Better bicycling in Bikes Belong’s hometown
July 27, 2011
Twenty years ago, a 132-acre tract of scrub brush in east Boulder, CO included an auto junkyard and a chicken egg farm. Today, it’s one of the city’s largest parks and the new home of a world-class bicycling facility.
After a decade and a half of planning, Valmont Bike Park opened June 11. The cutting-edge bike park features terrain for all levels of bicyclists— everyone from toddlers on balance bikes to expert freeriders. The park includes dirt jumps, four slopestyle lines, two pump tracks, a dual slalom track, singletrack trails, a tot track, and a UCI-approved cyclocross course. It connects to the city’s network of paved multi-use trails and is an easy ride from downtown...and Bikes Belong’s headquarters.
While the scope of the park is grand, it should be completely replicable in other cities. Strong community support, cooperation among government agencies, and imaginative fundraising will make it happen. Inclusive off-road facilities like Valmont are great for the future of bicycling, which is why we support them through the Bikes Belong Grants Program.
On the paved side, the Boulder B-cycle bike sharing system launched May 11 with a dozen stations and 100 bikes. Within a month, riders had logged 3,555 trips with more than 10,000 miles ridden. Boulder also saw big participation on Bike to Work Day, June 22: more than 8,000 people rode—not bad for a city of 100,000!