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Bike Park should be ready to roll in the fall

City of Redmond workers saw a log in half in the Redmond Bike Park. Riders will be able to ride across the log and practice their balancing skills. - Courtesy of City of Redmond
City of Redmond workers saw a log in half in the Redmond Bike Park. Riders will be able to ride across the log and practice their balancing skills.
— image credit: Courtesy of City of Redmond

After five years of planning, an appeals process, public meetings and waiting, the Redmond Bike Park is finally on its way to becoming a reality.

Work parties for the park began earlier this month and will continue throughout the summer as the park is scheduled to open in September. The next work parties are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday with more scheduled for July 19-20 and 26-27 and Aug. 8-9 and 16-17. All work parties run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and  will be held at the park site. Parking is available in Hartman Park on 172nd Avenue Northeast off Northeast 104th Street.

The work parties have been made up of volunteers from the community and city staff, with help from Hilride Progression Development Group — a California-based consultant group specializing in developing destinations, riding areas and bike parks.

David Shaw, the City of Redmond project manager in charge of the Bike Park, said the work parties have had anywhere between 25 and 60 volunteers and they have logged 550 volunteer hours so far.

“We’ve actually done a lot of work,” he said.

The fruits of all that labor so far has resulted in the start of the park’s jump routes and the beginning of a skills trail loop.

The Bike Park will feature two separate jump routes. One will be for beginning and intermediate riders. The second route will be for more advanced riders.

“That’s a really cool feature of this park,” Shaw said. “It accommodates all levels.”

In addition to perfecting their jumps, riders will also be able to perfect more technical skills such as trail riding, hairpin turns and balancing along the park’s skills trail loop.

And while much has been accomplished over the course of three work parties, the progress has been a long time coming.

“It is really nice to see our local community pulling together to build this park,” said Carolyn Hope, who was the original project manager. “Our volunteers have included lots of local teens, including a local scout troop, entire families and fathers who like to ride and are looking forward to taking their little ones here. I hope that the park is a success for the community.”

Education Hill resident Josh Randall has been involved in the park planning process since it began in 2009 and said even though they had to wait a few extra years to begin building, it feels just as good to do so now as it would have been if things went as originally scheduled.

“It made it all worth it,” he said about seeing the park’s starting hill complete.

Randall and his friends have been riding around the area for nine years and said they had been building and maintaining jumps for many years before the City of Redmond became involved. He said initially, they were opposed to the city’s involvement.

“We only saw them as the people tearing our jumps down,” the 18-year-old said.

But after he realized what the city was planning on doing — creating a permanent facility that will also be safer — he was on board. Randall, who graduated from Redmond High School in 2013, added that being part of the work parties has also given him a chance to reconnect with his biker friends as they have all gone their separate ways after high school.

For Jacob Fulbright, the delay in the park’s construction actually worked in his favor as building the start of the beginners and intermediate jump route is his Eagle Scout project. The 15-year-old and others from his troop — Boy Scout Troop 612 — are building about five or six jumps on the route. Like Randall, Fulbright is excited to see the park complete after all this time.

“It’s awesome because we’ve worked so hard to make this happen,” he said.

In addition to Randall, Fulbright and other teens, a number of adult riders are also excited to see the park come to fruition.

Nate Waddoups, who lives in Overlake, grew up just east of Redmond and rode his bike everywhere and like Randall and Fulbright, used to build jumps wherever he could. This being said, Waddoups said the jumps he and his friends built were nowhere near what is being done at the Bike Park.

“I would’ve been really excited to have this close by,” he said about his younger self. “I’m still excited.”

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