Sisters bike park gets a fresh launch

 

Last updated 10/3/2023 at 10:42am

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Local ripper Hunter Michelsen gets some air at Bike Park 242. Cyclists are invited to jump into the fray during a celebration of the refurbished park on Saturday.

Sisters has a hidden gem for those who like to test their skills on two wheels. Bike Park 242 is located just off the McKenzie Highway (242) adjacent to the Sisters Park & Recreation Coffield Center, at the west end of the Sisters High School parking lot.

Not a lot of folks know it's there.

That will change this weekend, as volunteers who have sunk hours of work and a substantial chunk of grant money into reviving and improving the park will host a grand opening.

Riders are invited to bring their bike to ride the new and improved jump lines and beginner-friendly technical features.

In addition, organizers will be gifting helmets with professional fitting, courtesy of St. Charles Family Care Sisters and local bike shop Blazin Saddles. Helmets are limited, and distributed on a first-come-first-served basis for youth ages 5-15, and the child must be present to obtain a helmet.

Representatives and volunteers from Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD) and Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) will be on hand to demonstrate bike park features, and explain the rules and right-of-way. A little light coaching will be available.

The event runs 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Michelle Smith is the volunteer project manager for Bike Park 242, and Steve Smith is the technical lead.

Steve has had a passion for bicycle sports since his youth.

"I grew up building jumps," he said. "It was kind of my escape from growing up a troubled kid."

Designing, building, and riding jumps was a positive outlet for him, where he met good people and did fun things. With Bike Park 242, he saw a way to lend his expertise and give back to the community.

The project was funded through $15,000 grants from Visit Oregon through Central Oregon Trails Alliance (COTA), and from Oregon Parks and Recreation. It was built by Kyle Jameson of Black Sage Dirt Works, a professional mountain biker and excavator.

"He's built many bike parks and is a well-established figure in the bike community," Steve said.

Michelle noted that his parks become destinations for people who build their travels around biking.

The Smiths said that the park is "gaining traction," but they want to raise its profile so that both locals and visitors know the amenity is available. They said they are working with the Oregon Department of Transportation to get more signage to direct travelers there.

They recently harvested bunch grass for beautification, and plan to stay on top of maintenance.

"Keeping the dust down, that's our biggest issue," she said.

The Smiths emphasized the key support from COTA, and they urge those with an interest to donate or volunteer with the organization to learn more at http://www.cotamtb.com.

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit www.frontierpartisans.com.

 

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