Truckee Bike Park soars into eighth year: New slopestyle line, Little Big festival highlight summer events | SierraSun.com

Truckee Bike Park soars into eighth year: New slopestyle line, Little Big festival highlight summer events

Karl Immers launches into the air at the Little Big Bike Festival on Saturday, May 26, 2018.
Justin Scacco / jscacco@sierrasun.com

Earlier this year, the Truckee Bike Park celebrated the start of its eighth season of bringing locals and visitors flowy lines, dirt jumps, and terrain designed to help riders progress from beginners to experts.

Since its inception, the park has continuously expanded at its location in Riverview Sports Park through countless hours of volunteering and the work of world-class builders, resulting in one of the raddest locations in the nation to hop on a bike.

Recently, a new slopestyle section was unveiled at the park, marking the first work done in the sixth and final phase of the planned build out. Along with the addition of the slopestyle section, the park also features a pump track, dirt jumps and flow lines, dual slalom lines, a one-of-its-kind straight rhythm section, and more.

“We’ve developed eight acres so far and have broke ground on our last phase,” said Brooks McMullin, who founded the park along with Cortney Knudson. “We have two more slopestyle lines, a green and a black, and only an estimated $120,000 more to raise, and then we should be finished with the majority of the build out.”

Aside from having some of the best terrain around, the park also hosts lessons for youngsters through its Next Level Biking Skills Program, which runs every Tuesday and Thursday evening. For more information or to sign up, visit TruckeeBikePark.com.

Little Big closes out groundbreaking new series

A historic winter in the Truckee-Tahoe area made for an extended ski season at local resorts, but at the Truckee Bike Park all of the snow made for a late start to the season.

Throughout the early months of spring, the park remained too wet to do any significant work in, forcing the annual Little Big Bike Festival & Skills Clinic to be rescheduled.

“We were supposed to have Little Big happening in May, but it was snowing and we got 3 inches of snow the day of the event,” said Knudson.

The annual festival, which features competitions, and skills clinics for all ages and abilities, will now take place Sept. 21-22. The Little Big will also mark the final stop of the first ever women’s slopestyle tour.

“For so long women’s slopestyle has struggled to be recognized because it’s not sponsored,” said Knudson in an interview with Teton Gravity Research. “When it comes down to marketing and having money to run an event, it’s expensive at the end of a day. It’s expensive to have trail builders, coaches, lodging, and food for the participants. If you really break it down to do a proper event, it’s about $20,000.”

Knudson recently returned to the area after traveling to Seattle and British Columbia for the first two events of the series.

“I don’t do it to compete,” she said. “I do it to participate in the women’s world. I’ve been doing it for 10 years — just growing the sport and coaching and getting more and more involved.”

The three-stop series will culminate at the end of summer at the Truckee Bike Park.

“We’re making history with Cortney and all the girls that she’s been coaching with and doing lady’s skills clinics and competitions for the last 10 years,” said McMullin.

Final phase

With the first line of the final phase of the park complete, Knudson and McMullin are now working on raising the roughly $120,000 needed to complete the sixth phase of the park, which will include two more slopestyle lines.

“The general public thinks that it’s your tax dollars at work,” said Knudson. “It’s all privately funded through donations … it’s a great community asset and I’d love if people started throwing down.”

In the future, McMullin said he hopes to partner with the local US Forest Service to build more biking trails in the area.

“We want to start building trail around this region, but with the same level of builders that we’re using,” said McMullin. “We’re into building beautiful and amazing trail that has flow, and we’re not into mediocrity.

“I’m hiring people that are winning awards in Vail, that are building in China, that used to work at the (International Mountain Bicycling Association), that are building at Sea Otter, at Rampage. I’m hiring the best tier. We want to make this area truly world class.”

Season opener

The Truckee Bike Park will host its first competition of the season on Saturday, bringing riders out for an afternoon of dual slalom racing.

Registration for the event begins at the park at noon and race seeding starts at 1 p.m.

The Truckee Bike Park, which doesn’t charge for entry, is made possible through a partnership between nonprofit Biking for a Better World, Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District, Truckee Tahoe Airport District, Truckee Sanitary District, and the support of volunteers.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com.