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Sights and sounds of a blooming bike park

Outdoor Retailer, SIA, X-Games. Right now I can only imagine the sights and sounds of huge tradeshows and earth-shaking contests: the hustle and bustle, the crowds, announcers, one million voices erupting into the cold night and into freezing eardrums; pushing and shoving, over-stimulation on new gear and brain drain (from a journalist’s standpoint). Not that I wouldn’t mind losing my mind at any of those events.

But, right now, while many industry folks are off schmoozing up product, other things are in the works, in a quiet but productive way, and it’s nice to mingle with the peaceful rhythms of a blooming bike park. Sundays are typically work-party days out at Duthie, and it’s the sounds of shoveling, the chainsaw, grunts and groans, laughter and the crisp crack of beer cans, that occupy the still atmosphere.

Magic is happening out here too. And maybe more so, here is where heart of the (bike) industry finds its beat.

I took a day off the snow to ride bikes with Billy one last time before he goes in for surgery on his shoulder Thursday. (He’ll be out for three months.) After many laps in the icy air, my knees were done for, but I’d conquered two small jumps that had always screwed up my flow on one of the trails. To conquer obstacles in the “off-season” feels good; something about it keeps eagerness alive.

And, then, contrary to the pictures, I did pick up a shovel and rake, and put some labor back into the park that I share. Albeit on jumps that I won’t hit for while—a long while. But, to report: These first pictures are of the mighty step-up that’s going in on the other side of the Dirt Corps line. The pictures that follow that of Riley dog half way down, those are of a roller that provides some great umph going into the massive wood step-up that closes the DWB line.

The place is growing. And, we’re learning, it appreciates liberal oversight by KC. That probably has a great deal to do with Mike Westra’s cooperative efforts with them. But it’s also thanks to the skillful craftsmen working out there, week after week, schmoozing it up… in their own quiet way.

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