By Vernon Felton
A lot of companies pay lip service to getting out there and building trails, but Bell is putting its money—a hundred grand of it and then some—where their mouth is. A few weeks back Bell Helmets and The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) announced that they'd chosen 12 finalists for the new Bell-Built Grants program.
Here's the Readers' Digest rundown: Bell picked 12 groups of trail builders from across the country, who are now competing for a share of the prize in three different trailbuilding categories:
1. Pump Track/Bike Park
2. Flow Trail
3. Downhill/Gravity Trail
You play a key role in all this. By voting here before April 12th, you can help determine who goes home with the loot to help make their trail just that much more insane. Bell's also giving away weekly prizes (and a grand prize of an all-expenses paid Western Spirit trip for two), to help lubricate the voting process.
PUMP TRACK/BIKE PARK PROJECTS
Today, we'll take a look at the Pump Track/Bike Park contestants.
Elm Creek Bike Park
Maple Grove, Minnesota
This grant would help develop a bike park on a 1.4-acre site located in Elm Creek Park Reserve in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. The proposed bike park would be located at the trailhead area of this system and is scheduled to include a tot-lot, practice track, pump-track, dirt jumps, and an area for technical skill features.
Rock Hill Skill Park
Rock Hill, South Carolina
This grant would help create a skills park to compliment the existing MTB trail system and multi-use paved path at the Rock Hill Outdoor Center (RHOC), which is part of a larger public/private partnership to redevelop a 1,000-acre industrial site into a vibrant mixed-use development known as Riverwalk.
Wolfe's Pond Park
Staten Island, NY
This grant would help redesign and rebuild the Wolfe’s Pond Park pump track and jump course to correct design and erosion issues and allow riders of all abilities, from beginner to expert, to experience this unique amenity in one of New York City’s most natural areas.
Bear River Bike Park
Steamboat Springs, CO
This grant would help develop Bear River Park to include an expert area that will enhance the recently constructed beginner and intermediate riding areas. Located along a popular cycling route and adjacent to a skate park, the proposed expert jump line will help replace the popular Powerlines Jumps that were lost last fall.