Cottage Grove Ready To Ignite!
11 Mar 2014
Q&A Cottage Grove Bike Park.
Who are you and what is your connection with Cottage Grove Bike Park?
My name is Chance Glasford, I am a resident of Cottage Grove MN, a member of MORC(Minnesota Off Road Cyclists- www.morcmtb.org) an advocate for alternative riding and an avid BMX and Freeride MTB rider. I was the main driving force behind getting this project off the ground and I am still the point man for both MORC and the City of Cottage Grove.
How long ago did Cottage Grove Bike Park develop? What was the driving force?
The projected moved rather quickly, actually. I started the project in September of 2012 and we broke ground in June of 2013.
Since the project is 100% grassroots volunteer driven and funded by donations, grants and sponsors the city was very receptive. We went through a total of 7 or 8 city meetings before it was approved.
At the beginning I was the main driving force for the project with the support of MORC but it didn’t take long for the popularity of the park to grow and the level of support right along with it. Now we have a pretty strong following and a good turnout for our build days and the group is very eclectic; riders of all ages, parents and just residents that like the idea.
How many riders show up at the park ready to ride even though the park isn't open yet? Is there a scene or culture developing at the soon to be open bike park? What is the age range?
That is a tough one to answer since the park isn’t officially open yet but that didn’t stop the younger riders. I know I wouldn’t have stayed off if I was 12 either. Even without it being open we would see up to 50 riders on any given weekend. I would expect that number to actually increase after the park opens and the awareness of the park increases.
The scene/culture is new and fresh but growing… it has a very welcoming and open feel to it.
We have riders from ages 3 up to 60 years old, who come and check the place out, it’s just a great place to ride!
Will you be adding any new trails or will you be re-developing any existing trails?
Most definitely… We have a 3 phase plan that is dependent on funding but we are complete with phase 1. That included the 4x race course and 2 pump tracks that were built by IMBA Trail Solutions during their national advanced trail building school that was held at the park last fall. The park will officially open with phase 1 complete this June 26th.
This spring we will be focused on putting up the split rail perimeter fencing, hold harmless signage, landscaping and potentially adding an actual gate to our 4x course. After that is complete we will begin phase 2 of the project which includes a beginner skills area which includes a tot track for bikes with 16 inch wheels and smaller. We will also be building a large dirt jump plaza.
If you win the Bell grant, what are the plans to develop the bike park?
It would be so rad to win the Bell Built Grant. We would complete phase 2 of our building plans for sure. The main focus for the grant would be towards building a world class dirt jump plaza. We would like to see something with some trail flavor, something with a similar style and feel as the Post Office Jumps in Aptos, CA. It would definitely be all inclusive and progressive so that we can get all riders, from beginner to expert, out there learning to fly!
There is a pretty decent chunk of land in the south west corner of our park set aside to build the dirt jump plaza!
Describe the predominant “style” of riding at your park? (Natural vs. Manmade, DH/Tech/Steep vs. Flow/Features) Typically, what kind of terrain do you have? (Rocky, Dry-dusty, Tacky, Roots)…
Well we don’t have a whole lot of terrain but we do what we can with what we got. We are working with around 30-40 foot of elevation loss at the park, which isn’t a lot but we make the most of it.
The style would be mostly man made and flowy… Dirt jumps, pump tracks and slope style… We are focused on catering to the alternative riding group. There currently isn’t much of anything for BMX or Freeride MTB to ride in and around the Twin Cities metro area or Minnesota or the Upper Midwest actually and we are really focused on changing that and providing a unique riding facility.
Tell me a little bit about Cottage Grove town/city?
There is a very young and growing community that embraces outdoor activities. There are lots of parks and green spaces and the city seems to be very community oriented.
Do you have any events planed for this summer at your Bike Park?
We actually have two events planned for the park this year, the Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting Ceremony is on Thursday, June 26th and then our second annual fundraising event called Party at the Park is set for Saturday, August 9th.
When does the snow melt? How long before Cottage Grove is ready for locals to ride?
Well, the snow is currently melting as we speak, March. I would say that the snow will be gone by the end of April and in a typical season, seasons after this one; you will see the park open in mid-May. This season however might be a bit later. The park was so fresh going into fall and winter and it didn’t have a chance to grow a lot of vegetation. We aren’t sure how much settling and erosion we will have. The first winter is usually the hardest but we will be out there in full force as soon as the frost is out of the ground to get the park back in shape.
The park won’t open until the ground is completely dry, the split rail fencing and signage is up but hopefully sooner than later!
What does the future hold for Cottage Grove Bike Park?
The future looks bright. We are still working to land sponsors, donors and grants. Phase 3 is to add a full on slope style course similar to Valmont’s L and XL course and full progression mountain bike skills course. We hope to add these features in the next couple years. Once the park is complete we hope to start hosting events, races and competitions on a regular basis.