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2/13/2010 1:35 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/21/2016 10:18 AM

The city of boulder is building a public bike here, right next to our shop, and part of the park is going to be a dirt jump area. The guy designing the park knows what he's doing, but I remain pretty skeptical that the jumps will be anything to get excited about and here's why.


1. Boulder has to have control, which likely means construction and maintenance by the riders will be prohibited.


2. No matter how durable you try to build something, you will fail and it will go to shit eventually. Building jumps in a non-pliable medium such as concrete eliminates the opportunity to fine tune, which is a huge step in building a good jump line.


3. Even if you could make it bulletproof, shaped right on the first try, and maintenance free, no one wants to ride the same jump line every day for the rest of their life.


The way I see it, the only way to really make a dirt jump park they way it should be would be to either pay someone to maintain and build all the time, or just put a spigot in the ground and let it take care of itself. I doubt the former is going to happen. The latter probably wont happen either because people will cry about safety and fairness and so on, but neither of those arguments really hold any weight with me. What could be fairer than saying, "if you want something, build it yourself". You could make the argument that free-for-all digging could lead to an "unsafe" jump, but there isn't really such thing as a safe dirt jump, and unmaintained ones are worse than most.


Ideas? Opinions? Arguments? Insults?

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2/13/2010 10:03 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/21/2016 10:18 AM

I completely agree that it won't be anything like Sunset or The Fix jumps. Just straight hits and such... I think there should be a couple dirt lines that are maintained by a select few riders/volunteers and a big wooden roll-in with some wooden kickers to dirt and satellites to drop. Here is a vid I sent to the Boulder Bike Park officials almost a year ago: http://www.pinkbike.com/video/2329/ .

I just didn't want the park to turn out like the Ft. Collins one, and I thought the Ekero park's layout was a decent and feasible option.

Living in SoCal recently, I don't take any jumps for granted anymore. I would kill to ride the Ft. Collins park these days, but I wouldn't go anywhere near it when I lived in Boulder.

Shoot for a wooden kicker line that you can ride even when the dirt ones are ill-maintained. When the city sees how much it takes to maintain a jump line, I'm sure they will give in and let you take on some of the responsibilities. After all, they are dumping millions into the place, so why let it go to shit?

Just don't take anything for granted you Boulder guys. Trust me, you've got it made.

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Ass Ass Ass

2/14/2010 9:58 AM

Im going through something similar right now, Im the rider rep on our Local Bike Park Committee. All has gone really well for the past 2 years and knock on wood we'll be breaking ground on the new park in May of this year. From the beginning weve demanded control, or at the very least equal imput, the last thing we wanted was to be given a Park we didnt help create. We we fortunate that an independant (of the City) third party Service Club (The kiwanis) stepped up to Fund the entire project, this took much of the design and creative control away from the City and put it back in our hands. The Kiwanis Club demanded a "relevant" Park and so the riders stepped up and took the reigns and became instrumental in the design.

All that being said at our last meeting we were told that the City is now going to take over the day to day maintenance, this wouldnt be a big deal except that the city will be using 2 summer students pulled from the Parks and Rec dept. No experience, No Clue. They dont seem open to discuss it so what I suggested was that we use Wooden kickers on the lips of all the Intermediate and advance jumps, this greatly reduces the need for maintenance and more importantly gives the riders of those jumps a more consistent and predictable surface to deal with. I even offered to submit a proposal where I would design, build and install all of the jumps (material + time of course). Im working on it now and should have done this week. It requires a little more thought, and a bit more planning (fire/graphiti resistant paint was requested) but in the end if the most difficult jumps in the Park require the least attention by kids who arent prepared to do the job i think everbody wins. Maybe, like us a combination at first would be better in your example, eventually I'd like to see 70% or more of our jumps made out of wood. The first issue we have to overcome is cost, if we can do that I think our Park will be better for it.

Nate

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2/14/2010 10:09 AM

Check this: Valmont bike park construction plans - Make sure to look at the spec sheet and the construction plans for the jumps.

A while back, I saw those plans and immediately took action. Here's the exchange of emails that went down.

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From me to the Builders:

I just checked out the detailed plans for the new Valmont park. I'd like to call to your attention how the jumps are to be built. I've attached the drawings for various lip types. You'll notice that each lip has a 12' radius. A 12' radius is incredibly mellow. I imagine some of the Sol Vista DH jumps (which are intended for very high speeds) are about a 12' radius. Not quite what one would hope for one a dirt jump/slopestyle course...

For reference, the typical skatepark quaterpipe radius is 7-9 feet. Because this park is intended for mountain bikes, the lips should probably fall on the mellower end of that range. Say 8-9 feet.

On jumps which are less than vertical, the height, generally between 60% and 75% of the radius, profoundly affects the ride up to and from the lip, and the speed at which tricks must be executed. Ramps near or below 3’ of height sometimes fall below 50% of the heights of their radii. These are most often designed for beginners. If we run the projected numbers (12' radius with a 5' tall lip), the ratio comes out to a whopping 42%. Talk about no pop (unless you'd like to make the lips 8' tall, in which case speed would become an issue).

Just a heads up. If you'd like to discuss this in more detail, please feel free to contact me by phone or email.
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From Builder #1:

Thanks for the interest and the detailed look at the plans. Rest assured, these are only "typical" design plans for features at the park, demonstrating to the many departments of municipal folks reviewing the plans that there is an actual designed radius to these lips. The actual radii will vary progressively with each line and/or type of trail and we've got some of the best rider/builders in the business working on the Alpine team to make sure the park delivers to discerning riders such as yourself.

If you've got other questions, feel free to shoot them my and Judd's way (copied above).
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From Builder #2:

All I can say is not to worry. Call me if you want to grab a beer.
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From me to Builder #2:

Most reassuring response ever (seriously). I'd love to grab a pint sometime. Are you in Boulder?
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From Builder #2:

Yeah man, I'm in town...probably through friday. Are you in Boulder or another town close by? I'll call you tomorrow!
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Builder #2 and I talked the next day. I ended up being pretty satisfied. These guys really do seem to know what's up.
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From me to the Builders:

You guys rock. Thanks for the clarification. Upon first look, I was simply worried that this would be some sort of pre-packaged, plastic ramp from K-mart style bike park. It’s evident that you guys are on top of things, and I’m excited to throw down on the final product. Give me a call if you need a helping hand when the construction phase rolls around.
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So, I wouldn't stress it too much Phil. This park looks like it'll be pretty dang fun.

Now as far as riding the same thing over, and over, and over . . . well, you've got a point. It'll be like a skatepark - changes will likely come once every 5 years, if at all. But, you'll be able to show up whenever and the jumps will be rockin. I like that exchange, and I think you'll grow to like it too.

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