Well well well, here we are! Where the hell have I been? Haha good question! I have been all over the place; it has been another crazy year. Building, working, and traveling. I went to Germany for a wedding and spent a good amount of my free time out at the park for the second year in a row!
As you would already know, we won the Bell Built Grant but that was only a fraction of the craziness this year.
The year started out on a positive note. Everyone was super jacked, ready to get building because we won the bell grant and we were finally going to get our dirt jumps! That was the main reason we started the park to begin with! However we had to do some good faith building to ease the city into it a little bit. Now they seem to be fully on board !
Spring came about right on time, we started to build out there in May and then the monsoon season began! Totally messed us up and put us about a month behind where we wanted to be. We were constantly battling erosion because the vegetation had not yet grown in. We had to constantly cleanup silt from the bike path at the bottom of the hill. We had hoped to officially open the season on June 1st. However the grand opening wasn’t until June 26th. With a solid push from al the volunteer help and a couple large build days, one sponsored by Freewheel bike shop, we made the grand opening day.
We got pretty lucky because we decided to spend a good chunk of our budget and purchase this awesome new product this year called Dust Shield by Soil Loc. It is a soil additive that hardens the soil through binding the particles. It was a great addition. It not only controlled erosion, it hardened the surface which made the track faster but it also sped up the drying process so that we could get the park open quicker after rainfalls.
Once July came most of the rain had quit and we were able to get the park pretty much dialed in and all treated with Dust Shield and sat back and watched the park grow with popularity. It was super impressive to see how many people of all walks of life started to come out and enjoy the park and we only had 2 of the 6 sections of the park open! It was just so cool!
During this time we were in the process of working with IMBA to organize the build out of the Bell Built Grant. We were going to use the money to build a world class dirt jump area and man did we ever. We had a meeting with Alex Harrington and Randy Spangler to discuss our desires and come up with a general lay out but the real magic started to happen when we found out we were working with Flow Ride Concepts.
I started talking with Shea about 2 weeks before they showed up on site and from the minute they showed up on site I knew that it was going to be a great build! Just super nice, genuinely awesome people! I told them don’t be shy and build what you would want to ride. The crew told them we wanted awesome jumps that other areas would envious of and that we like the trail feel! Boom that is what they gave us!
In less than 2 weeks, with a solid volunteer effort, they knocked out 3 bad ass lines. The intent was to provide beginner, intermediate and advanced but we got more of a beginner, advanced and expert but it’s all good because we still have room to build a 4th line between the beginner and advanced line. It will make for some super sick transfer lines. I think that Flow Ride would have been all about building that but we just ran out of time, money and dirt this year. However for the people looking for progression we definitely have that. We have beginner level pump tracks to get you flowing, then beginner level dj’s to get you off the ground, followed by an intermediate level 4x course that will really get you use to speed and get you airborne ! Then when you feel up to it you can start to learn to fly on our advanced dirt jump line and send it to the moon on the expert line! This jump line is the largest set of public dirt jumps in the state that I’m aware of!
It was a killer season over all, it was filled with ups and downs but over all I’m super stoked to have been part of it! The bike park is now in a better place thanks to all of our amazing volunteers, Flow Ride Concepts and the killer support we get from the community, the City of Cottage Grove and the Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists!Vimeo video HERE
Please consider supporting this grassroots effort by coming out and lending a hand, if you don’t have time you can make a tax deductible donation by clicking the link: http://www.razoo.com/story/Cottagegrovebikepark