NORTH SURREY â€” As the world of mountain biking descends on Whistler for the Crankworx freeride mountain bike festival, riders in Surrey are bringing a little of the adrenaline to their home turf.
This coming Sunday (Aug. 17), Surrey Off Road Cycling Enthusiast, or SORCE, will host a grand-opening of Invergarry Bike Park in North Surrey.
People have been riding their bikes in the park since the mid ’90s but it was only in recent years that SORCE and the City of Surrey worked to establish a portion of the 37.5-hectare park for mountain bikes.
"It wasn’t designated a bike park, it was actually just a place where a couple of dudes came and chucked some dirt and were jumping," said Jon Proctor, a vice-president of SORCE. "Prior to that, it was common for guys to come in here on their dirt bikes and rip around."
A grand opening was held several years ago but after some additions late last year by Alpine Bike Parks, a company that specializes in building world-class bike parks, directors of SORCE felt another opening was in order.
"The most recent renovations were so substantial and so progressive that it warrants another event," Proctor said.
The new additions to the park, which include wooden lips for gap jumps and wall rides, were built with rider development in mind.
Trails progress riders from small flowing jumps to getting big air.
"The park, overall, is designed to provide progression for the rider, right from little kids on a push-bike right to big dudes sending it on gaps," Proctor said.
Since the addition of the bike park and an increase of users, Proctor says it has provided local youth a chance to get involved in a great sport and has improved the safety for other users.
"Now you’ll see young ladies in here running and jogging, it’s got a super safe atmosphere, whereas before you’d have people living in the bushes." said Proctor.
"The kids are out getting their fitness and they’re doing something that’s cool, and the payoff for us is that we get a bit more credibility with the city and we can start looking at developing more sites."
The grand opening of the Invergarry Bike Park starts at 10 a.m. Sunday and runs until 5 p.m. at the corner of Surrey Road and Wallace Drive.
From 10 a.m. to noon, there will be some final construction on the jumps followed by a jump jam, barbecue, music and prizes in the afternoon.
Talented local riders will be showing off on the jumps and Proctor hopes that some of the riders and spectators from Crankworx will stop by on their way home.
"You might not see back flips and stuff that you’re going to see at whistler … but lots of air, lots of smiles and hopefully lots of good food," he said.
For more information on the Invergarry Bike Park and SORCE, visit Sorcebikeclub.org.