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Vernon mountain bikers ask city to support skills park

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April 26, 2016 - 10:30 AM

VERNON - Mountain bikers have made a pitch to Vernon City Council for a new amenity.

The North Okanagan Cycling Society wants to construct a bike skills park, described as a designated space for beginner and intermediate mountain bike riders to learn crucial bike skills in a safe and controlled environment.

The bike park would help young riders gain confidence and skills which would help them learn safe riding behaviours, society spokesperson Nick Mcdonald told council.

“We want to inspire more youth participation in outdoor recreation,” he said.

The society has been trying to get grants for the project, but without a designated space set aside for one in the city, efforts have hit a roadblock.

“No one will give us fundraising for this unless we know where’s it’s going to go,” society member Matt Ball added.

The society told city council their support, and agreement for a specific location, would give them a much better chance at getting grants.

A skills park is included in the city's parks plan, but while past discussions included the possibility of putting it at Marshall Fields, the locations keep changing, Ball said.

“We can’t do anything with a bouncing around location,” he said.

The club has grown from roughly 80 members a couple years ago to more than 650. Members believe a bike skills park is essential to the continued growth of the society.

Vernon council will discuss the request at its next open meeting, May 9, at 1:30 p.m.

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