The Lowdown on the Lumberyard
4 Jun 2014
Q&A: Lumberyard Bike Park!!
Who are you and what do you do at Lumberyard Bike Park?
Will Heiberg and Michael Whitesel are the founders of the Lumberyard. Will leads day to day operations, overseeing staff, customer service, marketing, programming, design and construction as well as growth and expansion. Michael focuses on business systems, contracts, accounting and financial management.
How long ago was Lumberyard Bike Park developed? Who or what was the driving force?
The concept was born after Will's first trip to Ray’s Indoor Bike Park in Cleveland, Ohio over 8 years ago. This background dream was nurtured through the years but really became a full fledged concept/business plan after Will teamed up with Michael a little over 3 years ago.
How many visitors do you get during the week vs. the weekend? Who are your riders?
Our average weekday rider visit is about 100 guests with the weekends averaging closer to 200 visits.
What area of your park gets the most usage or attention? What is the most the popular feature at your bike park?
The bike park is broken out into sections, green for beginner, blue for intermediate and black for advanced riders. The green area gets the most usage, but the blue and black are very popular and are exciting for spectators as well as the riders. When the weather permits, we open up the outdoor airbag, which is also a very popular feature for our guests.
Do you re-develop your floor plan very often?
We are constantly updating and refreshing the park to keep things new and exciting. This can be a one off feature to a section overhaul. We typically start with rider and builder feedback then we make quick sketches of what we plan to build. We then do a 3d mockup on the computer. We use this information to scope out time and materials and work hard to reduce the impact of construction on our guests. The actual build process goes quickly with testing sessions with our staff as well as pulling in our target riders to make sure the feature is fun to ride and flows well.
What is the mountain bike scene/culture like at your bike park?
The biking scene in Portland is huge, but the mountain biking scene faces challenges. With an average of an hour drive to the nearest good trails, it can be tough to get lots of time on the dirt. With that said, there is a very core group of riders that is rapidly growing.
Tell us about any big events that are happening this summer at the bike park?
We are hosting our 2-year Anniversary Party on June 21st. and we'll have camps for all ages and abilities all summer long.
Tell me a little bit about the Pub Yard.
The Pub @ the Yard is a fun family restaurant and full bar that overlooks the intermediate and advanced courses inside the park. It’s a great place to refuel, grab a frosty beverage after a ride or to watch the UCI downhill races live, the Red Bull Rampage and other sports on the big screen.
What does the future hold for Lumberyard Bike Park?
We are excited for the future. We are continually improving and expanding our flagship location, working to help grow a fantastic bike loving culture and hoping to expand into other cities across the West.