Friday, August 14, 2009

Ketchum bike park rolls along

New facility could be in place next month

Express Staff Writer

A new dirt bike park in Ketchum could be up and running by mid-September.

Ketchum City Planner Mark Goodman told the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday that the small track, also known as a "pump park," would be located in a vacant lot on the corner of Seventh Street and Second Avenue, just south of Hemingway Elementary School.

The park would be used by mountain bikers of all levels to improve skills and have fun.

The land, owned by the Blaine County School District, is covered with fill that was recently graded and cleared of weeds.

Goodman said the school district has approved the use of the land and Ketchum-based Scott USA is paying to bring in Alpine Bike Parks to help design and create the track.

An initial rendering showed the lot split into two sections, one with an easier "green track" and a larger portion with a more difficult track.

The objective of a pump park is to gain speed at the outset and then use momentum to move over bumps and through banked corners.

Ketchum Parks Superintendent Jen Smith said that in addition to support from Scott USA, the park would largely be built by volunteers.

Because the park is an allowed use at its location, it does not need approval of the P&Z, but Goodman said he wanted to keep city officials abreast of the plans.

"This certainly looks like a lot of fun and I'll be out there myself," Commission Chairman Rich Fabiano said.

Jon Duval:

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