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City bike park relaunched

Penzer Bike Skills Park re-opens after park redesigned by ESP Parks
Twelve-year-old Owen Murray of Langley gets some airtime during the grand re-opening of the Penzer Bike Skills Park on Aug. 19. The bike park, which has jumps for all skill levels, was designed and built by ESP Parks.

The Penzer Bike Skills Park relaunched on Wednesday afternoon, with dozens of kids and parents watching as some local pro-level riders demonstrated jumps and tricks.

The work on the park was done by ESP Parks, which has completed several other projects in the Lower Mainland.

The City approached the company a few years back to have a site visit, said ESP owner, Cory Derpak, a pro rider himself since 2001.

“We came up with a rough design of what we wanted to do,” he explained.

“We wanted something (riders) could sink their teeth into because (the park) was a little bit dilapidated before. It wasn’t really riding right.”

The new park design features jumps for riders of all abilities. Kids as young as two all the way to salaried, high-level pro mountain bikers can take advantage, he said.

“We have raised the bar as far as city skills parks are concerned,” Derpak said.

“When you see the versatility of how many different age groups can use this, it is crazy.

“There is already a big buzz from the locals.”

The Penzer Bike Skills Park originally opened in 2008 but was closed for the 2008/09 winter due to poor ground conditions.

The park was repaired and re-opened in the summer of 2009 but usage was low as it apparently did not have the features the riders wanted and there were safety concerns as rocks were starting to show through some of the jumps, explained Rick Bomhof, the City’s director of engineering, parks and environment.

“Rather than spending more money on maintaining a park that they may not get the usage desired, the City decided to invest in a major upgrade using a contractor (ESP Parks) that has greater experience building bike parks and has employees that actually use the parks to show what riders want.”

The project cost $55,000.

The park is an investment for local youth and something for people of all ages with an interest in bike sports to take advantage of said City councillor Gayle Martin, who spoke prior to the official ribbon cutting.

Derpak said there is good drainage at the park — which is located near 200 Street and 47 Avenue — so it should be able to run year-round.

As part of Wednesday’s festivities there were a handful of local pro riders who wowed the crowd as part of the Bike Jam with the Pros, displaying an array of tricks and jumps during the demonstration. There were also cash prizes for best run and best trick in the different skill levels and age categories.

Gary Ahuja/Langley Times

Reece Wallace, a professional mountain bike rider from Langley, gets some airtime during the grand re-opening of the Penzer Bike Skills Park on Wednesday afternoon.