Saturday , 8 May 2021

Cold Lake bike park enters next phase

The Cold Lake all-skills mountain bike park is moving forward with developments, and is ready to enter phase 4, provided things go according to plan.

This will be the park’s largest period of development according to Don Harris, a member of the Speed Demons XC mountain biking club, who’s had a large part in leading the park’s development.

The construction of the park’s jumps, skill tests, pump track, and a parking lot lies ahead.

“It’s like a big playground for your bikes,” said Harris on the upcoming features.

“The area’s going to be a place riders of all kinds can improve their skills in a place where safety’s being emphasized, instead of somewhere like a construction site or backwoods spot with a ramp.

“It’s going to be for all ages — two-year-olds on strider bikes to ninety-year-olds on cruiser bikes.”

Construction is slated to begin in springtime of next year under the supervision of renowned park designer Jay Hoots, provided COVID-19 doesn’t present any serious problems and that Hoots’ fee can be paid.

To help ensure they can pay Hoots and complete construction for phase 4, Harris and fellow Speed Demon Ed Machtmes approached city council ladt Tuesday to request between $750,000 and $800,000.

The city previously funded previous development.

Council’s decision will determine whether or not construction will begin in the spring, with a November deadline imposed.

Should the funding be approved, Harris predicts the amenities will be open to the public come Fall 2021.

In the meantime, phase 3 completion is still underway, thanks in large part to the efforts of volunteers.

The park as-it-is has already proven to be popular with not only Cold Lake residents, but mountain biking enthusiasts around the Lakeland.

“We’re averaging 40 to 60 riders a day, and that’s people from all over–Lac La Biche, Lloydminster, Meadow Lake, Bonnyville. Everywhere,” said Harris.

“There was one time I was out on the trails and I got talking with this family — it was a dad with his two kids, while the mom was out shopping at Walmart, and he told me that his kids never wanted to come to Cold Lake to shop, and now they specifically ask to come here because of the park.”

The bike park will be a cost-free feature of the city once it’s completed, and will be open for a variety of groups to use year-round.

One of which will be the Flexxaire Trailblazers Youth Racing program, which Harris hopes to bring to Cold Lake sometime in 2021 for racing events and workshop programs.

Currently, there are around six kilometres of bike trails available to ride throughout the year.

About Chris Lapointe

Chris is a two-time Vancouver Film School graduate, where he originally studied screenwriting and video games. Returning home to the lakeland post-graduation, he was determined to put what he learned to use. He brings with him a laid-back attitude and a love for pop culture that he hopes can be injected into Lakeland Connect's publications.