Seven-acre bike skills park comes to Boise

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A seven-acre bike skills park is set to open this fall on the Military Reserve. The park is being designed by Alpine Bike Parks employee and professional rider, Kyle Jameson. Alpine Bike Parks has designed world-class parks all over North America: from Vancouver, Canada, to Santa Cruz, Calif. The park will feature progression courses to accommodate riders of all skill levels. 

Recently, Boise has built an impressive list of recreational sports parks with the creation of Boise White Water Park and Rhodes Skate Park. Leading the charge of creating these world-class parks has been The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, which is financing this elite bike park. 

 “Like Rhodes Skate Park and the Boise Whitewater Park, we look forward to bringing this idea to life for mountain bikers of all ages and abilities to enjoy,” said Roger Quarles, the foundation’s executive director.

The idea for the bike park came when Quarles became aware of the Idaho Interscholastic Cycling League (IICL), a group organizing middle and high school bike teams across the Treasure Valley. Alpine’s design team will be working with local community leaders like IICL, Boise Bike Project and Southwest Idaho Mountain Biking Association. 

The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation is committed to investing in our communities, especially where we can grow opportunities for world-class recreation in the state of Idaho,” Quarles said.

The park includes a range of skill-level features from beginner pump tracks and turns, to expert whale tails and wall rides. The variety of courses in the park has many Boise State students eager to strap on their helmets and put their wheels to dirt.

“To me, it’s great because I rode trails growing up,” said junior Spanish major Parker Whitehair. “We didn’t have a park like this in Vegas, so I was never able to learn how to jump or do tricks. It’s a way to learn and progress riding differently than on trails.”

Bike athletes are a part of a community that encourages one another to push their skills and gets better at riding. The bike park will give the community a great place to congregate and grow.

“Everyone is cheering you on, even if you’re a new person who just showed up there,” said senior mechanical engineering major Gus Driscoll. “I’ve ridden across the United States and everywhere you go it’s like that.”

Biking not only offers a healthy activity for students, but also an outlet to push themselves and get away from the stresses of school.

“It’s a way to get away from everything,” Whitehair said. “Just zen out, hang out with your friends and push yourself to progress.”

Boise State is a biking campus, with designated paths weaving around campus and the green belt hugging the river. Driscoll and Whitehair hope this park will encourage other road bike students to give mountain biking a shot.

“There’s a simple joy in riding a bicycle, but when you start riding a mountain bike, the joy is so much higher,” Driscoll said. “When you’re going fast, jumping and getting air, there’s no similar feeling to that.”

No opening date has been set for the park, but the asphalt pump tracks have been placed and the main entrance is being poured. Boise Parks and Recreation expects the park to open this fall. 

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