Bobby Noyes began promoting the idea of a bike park in Boulder in 1996. On June 11, 2011, Noyes stood on stage at the brand new, 40-acre Valmont Bike Park with a big grin. Behind him, riders of all ages rode everything from massive slopestyle jumps to pump tracks to cross-country singletrack.
“The coolest thing about the park is that it’s free and open to the public,” said Noyes, owner of RockyMounts rack company. “There’s stuff for kids; there’s stuff for people who want to be in the X Games. We’ve got it all. Come out and enjoy.”
Work began in earnest on Valmont Bike Park in late 2009, but the project really began after the City of Boulder acquired 132 acres on the northeast end of town and asked for public input as to how it should be used. City council finally approved the idea of a bike park in 1998, but the money wasn’t there to make it happen.
How much money does it take to build a world-class bike park? In Boulder, about $3 million.
For the Valmont Bike Park, the bike-specific portion of the undertaking ran $1.2 million, said project manager Mike Eubank.
“The city paid for a little more than half of this, and private donations and fundraising paid for the rest,” Eubank.
The private fundraising consisted of everything from $100 donations up to corporate sponsors like Pearl Izumi chipping in $30,000 to Great Outdoors Colorado that contributed $245,000.
Then, the city paid for the $2 million of related infrastructure, such as parking, sidewalks, and the connections to other city facilities such as bike paths and the neighboring dog park.
“What’s cool is that this park is a multi-discipline facility that’s free, accessible to all levels of riders and not in the middle of nowhere,” Eubank said. “We have taken it to a degree that no other city has. We are really lucky to have IMBA and Bikes Belong here in our community to help facilitate this great project.”
Singletrack.com asked riders to name their favorite part of the park. The answers were simple, but enthusiastic. “The jumps.” “It’s free.” “Big air.” “Community.”