It’s been three months since the Aptos Post Office Jumps and Epicenter Pump Track were shut down to make way for the new Aptos Village Center. Jesse Nickell, Senior Vice President with Barry Swenson Builder published an open letter to the mountain bike community just before the area was shut down and had this to say:
Barry Swenson Builder and the Santa Cruz County Parks Department built these parks temporarily knowing this real estate was slated as the future home of Aptos Village. Together we identified there was a community need for a safe place for riders of all ages and skill levels to participate and have a place to go. Whether working on riding skills and techniques on the pump track or honing their skills dirt jumping and free style riding on the dirt jumps the parks appealed to intermediate and pro riders alike.
Many good things have come out of these temporary model parks. We now are seeing bicycle pump track parks being built throughout Santa Cruz County. This method of developing public parks on private land and with community stewardship has become a role model and many grassroots bicycle parks have been built using this as a model nationwide. We are proud to have demonstrated the social/community need and been a catalyst for generating world-class freestyle dirt jumpers from of our area.
Jesse is right on pointing out that private development with public support and community stewardship is a great model for bike parks. The somewhat sad truth is that riding on public lands is fraught with challenges and here in Santa Cruz County many of our epic trails are unsanctioned at best. Developing riding areas in local public parks is also challenging and time consuming.
At Velocity we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to turn our 15 acres into another safe place for riders of all ages and skill levels. As we wade through the county planning process we need your support, that community grass-roots support, to help make it happen.
A mason jar of the “magic dirt” sits on the shelf of my office waiting to be ceremoniously “sprinkled” on the future jump line at Velocity. It’s going to be awesome!