New Bijou Bike Park presents plenty of options for South Lake Tahoe riders
South Lake Tahoe’s new Bijou Bike Park was a flurry of activity Sunday. Dozens of children poked around the pair of pumptracks, groups of people challenged each other on the BMX track and the most skilled riders boosted over features on the large slopestyle courses, which includes dirt jumps, wooden launch ramps and big berm turns. It is one of three slopestyle options at the park, which opened to the public Sept. 19.
The scene was welcoming Sunday, with bicyclists encompassing a wide range of ages and abilities checking out the new terrain.
“There’s an oasis in town, to be honest,” said South Lake Tahoe resident John Lease before taking another lap through the largest features of the park.
“It’s pretty big, but it’s pretty safe at the same time, so it’s pretty cool,” said Jesse Ellis of the park’s largest line.
Small, medium and large slopestyle courses encourage riders to start slow but are designed to encourage progression. The small slopestyle line can be completed by novices, while most features on the medium and large slopestyle courses require mandatory air. The BMX track’s bumps take a certain set of skills to negotiate efficiently, but the track’s wide, swooping turns are fun for all. The small and large pumptracks allow bicyclists to practice skills easily transferred to the slopestyle courses or BMX track.
“It’s awesome,” Ellis said of the park. “It’s absolutely friggin’ amazing.”
Ellis was splitting time between getting his own kicks and showing his kids around some of the smaller features at the park Sunday.
“It’s like a motorcycle rally, everyone is there for the love of the bike,” Ellis said.
Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association president Ben Fish was also checking out the park Sunday and taking some laps of his own.
Fish was thrilled to see people enjoying the park after years of effort to get it completed.
“I don’t think I’ve seen so many smiles in the city in a long time,” Fish said.
The park is free to ride and is open daily from dawn to dusk. It is located at Bijou Community Park, off Al Tahoe Boulevard, in South Lake Tahoe.
Helmets are required and additional protective gear is recommended. No motorized vehicles, including remote control cars, are allowed at the park.
TAMBA will host volunteer maintenance sessions at the park at 5:30 p.m. every Monday. Tools and training will be provided.
More information is available at http://bijoubikepark.org.