If you’ve been to the Elk Grove Bike Park but haven’t checked it out in a while, the latest set of upgrades to the park’s already impressive landscape might be a good reason to pick up that bike and explore.
This 10-year-old facility sits at the western end of Elk Grove Regional Park at 9950 Elk Grove-Florin Road. The bike park, which is operated by the Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD), underwent upgrades in the past three months to provide new features for novice and intermediate bikers.
Pro bike park builder Shawn Waren started the upgrades Jan. 27 by using a tractor to do the main part of the job and form the foundation of the new features before volunteers came out to complete the work over the last few months. The latest round of upgrades is expected to be polished up in a few weeks.
The bike park is a paradise for bikers of all age levels and riding experience, with the different sizes of jump ramps and other features for those who simply want to ride on rough terrain.
Volunteer Jack CoBen said that the upgrades feature three new mountain bike lines, wooden and rock elements and a mountain bike jump line for small jumps.
“This whole area had a pretty radical change. When we got the tractor in here, we pretty much leveled out the whole area and then basically just started rebuilding. We quite literally built it from the ground up,” he said while taking a break from working at the bike park.
Making sure bike jumps have the appropriate measurements is a laborious process that has its rewards for the volunteers who are also bike lovers.
“The (Cosumnes CSD) every year has Shawn come out to run a tractor so he comes and stacks everything and we come and finish everything with shovels, shaping the landings to make the transition smooth and filling in holes and just making them so they jump well,” Matt Gillot, who volunteers and has been riding bikes for 15 years, said on March 28. “It takes a lot of shovel work to make the transitions work. We’ve rebuilt this jump three times already.”
The feedback from the community lately has been positive, CoBen said.
“In the donation tube, there’s a correlation between the amount of donations received and the condition of the bike park,” he said. “The bike park is in the best condition it’s been in a while so we’ve been getting a lot of donations, which is really nice. I’ve also had a lot of parents just come up and say thank you for working on the jumps, which is obviously nice.”
As sun flooded the park in the afternoon on a recent Sunday, the park was a popular spot for young riders, and their parents sat on benches nearby watching their riders briefly go airborne on jumps.
Park volunteer Alex Sherbody, who’s been riding mountain bikes for 20 years and doing BMX for five, said he got back into dirt jumping when the COVID-19 pandemic started and has been volunteering at the park since last December.
“Growing up with building jumps, there was kind of an unwritten rule that unless you worked on them, you didn’t ride them,” he said. “While this is a wonderful thing that Elk Grove provides to the community, it’s important to me that I participate in maintaining and helping shape what we ride out here.”
As an extra incentive for those curious about BMX or mountain biking, Sherbody had some words of encouragement.
“It’s worth it coming out, don’t be intimidated,” he said. “It’s a very welcoming group of people out here.”
The Elk Grove Bike Park is open every day from sunrise until an hour after sunset.