Colorado

Jun 4, 2014 12:09 AM by Maddie Garrett

With City Strapped for Cash, Volunteers Rebuilding Springs Bike Park

At a time when the City of Colorado Springs is strapped for cash, the biking community is finding its own ways to improve trails and parks. That's exactly what's happening at the Goose Gossage dirt jump bike park, which is in need of big time repairs.

Volunteers and bike enthusiasts have taken on the rebuild of the bike park, which was first built about 10 years ago. It's relied on volunteers to maintain the park, but because of weather and erosion, it's starting to deteriorate.

"I've traveled the US for many years designing and building bike parks and pump tracks, I've seen what it does with the communities and the local bike enthusiasts, it brings everyone together," said Tammy Donahugh, with the International Mountain Bicycling Association.

Donahugh is a bike enthusiast, a competitive rider and a volunteer. She's helping spear head the efforts to rebuild the dirt jump bike park to make it safer and more enjoyable for riders of all skill levels.

Some of the plans include not only redoing the jumps, but adding drainage and water access at the park, building a fence and signage and adding a pump track to the park.

"We need volunteers and we need funds," said Donahugh.

They've got a lot on their plates, and the costs of all of the repairs and improvements could run from $10,000 to $20,000. Not to mention the need for man power to do the work necessary to keep the park in good condition.

"It's going to require weekly maintenance as the riders hit the jumps pretty hard," explained Cory Sutela, President of Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates.

The two non-profits are teaming up to make all of this happen, working along side the Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Department. Although it's the City's park, the Parks and Recreation Department doesn't have the money to pay for the renovations.

"Takes a little bit of money, we're not able to help them in that fashion but you know hats off to them they're doing what they need to do to bring attention to their project," said Curt Schroeder, Parks and Recreations Operations Manager.

Schroeder said the City is helping as much as possible, trying to give the volunteers dirt to work with and getting the necessary permits, including working with Colorado Springs Utilities to get a permit to access potable water to build and maintain the park.

But with so many hills to climb, why do these riders do it? Donahugh replied, it's about enjoying a sport they love, enhancing the community and bringing people together.

"Anyone, no matter what your level or what your age, you can have fun at a bike park," said Donahugh.

To raise the thousands of dollars needed to repair the park, the non-profits are hosting a fundraiser Wednesday night, June 4th, at Red Leg Brewery, 4630 Forge Rd, Colorado Springs. The fundraiser will be from 6-8pm and will include a raffle and prizes. Red Leg also serves root beer.

To get involved, go to the "Rebuild Gossage" Facebook Page

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