People love the word local. Local foods, local culture, local everything.
With that in mind, I was quite pleased to hear the other day that my hometown (Cambridge, ON) is proposing a bike park smack in the middle of the largest recreation area in the city. The site would sit on what was a former petting zoo, and incorporate a variety of skill-appropriate features for all riding levels. If you live in Cambridge, you can check out the proposals HERE
I bring this up, because I thought it would never, EVER happen.
See, where I’m from hockey is king, and soccer is a close second. Biking hasn’t really ever been on the mainstream radar. For as long as I can remember, if you wanted to ride some dirt jumps or some skinnies, you had to either go into the bush, and poach to the best of your ability (which was usually pretty poor), or beg a ride off of someone to go ride the slightly less illegal jumps in the next town over. If you got lucky, knew the right people, and had all the planets align perfectly, you’d be invited to one of several secret stashes hidden deep in the back woods or out in the country.
With the creation of this park, it will (hopefully) bring the sport to a bigger audience in the area. IMBA Canada opening up shop nearby certainly doesn’t hurt either.
I guess what I’m trying to say here to everyone back home is this: please don’t mess this up. If the park goes in, keep it clean, and don’t graffiti everything. Acting like total knobheads does nothing to help advance our sport. I believe mountain biking deserves just as much respect as hockey and soccer in our town. This is our chance to prove that it does.