Parks Canada is planning to build a kids bike park near the Nels Nelsen ski jump in Mountain Revelstoke National Park. The plans were unveiled at the 100th anniversary celebration of Mount Revelstoke National Park on Saturday, Apr. 26. A display was set up showcasing the proposal, which includes a play area and bike skills area.
The bike park will be located just below the road that leads to the old ski chalet, in an area that was once a parking lot.
It will feature a series of obstacles for kids to navigate in order to progress their skills. They will weave along a winding path around fake animal droppings, ride over a dragon fly teeter-totter, up a beaver tail and over a log, above a culvert, up and down a small hill, go through some banked corners that are shaped like a salamander and a slug and in and out of a spiral.
“The idea is that the obstacles and the terrain they’re going to go on are to build their skills so they can eventually work up the two kilometre and five kilometre trails,” said a Parks Canada employee.
The idea emerged out of last summer’s kids mountain biking day that was held in the park. Lorraine Blancher, a local professional mountain bike instructor, has been working with Parks Canada on the design.
Parks Canada will also allow mountain biking on the Beaver Valley trail in Glacier National Park. The seldom-used trail will be opened to bikes along the first five kilometres, to the Glacier Creek crossing.
Parks is also considering building a new mountain bike trail that would connect the two-kilometre and five-kilometre Soren Sorenson trails to the Highway 23 connector.
Legalizing CPR Hill trails on RCA agenda
The nebulous network of trails on CPR Hill are on the agenda of the Revelstoke Cycling Association, with the goal being to have them legitimized and marketed.
“That’s simmering in the background,” said Keith McNab, the president of the RCA. “I talked to Alan Mason (the City of Revelstoke’s director of economic development) about getting those trails authorized.”
There will be challenges — the trails are on a mix of public and private property, some of which is owned by CP Rail. They have been built and maintained over the years by various people and are popular amongst locals looking for a place for a ride or run in town.
McNab said the hope is to have the trails on city land authorized first, and then to go and seek permission from private land owners. He said the RCA has a list of property owners on CPR Hill and some of them have been approached.
“It’s not a huge push for us right now. We’re all volunteers so we have limited time,” he said. He called the trail network a “huge asset” and added: “I think the city should be recognizing them and sticking them on maps and handing them out at the visitor centre.”
During an interview, McNab also talked about the RCA’s plans for this summer. There’s no major new trail building planned, he said, but work will continue on short connector trails on both Mount Macpherson and Boulder Mountain.
Still, there is lots being discussed. “Three or four of us will sit down and go over five year plan for the cross country trails,” said McNab. “Everybody you talk to has a wish list of trails, including ourselves.”
Amongst ideas he mentioned was continued work on a trail up the Mt. Macpherson mountain road that started last year; extending the Frisby Ridge trail, and building new trails on Mt. McCrae and Mount Hall, south of Revelstoke.
“These aren’t things we’re going to be doing, but we’re reviewing where we want to go in the future,” said McNab.
He also said the RCA would be willing to help people looking to get trails built but they have to be authorized by Sites and Trails BC.
The downhill group is hoping to build a four kilometre jump trail on Boulder; it is subject to funding.
The RCA once again plans to hire a trail crew to do maintenance work this summer. It would continue the work that was started last year.
“We thought it worked really well. We got a bunch of stuff done addressing water issues,” said McNab. “The trails are getting so much more use now.”
He addressed criticism that some trails were being made too easy.
“The intention is not to buff out every trail by any means. We’re selective on what we want them to work on,” he said. “It’s addressing water issues and maintaining the trails so they don’t deteriorate. We keep the beginner trails as beginner, but we all like to ride techy trails as well.”
RCA race season kicks off with a road race on Airport Way this Wednesday, April 30, starting at 5:30 p.m. The plans are for races most Wednesdays, alternating between road and mountain biking.
Multiple pump tracks in the works
A pump track similar to the Crankworx track in Whistler is what Lorraine Blancher hopes to have built i Revelstoke. Photo by Sean St. Denis/Crankworx.
The ever elusive pump track — which has been in the works for almost five years — has a new home in the parking lot next to the worker memorial in Centennial Park.
What began as a goal of the Revelstoke Trail Alliance many years ago is essentially a one-person show now — professional mountain biker Lorraine Blancher.
She has kept up the push for the pump track even as other people dropped out — tired of the drawn out process of getting the facility built.
Blancher hasn’t been deterred and she is still actively trying to get it built. She currently has $17,000 in funding from the Columbia Basin Trust and recently, she approached both Specialized Bicycles and Rock Shox to get more financial support. Her goal is to have Adam Billinghurst, who’s company Earth Odyssey built the Crankworx pumptrack in Whistler, build it.
“It’s got to be truly world class, it’s got to be the best and I want it to be cutting edge,” said Blancher.
The track was originally going to be shoe-horned into another part of Centennial park, but after the skateboard park was shifted to Kovach Park, the city has allotted the parking lot space to the pump track.
Blancher’s dream is to build three tracks — a push-bike track for kids, one pump track for beginners and intermediates, and the other for advanced riders. She also wants it to mimic mountain bike trails, with some rock and wood features.
“I want to create something that’s a blend of a pump track and mountain bike trail,” she said. “It’s still going to be bermed corners and undulating terrain like a pump track, but I want to encourage all bikes, all levels and all users.
“At the end of the day we want this as a little pump track area that will teach people.”
While Blancher works on a city pump track, Glacier House Resort is building its own, along with a series of dirt jumps. Details on their plans were unavailable as of press time, but they are holding a grand-opening party on Sunday, May 18, from 12–8 p.m.