Where to put the city’s first forested mountain bike park? (We already have the Colonnade park that currently sits under I-5 near Capitol Hill.) Obviously Rainier Valley, called the most diverse zip code in the country.
A group of residents cleared 10 acres of the Cheasty Greenspace, a plot between Lockmore and Columbia City, near the Columbia City light rail stop. With hopes of reclaiming the space from the homeless encampments, drug deals, and invasive ivy that had taken root, they’ve logged 17,000 volunteer hours of work already. And now it’s time for some sick wheelies.
City ordinances restrict soft-surface trails narrower than four feet to pedestrians, but a policy change by the Parks Department in early February will allow dirt trails as narrow as two feet wide—and hikers aren’t allowed. It could be the first of many mountain bike facilities in the city, says city trails coordinator Chukundi Salisbury.
With the million-dollar project still in search of financing, volunteers expect the park to open in June 2015. Already the group has secured equipment donations from Patagonia and Evo, the Parks Foundation as a fiscal sponsor, and a trail concept map from Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance featuring a 1.5-mile-perimeter loop, jumps, expert terrain for free riding and, yes, some walking trails. Not all of us can pop a wheelie beaconbikepark.com