Big year ahead for mtn bike skills park

There is a big year ahead for the Mission Creek Mountain Bike Skills Park in Kelowna.

The park, located 1960 Hollywood Road South, officially opened for it's second season Sunday with a BBQ, family games and and jump jam fundraiser.

While the park currently features a pump track and six dirt jump lanes, Mountain Bikers of the Central Okanagan (MTBco) Bike Park Director Eric Rothwell says funds raised will go toward expanding and improving the park.

"We're trying to raise some money to make sure we can continue to maintain this park properly and safely," says Rothwell.

Rothwell says the park was warmly received by riders in 2010, but adding more lines for beginner riders and improving existing ones will ensure the park is truly accessible to mountain bikers of all skill levels.

"Right now we're looking at trying to make the small and medium lines 'table tops' instead of 'gap jumps.'  Table tops provide lower risk scenarios -- especially for younger and less experienced riders."

By 2012, Rothwell hopes to have four new lines and several wooden structures for bicyclists to explore.

"It will actually bring skills to the skill park instead of just being a jump park."

Also in the works are plans to make the park more family friendly -- without attracting loiterers.

"We want to provide for the community and yet we don't want to have a negative impact on the people around us. The community is coming around to the idea and we really haven't had that many -- if any -- complaints about noise or late night loitering."

Sunday's event at the bike park runs till approximately 5 p.m. and is open to all ages.

"It's all about trying to bring this sport to every age group."

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