OPERATION: BIKE PARK is currently seeking support from community members and businesses who share our excitement and passion for healthy lifestyle and developing confidence! Together we can create an exciting new place for youth and riders of all ages to ride, develop their skills, build confidence, and have FUN in a safe and accessible environment!
What is Operation Bike Park?
Operation Bike Park is a YKMTBC initiative to get a Mountain Bike Skills park built in Yellowknife, NT!
Yellowknife has an incredible untapped potential for mountain biking! Unfortunately some past-times have seen a lot more investment than others in our community. A skills park is an important investment for kick-starting a broader community of mountain bikers, serves a previously ignored segment of our community and acts a means to attract and retain future residents.
What is a Skills Park?
A Mountain Bike Skills park is a recreational facility tailored to developing bike handling skills for riders of all ages and skill levels.
Skills parks consist of a mix of natural and man-made features. These features are designed to replicate what riders would find on the trails and provide purpose-built training aids for developing crucial skills in a controlled risk setting. As a rider's skills and confidence improve, they are presented with increasingly difficult versions of any given feature, providing them with clear paths of progression.
Types of features include: wooden ladder bridges, skinnies, rock-gardens, jumps, rollers and drops.
Why Build One?
Aside from being FUN, skills parks providing a community space for riders, a location for conducting programming and a great way to foster healthy active lifestyles.
Lots of different skills go into being a proficient mountain biker. A skills park provides the tools to develop these skills. By improving skills a rider builds their confidence and will ride better, safer, and more often!
Can our community support it?
These days Yellowknife is home to more and more mountain bikers & fat bikers. And while Overlander Sports has seen a year after year rise in Mountain and Fat Bike Sales Yellowknife still has a long way to go!
Mountain biking is grossly under-represented as a leisure activity within the NWT when compared with the rest of North America. The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), the Outdoor Foundation and many other authorities on the topic estimate that Mountain biking as a preferred leisure activity sits at 3% to 4% of the population within North America and the United Kingdom.
Based on Yellowknife’s population, that’s approximately 800 active riders!
For the Youth!
Did you know that MBM Camp (Mountain Bike Madness Camp, a youth mountain bike camp) has been running in Yellowknife for over 10 years? Just in the last two years they saw over 130 unique sign ups.
How many sports camps can you think of without a field or facility?
Most kids already own or have access to a bike.
With the goal of developing active lifestyles it’s important to keep kids on their bikes especially as they get older and other less conventional, and certainly less healthy, outlets for risk-taking become available. Risk-taking is popularly seen as highly meaningful to personal development, and will likely increase throughout adolescence. Rarely though will those risks be conducted in a controlled and targeted manner, which inspires confidence and develops the capacity for calculated risk-taking and avoidance.
Organised sports aren't for everyone.
Organised sports are a fantastic way for kids to get active, be social, and have a great time doing it. Unfortunately organised sports aren't for everybody. Hockey rinks and soccer turfs are fantastic hubs of community activity. But unfortunately not all kids will be comfortable in those environments for a variety of reasons. Having alternative facilities which can still offer a sense of community and belonging can make a huge difference to developing healthy active lifestyles.
Without fun, exciting and 'cool' alternatives where do those kids go?
Attracting youth to a highly active lifestyle is deeply important to this project; key to that goal is ensuring that we can provide the means for youth to develop themselves through sport and provide the opportunities and infrastructure to allow them to continually challenge themselves.
What would it look like?
Our commitment to Yellowknife
While planning for this park we wanted to ensure that what we hoped to deliver was tailored to the needs and wants of our community. With that goal in mind we conducted a survey of current mountain bikers, their parents and other members of the community to gauge public opinion and get a picture of what type of riders were already here.
Now armed with the results of that survey we feel confident that we can deliver on the needs and wants of our community and build the best possible park experience for current and future riders and their families here in Yellowknife.
A small shot of Inter-River Park in Vancouver, BC:
Where else do parks like this exist?
- Fox Creek Trails & Bike Park - AB
- Moose Jaw Bike Park - SK
- Dirt ‘n Soul Bike Park - Whitehorse, YT
- Sunnyside Bike Park - Toronto, ON
- Hope Bike Park - Coquihalla River Park, BC
- Richmond Bike Park - Garden City Community Park, BC
- Biketown, AB - Devon, AB
- Construction Yard Bike Park - Petawawa, ON
- Island 22 Bike Park - Chilliwack
- Strathcona County Bike Park, AB
- Tuff City Bike Park - Tofino, BC
- Crowsnest Pass Bike Park - Blairmore, AB
- Hinton Bike Park - Hinton AB
- John Evdokimoff Park - White Lake, BC
- Rip N’ the North Bike Park - Vanderhoof, BC
- Glen Eagles, West Vancouver, BC
- Mountain Air Bike Skills Park, Burnaby, BC
- Fort St. James KDL Bike Park - Fort St. James, BC
- Millenium Bike Park - Canmore, AB
- Logan Lake Bike Park, BC
- Keats Island Sprockids Bike Park
- Terrace Bike Skills Park - Terrace, BC
- Burns Lake Mountain Bike Park - Burns Lake, BC
Just to name a few!
Whether you have a mountain bike, a fat bike or a BMX bike, a skills park is for you!
How much does a facility like this cost?
Depending on the size and scope of the facility a bike park can cost anywhere from 150 to 500 thousand dollars. Usually the figure is around 500 thousand.
Typically a huge amount of the cost of the facility is provided for by in-kind donations.
For example, take this example park facility in Hinton, AB
Dirt jumps and a wall ride at the Hinton Park
Sound Awesome? Get Involved!
Do you have something you or your business would like to contribute?
- Funds to support the development of the park or the purchase of materials
- Donation of equipment for the purposes of relocation and forming of soil / materials.
- Discounted supplies or merchandise
- Commitment of volunteer hours & support during one of the future designated community trail development days.
- Letter of support describing your level of contribution