Join the Saint John Cycling Club (SJC) and the City of Saint John for the official opening of the Mountain Bike Skills Park in Rockwood Park, Sunday, October 4 from 1:00-3:00 pm. The skills park is located on the TransCanada Trail and is accessible from Fisher Lakes Drive near the squirrel feeder parking lot. Opening celebrations will include a ribbon cutting, free BBQ, bicycle rodeo for children, giveaways, bicycle safety and riding tips, and free bicycle mechanical checks. The event is organized for all ages and abilities, and is being held in conjunction with the International Mountain Bike Association’s (IMBA) Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.
The new Mountain Bike Skills Park was made possible thanks to efforts from community volunteers with the SJC Trail Crew (a subset of SJC) in partnership with the City of Saint John and support from corporate donors.
"From the vision for the park, to the fundraising efforts, and overall construction, this project was an extensive volunteer effort,” says Rockwood Park Naturalist Emilie Murphy. “It is an excellent example of how the community can work together to make a shared vision a reality and enhance the assets in our park.”
The idea for the Mountain Bike Skills Park project originated as a shared vision between City staff and members of SJC. With support from corporate sponsors, money was raised and resources were donated to keep the costs to develop the park low. While the cost to build comparable parks includes design plans from engineers, permits and labour costs that can total as much as $50,000, the extensive volunteer effort for this project kept the total cost to the City at roughly $4,000.
Planning for the park began in the summer of 2014, and construction started in July 2015. Over 500 volunteer hours were put in on evenings and weekends, with upcoming enhancements planned. Volunteers include the SJC Trail Crew, members of SJC, the Outdoor Enthusiasts, and other mountain-bike enthusiasts along with family members and friends. Major corporate sponsors are Velo NB, Kent Building Supplies, Jean Paul Robichaud, Dillon Consulting, and The Bike Guyz @ Alternatives.
"Saint John Cycling Club is proud to partner with the City of Saint John, corporate donors and anonymous donors to deliver this vision. We have put a lot of effort into making our Skills Park features progressive, yet still accessible to riders of all skill levels. Come out and join us for our grand opening celebration and stay tuned, as we have more planned for the future," said Ernie Campbell, SJC Project Manager.
The Mountain Bike Skills Park sits on an acre of property and includes a variety of obstacles and features designed to increase the skills and confidence of beginner mountain bikers. The park is an extension of the existing 26 km trail system that runs through Rockwood Park. The skills park has been built to meet IMBA standards and provide a challenging and rewarding experience for mountain bikers of all ages and abilities.
The new Mountain Bike Skills Park is open during regular park hours.
For more about Rockwood Park, including a trails map, visit www.saintjohn.ca or www.rockwoodpark.ca