Hard Work Pays Off For Mt Bachelor
20 Apr 2014
Q&A: Mt Bachelor Bike Park!!
Who are you and what do you do at Mt Bachelor Bike Park?
My name is Tom Lomax, Director of Mountain Operations for Mt Bachelor. I am responsible for the overall management of the development of the trails and operation of the Park
How long ago was Mt Bachelor Bike Park developed? Who or what was the driving force?
Construction started last summer on July 1st. We opened for weekends on Sept 13th and operated for 2 weekends before we were snowed out for the season. The planning for the Park began back in 2007 with a feasibility study by Gravity Logic. They were back in 2008 and laid out the trails that were included in our 2010 Master Plan to the Forest Service. The environmental studies were completed in early 2013 leading to the construction last summer. We have enjoyed strong community and company support for a Bike park through the entire process.
How many visitors do you get in a weekend/season at the bike park? What has been your biggest day on record?
We were only able to run for 2 weekends last fall before we were buried with an early snowfall so it is too early to tell on the daily numbers. We have been running summer sightseeing and dinning at a mid-mountain restaurant for years and are expecting to be quite busy with bikers and sightseers this summer season.
What is the most popular trail at your bike park?
LavaFlow, is a machine built trail that rolls and banks it’s way down the Mt. When the lower section is completed it will be 3.5 miles and a 1300’ drop of flowing fun.
Will there be any new trails added this year or will you be re-developing any existing trails?
We will be just on year 2 of trail building on a 3-5yr plan of developing the trails approved in the master plan. We will be adding additional trails this summer connecting up with last summer’s work. Also there are some tweaks and features to be added to last year’s work.
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)…
Mt Bachelor is a dormant volcano and that is evident on the upper trails as they weave in and out of Lava flows. The trails take advantage of the natural terrain of gullies and ridges with outstanding views of the surrounding Cascade Mountains. Currently the trails are mostly natural but there will be manmade features added as we work through the construction. The trails are a mix of excavated machine built and hand built single track.
What is the mountain bike scene/culture like at your bike park?
Since our Park is so young it’s a little hard to say but I would call it just super fun with the riders that came up last fall being excited to ride and see the trails. The bike culture in Bend is long established with a developed trail system, bike shops, local tour and shuttle operators and a very active trail alliance.
Tell me a little bit about Mt Bachelor town or city. Where do out-of-towners like to stay while visiting the bike park? Are there any restaurants or bars that mtb-ers like to spend their time?
Bend has become a mountain biking destination in the summer and we are excited to add our Bike Park into the mix. The town has a full range of accommodations and restaurants. And then there are the Breweries and Bike shops. We have plenty of both.
Tell us about any big events that are happening this summer at the bike park?
This summer we will be dialing in the existing trails and operations along with opening a full service bike rental and retail operation for the bike park. Our Gravity School will be offering clinics and lessons in the skills park and on the trails. Also are working with the Oregon Enduro Series. We are planning on running extended biking hours on Friday and Saturday evenings until 7pm with a Twilight Ticket 3pm-7pm for $19.00.
Do you have an opening day yet?
Today we have a 105” base of snow but if things go as planned we will be opening for bike operations on 7/11/2014.
What does the future hold for Mt Bachelor Bike Park?
We are looking forward to completing and fine tuning the trails. Also, USA Cycling has chosen Bend and Mt Bachelor for the location of the 2015/2016 Mt Bike XC and the first Enduro National Championship.
I would like to put in a “Thanks for all the hard work” for the trail crew that got this project off the ground and running last summer.