Lots of folks proved they could make it around the 2 short loops without pedaling, using only the right amount of “pumping” to keep momentum going on our grand opening day. Families, kids, experts, newbies and all sorts of 2-wheeled friends helped us formally open our Big Creek Pump Track last Saturday (30 APR 11). Sunshine & Spring was in the air, along with tantalizing BBQ scents from our grill manned by chef Brad & Amanda. Contests with some serious and not-so-serious competition spiced up the day capped off by a Grand Prize raffle. Mayor Jere Wood and Parks director Joe Glover helped representatives from generous sponsors for the track’s development, Roswell Bicycles, Specialized Bicycle Components & Virgil P Warren Foundation cut the ribbon. Bip on over to the RAMBO Facebook page for the event in pictures by clicking here.
Joe Baker, RAMBO Events Coordinator and MC for the event provides this important background information…
There are very few communities in the US with a Park where all types of cycling: road, XC, DH and dirt jump/free ride exist in one place. Big Creek has a Greenway, 5.5 miles of XC trails – Beginner through Advanced, Down Hill trails and a jump park all created by RAMBO Volunteers for the City of Roswell. Now with the addition of the pump tracks, a vision for a cycling park that started in 2003 is complete. Parks like this do not happen without extreme support from local government and the private sector. Roswell Mayor Jere Wood and Roswell Park and Rec Director Joe Glover have been with RAMBO from the start and have both significantly contributed to every phase of this park.
Every new project starts with a person that is inspired to make our world a better place. He puts action to that vision and creates something new for all to enjoy. For the Roswell Bikes Specialize Pump Tracks at Big Creek that Person was our Trail Director Neil Wagner.
In 2010 Neil and Joe Baker were fortunate enough to represent RAMBO at the IMBA World Summit in Augusta. At this Summit they learned very valuable skills for RAMBO; like how to organize & lead major projects, how to create ownership and by in for projects and how to generate funding through partnerships with Government and private entities. After seeing the newly constructed August Pump tracks, Neil came back from the Summit energized to add the final piece to the Big Creek Mt. Bike Park. Pump Tracks!!
Pump Tracks teach riders to propel their bikes without pedaling. These skills will help them be better riders out on the trails. Neil dreamed big and decided to build 2 pump tracks: beginner and advanced.
Creating these tracks would not be easy. A lot of money would need to be raised, buy in from City Officials gained; a pump track contractor would need to be acquired, and – as always – lots of volunteers. Neil formed partnerships that would come through for us.
No stranger to the Roswell cycling community is Todd and his team from Roswell Bikes. Since the beginning of RAMBO, Roswell Bikes has always been there to help RAMBO make Big Creek Park happen. So it is no surprise that when this project started Todd stepped up with major funding and a powerful friend, SPECIALIZED.
At the IMBA Summit Neil learned that SPECIALIZED had a partnership grant process for partnering with local shops and local communities to get more folks outdoors and active on bikes. Perfect for SORBA/RAMBO! Neil and Todd teamed up and worked through the SPECIALIZED Grant process. After a lot of work the pump track project received $5,000 each from Roswell Bikes and SPECIALIZED.
The work load did not stop there. Our very own Board Member Shawn Brunner made some very key connections that led to RAMBO acquiring all the dirt for these track for free. He did not stop there. Through a connection in Forsyth County Shawn became aware of the Virgil P. Warren Foundation who donated another $5,000 for this project.
So Neil’s excited and the project is looking pretty good when the Boy Scouts show up. SORBA and Boy Scouting’s missions align in so many ways. Scott Weber of Troop 69 came to us wanting to help with an Eagle Scout Project at Big Creek. Neil knew just what project to define. Scott built all of the wooden structures in the pump track area. The great Kiosk, benches and tables created by Scott really topped of Big Creek’s newest addition creating a comfortable safe environment for everyone to enjoy the pump tracks.
RAMBO would like to thank all of the great people in our community that have made these pump tracks a huge success. We look forward to seeing you and your families out at Big Creek Park enjoying the tracks for years to come.