Back in 2020 BFC got behind our peer organization, Overland Mountain Bike Association’s (OMBA), efforts and vision to bring a Bike Park to Fort Collins. Today anyone within Fort Collins wishing to experience a Bike Park must travel outside the area to do so, like Valmont Bike Park in Boulder.
While BFC has been supporting OMBA in meetings with the city’s Parks & Recreation Department, and participating in focus groups and stakeholder sessions, there are a couple of different location options to bring a Bike Park to town. One of the options has emerged, as a result of the May 2021 vote to rezone the Hughes Stadium property. The City rezoned the property as “Public Open Lands,” which allows the site to be used for parks, recreation, open lands, natural areas, and wildlife rescue and restoration. Now, the city is in the process of determining what Hughes can or should be going forward. We support a multi-faceted use of the property that would include a Bike Park among many other recreational activities, including preserving the frisbee golf course.
As part of that process, the city is now seeking public input for what the future of the Hughes should be. And we need your help and input! Please take their short, 5-question survey before January 31st to help make sure the voice of the bicycling community is heard. Independent of the type of cyclist you are,or whether you would use a Bike Park, a Bike Park for Fort Collins means “More Bikes” – more access to the opportunity to bike, particularly for youth. Exposing kids to bicycling at a young age is not only great for their physical activity level but increases the probability of it becoming a lifelong endeavor or habit.
Below is a rough layout of a “Hub” concept that OMBA has provided the city for the purposes of demonstrating how the acreage could be utilized for a multitude of activities, including a Bike Park. In addition to the installation of a professionally designed and built Bike Park, some other related improvements that OMBA and BFC support include:
- Improving congestion at trailhead parking lots with better trail connectivity and more natural-surface and bike park opportunities close to home.
- Expand the trail system with new options for all ability levels and create more access points to the system to alleviate congestion.
- Better connect the network of soft-surface trails to keep pace with the demands of a growing population, and cut down on congestion at trailheads by encouraging more users to ride, rather than drive, to their favorite trails.
The more people we can get to provide input and support for the Bike Park and initiatives like the above, the better chance we have of making it happen! As one of the most bicycle-centric and friendly cities in the country, this is the opportunity for the bicycle community to push for a major bicycle amenity that Fort Collins is missing.