced riders who are already very familiar with hitting dirt jumps and want to improve their skills. It’s also for the youngest of riders starting off, including the Striders and Strider parents,” she said, referring to the style of pedal-less children’s beginner bikes. “We’re not just going to go over technique. We’re also going to go over how to respectfully ride at the bike park — why we say things like stay off the sides of the berms.”
The new park includes courses geared towards all skill levels. It features beginner, medium and advanced slopestyle jump lines as well as beginner and intermediate pump track loops — circular courses with smaller features designed to be ridden with minimal pedalling. There is also a new BMX course and a loop trail connecting different aspects of the park. The loop track includes a few introductory bump features and is one of the parts of the park that TAMBA officials hope to expand.
While the clinics are free, organizers are welcoming donations for the continued development and maintenance of the park.
“I’m hoping it helps raise a little bit of money so we can move forward and build some more awesome things out here,” Fish said. “It’s a suggested donation, but hopefully we’ll take in a little bit because we have some plans for expanding.”
CALLING ON COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS
As part of maintaining the park, TAMBA officials and Bijou Bike Park Association volunteers are calling on community members to come out for Maintenance Mondays work sessions.
“We’re out here with tools and instructions for anyone that wants to help,” Moorehead said. ““The community support is super important to help maintain this park. I don’t think people realize that the city put in money just to build the park. It comes down to the Bijou Bike Park Association to maintain it, and further invest in this place.”
In addition to maintaining the features, Fish said it’s also an opportunity for bikers to join the riding community and leave their fingerprint on the park.
“I think it’s good not just to keep things looking pristine, but also to get more riders feeling ownership for the park,” she said.
Currently the City of South Lake Tahoe does not have any staff employed to maintain the park. It is done entirely through volunteer efforts.
“We’re actually out here every day doing maintenance, it seems like — grooming, sweeping or watering,” Morehead said of trail crew volunteer efforts thus far.
Maintenance Monday work sessions will be held each week at 5:30 p.m. until the park closes for the season. Depending on weather, the park is expected to be closed some time in early November through late March. Clinics and volunteer work sessions will resume in April.
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