Since its inception five years ago, 250,000 riders from as far away as Bulgaria have come to Valmont Bike Park to partake in the 42 acres of natural surface cycling terrain.

"It's been a huge success," park manager Skyler Beck said. "Thousands of people come every year, and we have a number of programs and clinics on a regular basis."

Beck said that since the bike park has opened, the city also put in a dog park and a disc golf course, so the celebration over the weekend also included a dog event on Saturday. A disc golf tournament is scheduled for Sunday morning.

"It's definitely, hugely popular," he said. "Attendance fluctuates through the year. Summer is our high season."

He added that Valmont Bike Park is unique because it offers riders a way to ride soft surface trails without having to drive a long way to the mountains for a similar atmosphere.

"It's catered to any age and riding ability," he said. "There are beginners trails all the way up to people who train for world competitions and everything in between."

The variety in skill levels was apparent on Saturday as expert riders appeared to defy gravity on jumps right next to toddlers dropping into trails on training wheels.

The celebration also featured bike demonstrations, clinics, short track races and a strider track, among other things.


Jim Vigil, of Lakewood, comes to the park about 10 times a year to dirt jump and said the park has good terrain and "the upkeep is outstanding." He added that wind can be a problem, but it seemed to be blowing in the right direction on Saturday.

"It is amazing how a little wind can make you crash," he said. "If the wind gets too bad, I will just do the downhill trail."

He said that he started doing dirt jumps about five years ago, and he has kept it up because it is good exercise and a way to get outdoors.

The bike park opened in 2011 and, according to the city, it is the largest urban bike park that is free to the public. During the past five years, more than 1,000 volunteers have committed 4,000 hours to the park.

The 2014 Cyclo-Cross Nationals was held at Valmont Bike Park, and the park has seen about 15,000 participants and spectators come out to various cycling events during its existence.

Boulder resident Noah Sloan-Miller said he considers himself a regular at the park, because he comes at least twice a week and sometimes three times. He has been riding for about six years.

"I don't ride dirt jumps," Sloan Miller said. "I ride slope style and dual slalom."

Sloan-Miller was nursing a concussion on Saturday, but he wanted to come out and ride. He said that he likes the park, because as a central Boulder resident, it's close to his house and has something for everyone.

"If you want a park you can bike to and has a lot of variety, Valmont is the place to be," he said.

John Bear: 303-473-1355, or