A lot of people in Nanaimo like their recreation on two wheels, and it looks like they might be getting another place to pedal.
A community dirt jump bike park is in the works at Beban Park, on land between the BMX track and the off-leash dog park. The project is a partnership between the City of Nanaimo and the Gyro Club of Nanaimo.
A dirt jump bike park is a winding dirt course that’s sort of like a skate park for bicycles.
“It’s a series of hills and ramps, and they’re doing various jumps and stunts,” said Jim Thompson, the Gyro Club’s project facilitator.
Al Britton, the city’s parks operations manager, said the dirt jump bike park would help round out Nanaimo’s mountain bike amenities, which include a beginner park at Harewood Centennial Park and a single-track trail at Westwood Lake Park.
Dana Butcher, a director with the Nanaimo BMX Association, said a dirt jump bike park will “tie in nicely” with the Marie Davidson BMX Park.
“You’ve got the dirt jump, BMX track and then maybe future stuff … a skills park or something on the other side,” he said. “It’s going to be a great thing for Nanaimo.”
Thompson said several local contractors have offered in-kind assistance. A professional designer will engineer the park to safety standards, and users will be involved in construction.
“Part of the culture of riding is that you dig. The kids build their own jumps,” Thompson said. “So it’s our vision that we’re going to have quite a few youths taking part.”
When complete, he thinks the park will be a destination.
“[It’s] a great tourist draw, because biking is huge,” he said. “You come to town, and what are your kids going to do?”
A design workshop will be held Wednesday (April 6) at 6 p.m. at the fieldhouse at Beban Park’s Gyro Youth Sports Fields.