Last fall, most of the construction was finished at the Carlington Bike Park (Ottawa, Canada) and about a week after opening, I was lucky to get in a few laps before the afterschool surge of kids showed up. After being one of the volunteers who helped see this project to completion, it was amazing to feel the wind in my hair and do my first laps.
Bike parks truly are magical places. The combination of multiple pump track lines and a skills area means you can keep riding until you are tired and never get bored. They can look a bit intimidating if it is your first time, but take the plunge off the start ramp and you won’t regret it. Worried your bike is not a dirt jumper or BMX? No problem, ride what you have. I chose my Kona Honzo CR since hardtails are better at bike parks compared to full suspension, but don’t overthink tire size either. I had a blast on my 29er wheels. Toddlers ride push bikes there, and when you go you will see mountain bikes from the mid-90s as well as a variety kids bikes as well as BMX and dirt jumpers. If you think bike parks are all about jumping and you are intimidated to go because you don’t know how to jump, don’t worry because riding the pump track and skills area will help you build confidence on your bike and that might encourage you to get your wheels off the ground. The most important thing to do is just go and have fun. Be a kid again.
Video Credit: Chris Snow Photography