Work on the first phase of the Leeds Urban Bike Park, on the site of the former Middleton Park Golf Course, is nearing completion and South Leeds Life can reveal that the centre will be opened on Friday 1 December 2017.
We spoke to Jeremy Hayes from Cycle Pathways CIC, who will run the £1.2m facility, about what we can expect.
“We are all about helping people develop their cycling skills, no matter what level they are at” he said. “If you’ve never ridden a bike we can help. If you want to compete in the Olympics we can help. Whatever stage on the journey you are, we can help.”
Outside the centre, once the golf clubhouse, now converted into a swish café and shop, parents will be able to watch their younger children practice on the pump track. Here they literally pump their balance or small BMX bike over the bumps. Beyond that is the larger BMX skills track, which has been fitted with the latest technology 4 man electric start gate from France, for bmx & 4X racers to practice their starts, but is more about developing skills than racing. Then it’s on to the southern section of the mountain bike trail.
In phases two and three, which are due to be completed by Easter 2018, the trail will be extended to the north and through the woods creating a 6km cross country loop. Routes are graded from Green – the current asphalt path/road around the park; Blue – requiring a bit more skill; through to Red, through the woods on newly constructed routes segregated from walking paths, where “your wheels will leave the ground” at various points.
“We have designed this to be accessible” Jeremy explains. “You don’t need a £6,000 bike to ride here and to improve your skills. In fact you don’t even need to cycle at all. Come and enjoy the café or use the new accessible path to the Rose Garden.
“To start with we aim to get back to the level of activity we had before the work started. So that’s evening and weekend rides, running groups, cycle maintenance. We will be looking to develop the activity programme and our work with schools and community groups as we progress through the Spring.”
You can follow developments on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/pg/leedsurbanbikepark