Freeride Park opens at Red Rock
Volunteers build 18 stunts for trick-loving cyclists in Phase 1 of project

       The Freeride Park at Red Rock Canyon Open Space opened May 12. A split-rail fence goes around the Freeride Park. An exception is this entry point, which by itself is a stunt.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Designed and built by volunteers under Colorado Springs Parks supervision, the roughly one-acre area near the main parking lot offers 18 stunts for bicyclists who prefer two-wheeled experiences on surfaces that are anything but flat or (in some cases) motionless.
       "Riders of all ages are loving it," said Tony Orr of Medicine Wheel, an area bicycle construction/maintenance group which has led the freeride development over the past three years. "Hikers and passersby love stopping and watching the show. It has been very well received."
       An "opening festival" is planned for June (exact date to be announced), he said.
       The stunts include wooden drop-off jumps, teeter-totters and bridges that can be taken in any direction. Although these may look difficult to some people, the Medicine Wheel plan refers to them as "Phase 1" of a three-phase plan that will install even more challenging stunts - including swinging bridges, rotating teeter-totters and rollers - in the hilly two acres just south of Phase 1 (next to the Greenlee Trail) starting this summer.
       The volunteer construction was the result of "countless number of hours," Orr said. "There was a hard-core group of eight regulars and a group of 20 to 30 that cycled in and out during various stages of construction."
       All the costs were covered by donations from individuals or corporate sponsors. "We spent approximately four to five thousand dollars of hard money plus donated materials and services," he said.
       One of few in Colorado, the free-ride area is part of the Red Rock master plan approved by the city in 2004. It is located within the less restricted 44-acre upper- northern part of the 788.1-acre open-space property, on which a construction project such as the free-ride can occur, City Parks officials have explained.
       At the same time, Medicine Wheel is "mindful of the need to manage our ecological impact on the space we share," according to an article by Dr. Cory Sutela of Medicine Wheel in the Winter 2007 issue of the Red Rock Rag (the Friends of Red Rock Canyon quarterly publication). In developing phases 2 and 3, he added, "we will work with Parks and Recreation to keep our new stunts hidden when possible from the picnic and hiking areas below."

Westside Pioneer article