- A few years ago the Coalition for Active Youth dreamed of and started planning for a bike park in Spartanburg near the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail and Hot Spot Skate Park. Shortly afterward, Partners for Active Living began design for The Rail Yard Community Park. The Rail Yard designer suggested bicycle jumps and trails in the wooded area of the park. Instead of working on separate efforts, the two groups combined efforts, each bringing their expertise.
The Rail Yard Community Park includes a pavilion that looks like the trolley that passed by the park area in the early 20th century, an amphitheater that highlights our watershed and natural resources, outdoor workout equipment, South Carolina’s first NFL Play 60 obstacle course, and the Vic Bailey Subaru Bike Park.
The bike park’s target population is youth ranging from elementary school to young adult. BMI rates among children and youth increase with age. Having inviting opportunities for activity will spur a group that is limited in its opportunities for activity.
The bike park’s features feed off the momentum of the MBF Rail Trail and earlier phases of The Rail Yard. Off-road bicycling amenities are limited within the urban area and so this will provide an environment for safe riding. The proposed activities will have features for those that are young and brand new to riding, as well as those that are seasoned.
One third of the park includes bicycle features like wood and dirt flow trails (definition: “flow trails take mountain bikers on a terrain-induced roller coaster experience, with little pedaling and braking necessary”), an entrance feature and staging area utilizing shipping containers, jumps, a pump track, a skills park, and a rideable bioswale.
About the Partners
- Partners for Active Living (PAL) led the implementation of the Vic Bailey Subaru Bike Park as part of The Rail Yard Community Park and handled a significant amount of the fundraising for the project. PAL is getting in front the health issues facing our community by advancing active living, promoting healthy eating and fostering health equity. This translates to work focused on local food systems, healthy children, trails and park development, and walking and bicycling access for everyone.
- Ride Garden. PAL and Coalition for Active Youth hired Ride Garden LLC to build the Vic Bailey Subaru Bike Park. Ride Garden’s vision is to expand the opportunities available to mountain bikers and boarders through the creation of trails and feature-based terrain parks. We tread lightly, with clear eco-friendly intentions. Ride Garden custom designs can utilize a combination of on-site, recycled and reclaimed materials. With an emphasis on aesthetics, functionality and sustainability, Ride Gardens are beneficial to the earth, the community, and the individuals who enjoy them.
- As the visionaries for the project, the Coalition for Active Youth are passionate advocates who champion adventurous active living projects and spearheaded the Hot Spot Skate Park with the City of Spartanburg and host the annual Hub City BrewFest to raise funds for this bicycle park.