Salt Spring’s Parks and Recreation Commission is on board to help a bike park group identify potential sites for a facility on the island.
At their public meeting last Monday, commissioners directed PARC staff to review the concept as presented to them by Sean Mulligan and Elizabeth FitzZaland of the Salt Spring Bike Club, and bring forward an inventory of potential sites for PARC’s consideration.
Mulligan and FitzZaland said between one and three acres of land would be required to make a bike park. It would be a dirt-surfaced space where specific cycling skills can be learned through professionally designed technical features.
Mulligan is a parent who also owns the Outspokin’ Bike Shop.
“I’ve connected with a lot of families on the island and they have consistently said they’re nervous about their kids riding bikes on Salt Spring,” he told PARC, in identifying a need.
Kids can practise their cycling skills at a bike park, he explained, making for a safer experience on paved roads.
FitzZaland and Mulligan said the site would need to be easily accessible, with parts of the Rainbow Road Pool property, Mouat’s Park and Portlock Park suggested as possible CRD-PARC-owned sites. It could also be integrated into a recreation and trail network, would have tourism benefits and a small ecological footprint.
Facilities created by the Alpine Bike Parks company cost between $80,000 and $150,000.
“I personally think it’s a tremendous initiative,” said Salt Spring CRD director Wayne McIntyre. “There’s a huge need on the island . . . and it’s cost effective. We could look at various funding sources to help make this happen.”
More information is available on the Salt Spring Bike Club Facebook page.