Mountain bike skills park coming to Reed City

The Reed City city council approved construction of a bike park at Westerburg Park during a recent meeting.

The Reed City city council approved construction of a bike park at Westerburg Park during a recent meeting.

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REED CITY — The Reed City city council approved construction of a bike park at Westerburg Park during a recent meeting.

Local mountain bike enthusiast John Zelinski approached the council with design plans for a mountain bike skills park to be constructed.

Zelinski told the Herald Review that the Crossroads Recreation Connection, a 501(C)3 nonprofit in Reed City, is heading up the project and will be working on funding for the installation of the bike park through donations and grants, but he is recruiting volunteers and donors to help with get things started.

“I have personally donated money for two loads of dirt to get a start on it,” Zelinski said. “Double Diamond Transport has donated a skid steer for use on prepping the track. Every bit of funding that goes through the 501(C)3 will come to this project and I am hoping to solicit donations from other local businesses.”

The plan is to have a progressive environment where riders of all skill levels have a wide variety of features they can practice on to better expand their capabilities, Zelinski said in a Facebook post. There will be features for all to ride over and over again to hone their skills.

“The bike park will consist of jumps, drops, rollers, skinnies and berms, with man-made features such as wall rides,” he said. “A jump can be any type of variation that can make your wheels leave the ground, and a drop is kind of what it sounds like.”

The difficulty rating for mountain biking is similar to that of downhill skiing, with green indicating easier, blue being intermediate and black indicating more advanced, he explained.

The bike park will feature three green jumps and drops, three blue jumps and drops, fat logs to ride on and as many berms as possible, he added. 

The project will be done in phases, with the smaller, less difficult level being completed first.

‘I am thinking we can get the green section started this fall and get it open in a couple of weeks with temporary signs,” Selinski said. “Then the kids can get started riding on that part while we continue working on the blue and black sections. The entire track completion could be another year depending on the funding we are able to get.”

If the funding can be secured, he said, the entire park could be completed by the middle of next summer. Once completed, the park will be maintained by the local bike club and volunteers.

The idea behind the bike park is so that riders can practice so that when they come across a bump or drop on a trail such as the Dragon Trail they will be prepared on how to handle it, Zelinski said. 

“This is going to be a series of features that riders can ride over and over,” he said. “There will be different styles of jumps, one after another. Riders can come practice and when they go to larger trails they can ride anything they come across.” 

Zelinski originally approached the council in 2020 about constructing a mountain bike skills track on city-owned land on 200th Avenue, suggesting the skills track would provide recreation for youth in the community and bring visitors to the area, which would boost the economy.

Council member Dan Burchette told the Herald Review, that area was going to take a lot of money to get all the trees cleared, and there is sort of a wetland there, so Zelinski shied away from using it and has been looking for a more suitable spot.

“I brought this piece (in Westerburg Park) to his attention, and he just absolutely fell in love with it,” Burchette said. “He said, ‘This is so much better than any other place I could think of.’ He came to council with the designs, and we approved it.”

Zelinski said he would like to thank Crossroads Recreation Connection for the work they are doing on the bike park, and the city of Reed City for their approval. He would also like to thank any and all volunteers and donors or potential donors for their support.