Kimberley’s bike park, located behind the skate park, was begun in 2014, with funds being raised from Bob McWhinnie Days, and a lot of donated labour and materials.
Until now it has been run and maintained by an informal collection of community users.
But things are changing and a new Bike Park Committee, under the umbrella of the Kimberley Trails Society, has been created.
The committee has ambitious plans for improving the current dirt jumps and bringing it up to date safety-wise to meet insurance standards.
Athena Knibbs spoke to Kimberley Council on November 28, 2022 about the plans for the park.
There has been community input, as well as a survey, to give the committee some ideas of what is needed in the park.
The plan is to create a safe, progressive bike park with mulpitple lines of dirt jumps and a paved pump track, accessible to all wheels and abilities; and further, to create long term plan with the City of Kimberley to establish the bike park as a sustainable outdoor recreation facility.
Because of the informality of the previous users’ group, there has been a lack of volunteers to address deterioration of the facilities in the park.
There are many safety concerns; poorly organized design, lines crossing paths, no clearly defined start areas for runs, the ramp is too fast which can lead to collisions, a lack of signage and danger trees.
Knibbs told council that the big mound that separates the skate park and bike park means there is a lack of visibility. In fact, she said, last year a rider was quite seriously hurt and was not noticed for some time because the mound blocked the view.
“The park has been there for a long time,” she said. “Usage has increased and it doesn’t meet safety or insurance requirements.”
With Kimberley growing as a mountain biking destination and with trail expansion such as the Electrify the Mountains project, there is a need for a good pump track, where all users can safely learn the skills to tackle the new trails, she said.
The committee is applying to the Columbia Basin Trust Active Recreation grant program for $250.000, and they have a concept plan. The total cost estimated to upgrade the park is $414,000.
Knibbs said they are requesting $100.000 from the city, $33,333 per year for three years. They will also fundraise under the KTS umbrella.
Coun. Jason McBain had some doubts about the cost estimate. It seemed low, he said. The project would require a lot of fill, for instance.
Knibbs said that they would offset fill with some wooden features, and fill could also be gained from levelling off the mound.
While she requested an immediate answer from the city in order to facilitate the grant application through the CBT, an immediate answer was not forthcoming.
The city is just entering budget deliberations, Mayor Don McCormick told her. He advised her that CBT understood the process.