The emergence of bike parks is fueled by the desires of both riders and public land managers. Riders are seeking out more challenging terrain, jumps, constructed obstacles, and destinations to hone their skills. Agencies are looking to limit unauthorized trail building and provide new recreation options in a central, easily managed location. The result is three categories of mountain bike park operations in the United States, ranging from illegal trails to ski resorts. Some select resorts have been successful in marketing to mainstream participants, but many lack the cultural authenticity that attracts the most avid riders. This operation aims to be the country’s first dedicated year-round mountain bike adventure park, fashioning a true family experience while catering to enthusiasts.
The park concept complies with the existing Master Use Plan of the San Bernardino National Forest & County of San Bernardino, which calls for low impact recreation and shared resources in an environmentally sensitive manner. We call this concept “light footprint recreation”, following the approach of conservation through recreation. Never has there been a sustainable resource development of a dedicated mountain bike park for year-round usage. The land selected for the project is secured through a long-term lease and use permit. An environmental impact report (EIR) and geological survey are required to ensure the protection of the environment. This process would open these resources to greater public use.
Sustainable Resource Development
When constructed, the development will be for the most part off of the grid – it will be model for sustainability. Water will be sourced from artesian wells that tap into the high water table of fresh mountain springs. The majority of electricity needs will be met by taking advantage of the sunny climate through the use of solar panels. Waste water will be treated on-site in a packaged micro-treatment plant and the graywater used for irrigation. These mitigation aspects are in place to put as little strain on the natural environment and limited existing infrastructure. Additionally, the buildings have been designed tobe partially elevated off the ground. This will minimize the need for land grading during the creation of building pads. The location of base camp is fronted on the east by an already existing highway and bordered on the north by a graded fire road. Building near already existing infrastructure reduces disturbance of the land by not havingto pave additional roads.
Riding is a process of very creative expression. Each person puts their own personality on how they adapt to a trail and each navigates their own creative course. For an experienced rider the easiest line may be going over a rock instead of around it. The novice rider may choose to find an alternate path, avoiding the rocks altogether. Nonetheless, the adrenaline rush is amazing.