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PACA eying Campbell Mountain for Mountain Bike Skills Park

The Penticton and Area Cycling Association would like to build a Mountain Bike Skills Park on Campbell Mountain.

Patrick Dowler from the PACA skills subcommittee, made the pitch to Penticton city council Tuesday afternoon via Zoom.

“I’m here today to ask for council's assistance in obtaining tenure in order to have a mountain biking skills park built in Penticton, with a specific location identified on Campbell Mountain,” offered Dowler. “Once tenure is secured, it’s PACAs intention to raise public funds by way of donations and grant applications, and use those funds to have the skills park professionally designed and built.”

<who> Photo Credit: City of Penticton </who> Patrick Dowler from PACA.

Dowler indicated to council that ongoing maintenance of the skills park will be taken care of by volunteers.

So, what is a mountain biking skills park?

“It’s a purpose-built network of features that provides the opportunity for mountain bikers of all levels of experience to progressively develop a range of skills – including bike handling, balancing, jumping and turning,” explained Dowler. “Features contained in a skills park generally include wood features, rollovers, drops, jump lines, and pump tracks. I’d reference the extremely popular pump track on Naramata Road.”

According to PACA, this type of venue would allow riders to increase their skills levels, thus lessening their chance of injury, while also providing an affordable, family-friendly outdoor activity.

“I would stress that the skills park would be free for all to use with no cost for entry,” added Dowler. “We feel the skills park would be a major benefit to the community, not only locally but for visitors.

“I would highlight as well that Travel Penticton is enthusiastically supportive of this project.”

<who> Photo Credit: City of Penticton </who> The three options for a skills park.

PACA believes Campbell Mountain is the best venue, identifying Option 1, an area on the northeast side, as the best location for the skills park.

Two other options were presented to council. Options 1 and 2 are on crown land. Location 3 is adjacent to the BMX park next to Munson Mountain on land owned by the City of Penticton.

“To conclude, I would ask that the City of Penticton assist in securing a location for PACA to have a mountain biking skills park built, with the preferable location being Option 1,” summarized Dowler.

In response to a query from councilor Campbell Watt on researching other skills park locations in BC, Dowler indicated PACA has travelled around to view similar venues in Vernon, Merritt, Kamloops and Kelowna to see what those skills parks have to offer.

“One thing we identified from that is that it would be nice from the Campbell Mountain perspective to have the connectivity to the trail network on Campbell Mountain, which has those features and lines of jumps located within that network,” he said.

<who> Photo Credit: City of Penticton </who> The elements of a skills park.

Dowler says the skill spark would be open to all levels of rider, and for family use, and would not necessarily be used for competitions.

The matter eventually came up during the regular council meeting under business arising, at which point councillor Katie Robinson moved the matter get passed over to the Parks and Recreation Committee for consent. The motion carried unanimously.

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