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Volunteers start work on new Yellowknife bike park

Members of the Yellowknife Mountain Bike Club (YKMTBC) and Rotary Club began rolling out the groundwork for their new bike park on Aug. 3.
Dany Major, project manager of the bike park calls out the distance of the border of the pump track, above Bristol Pit on Aug. 3. Blair McBride/NNSL photo

Members of the Yellowknife Mountain Bike Club (YKMTBC) and Rotary Club began rolling out the groundwork for their new bike park on Aug. 3.

Eleven volunteers gathered in a wooded area above Bristol Pit, where they cleared away dead logs and small trees.

They also delineated the borders of the pump track, a 20-metre by 20-metre hilly asphalt area where cyclists will be able to wheel around and do tricks.

“The rolling waves let you build up speed as you pump your way around the track,” said YKMTBC vice president Shannon Jennings. The track is part of the larger bike park, a $500,000 project that will include dirt jumps and a skills slope area, Jennings added. The $4,768 raised in sales at the bike auction on July 10 will go towards the park budget.

Volunteers cut down some small trees but the larger ones will later be felled by Tlicho Logistics.

“Everything has to be cleared including the trees when the company comes on Aug. 16 to start building the pump track,” said YKMTBC president Gonzalo Espinosa.

B.C-based Velosolutions, which specializes in constructing cycling tracks has been hired to build the pump track.

The bike club plans to eventually speak with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation about land acknowledgement information for signage that will be installed at the park, Jennings said.

Yellowknife City Council approved on June 14 a five-year lease for the YKMTBC to build the park, giving the club enough time to find a solution on handing the park over to the City once it’s built.

Dany Major, left, and Yellowknife Mountain Bike Club President Gonzalo Espinosa measure out one of the corners of the 20-metre by 20-metre area of the pump track. Blair McBride/NNSL photo
Dany Major uses a spray can to mark the edge of the track area. Blair McBride/NNSL photo
Rotary Club of Yellowknife President Celestino Oh, tosses a branch onto a pile where volunteers accumulated the cleared brush and trees. Blair McBride/NNSL photo
Rotary Club volunteer Austin Marshall cuts off a branch from a tree. The larger trees will later be cut down by Tlicho Logistics. Blair McBride/NNSL photo
Gonzalo Espinosa marks a tree that will later be cut down. Blair McBride/NNSL photo
Rotary volunteer Jay Butler uses a manual chainsaw to cut down a poplar tree. Blair McBride/NNSL photo