New bike skills park requested

Organizations will donate labour and materials for bike park in John Phillips Memorial Park

A proposal to build a bike skills park at John Phillips Memorial Park was met with some interest by District of Sooke council on March 12.

Lee Hindrichs from the Sooke Slow Food Cycle group presented plans to build the park at no cost to the district.

The park would help all ages of cyclers to develop their cycling skills on and off the road, said Hindrichs.

“By centralizing a “safe” skills park decreases the creation of ad hoc skills areas in sensitive areas,” said Hindrichs. It also makes them easier to supervise, she said.

The skills park would contain such thinsg as ramps, jumps, bridges, slalom courses and the like. It would be used to host competitions and could attract cyclists from all around the area to Sooke.

“It brands Sooke as rhe recreational hot spot for Vancouver Island,” said Hindrichs.

She said it follows the “guidelines” for John Phillips Memorial Park use in the Official Community Plan. She said this type of park would be used by mountain bikers who have higher incomes and more education and travel or relocate to enjoy their recreational lifestyle.

A coalition of members from the Sooke Slow Food Cycle, Sooke Bike Club and the Juan de Fuca Cycling Coalition would build the necessary elements in the park with volunteer labour and donated materials. What they would need from the district would be a survey report, appointment of someone to work with the group and council endorsement.

They are looking to start immediately and have a grand opening in September.

Mayor Wendal Milne was encouraging but said they needed to have some type of society which would be responsible.

Other issues brought forward were on liability, insurance, equal opportunity for all groups, amount of area needed.