Cyclists who have been clamoring for the chance to make tracks on Boulder's Valmont Bike Park can now circle June 11 on their calendars -- opening day for the long-anticipated 40-acre facility.
The park will officially open at 10 a.m., Boulder officials announced this morning. A new city website dedicated to the park -- valmontbikepark.org -- includes a countdown clock that is ticking down the minutes until the opening celebration.
"We've built a park worthy of our internationally-recognized athletic community -- one that will be a daily asset to kids, families, local riders and businesses and also attract events and riders from all over the country and the world," Kirk Kincannon, director of Boulder's Parks and Recreation Department, said in a written statement.
The bike park, which has been under construction since October 2009, will occupy a section of the 132-acre Valmont City Park at the corner of Valmont and Airport roads.
It was designed and developed by a partnership between the city and the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance, and will be one of only a handful that are certified by the International Cycling Union -- the organization behind the Tour de France.
The park will include a variety of biking terrain -- including BMX courses, jumps and mountain bike trails -- geared to riders of all experience levels. There will be a network of single-track trails, a pump track, cyclocross trails, dirt jumps, a terrain park and a "Tot Lot" for tricycles.
Bobby Noyes, a member of the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance who has acted as a liaison between the organization and the city, said the facility will offer something for anyone who likes to ride a bike.
"It's really going to serve a lot of users, from kids to Olympic-caliber athletes," he said.
Noyes said the alliance raised about $500,000 in private donations to pay for bike amenities at the park. Great Outdoors Colorado also has provided $245,000 in grants for development of the park.
The money is also paying for a few special touches, such as the "5280 run-up" cyclocross stairs that include a step marked at exactly one mile above sea level.
The city is working to raise an additional $250,000 over the next 18 months to help pay for ongoing maintenance, educational programming and other needs at the facility.
The park will include 150 parking spaces, but Noyes is encouraging people to ride their bikes to the park whenever possible.
Noyes also said that, for all the uproar that the recently completed West Trail Study Area caused over whether bikes should be allowed on trails west of the city, the Valmont project shows how cyclists and the larger community can work together.
"The West TSA thing was really unfortunate," he said. "It was nice that the mountain bike community and the parks department really gelled" on the bike park.
Boulder's website for the park will eventually have maps of the park, trail and ability guides, current conditions at the site and links to upcoming programs and events.
The park is now closed to visitors as construction wraps up.