Bike Crossing: Eagle bike park hopes to extend trails for racing

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Organizers of an Ada County bicycle park want permission to use it to its full potential.

The Idaho Velodrome and Cycling Park sits on roughly 6,000 square feet, just off Highway 55 in the city of Eagle. But due to its sheer size, its property is shared by different owners with different interests.

“You could say that we are talking with Ada County to try and open up some of the trails to cross country racing,” said Brad Nelson, a board member of the bike park association.

Nelson said some of the park land is owned by Ada County as part of their Ridge to Rivers network of trails that forbid racing. He is working with county officials to reach an agreement for race exceptions at the bike park. Currently, Nelson said the bike park does offer cross-country racing, but opening up the Ridge to Rivers trails would considerably extend the loops used for such races.

The bike park is something of a dirk bike rider’s paradise. It is massive with miles of maintained trails. Volunteers have donated over 10,000 hours in the last few years to create more than 15 bike trails that offer different styles (downhill, slalom and cross-country) for different skill levels (beginner, hobbyist and expert). The park also includes a skate park, restrooms and a picnic area. Best of all, it’s free.

“It’s unique, there’s nothing else [as big] in North America,” said Phil Vega, owner of
Joyride Cycles, a Boise bike shop.

Vega said he likes the park because it offers treasure valley riders a great location to practice, race and socialize. He also said his shop sponsors fundraisers to help money to support it.

As for the cross-country racing, Nelson said the park already has dirt bike races planned for this summer, regardless of the proposed trail expansions.