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Burnaby approves $4.72M 'exciting' mountain bike skills course upgrades

Flow trails, jump lines and a BMX-specific area are coming to the Burnaby Mountain bike skills course.

The Burnaby Mountain bike skills course is set to get a makeover with a range of new and improved features after city council approved the plan March 25.

Staff described the existing bike skills course as a “one-of-a-kind” amenity in Burnaby, serving beginner and intermediate riders, according to a report to council.

But after 15 years of use, the report said the facility has aged and “requires a complete redevelopment to continue to maintain a safe and fun amenity for the community.”

The $4.72-million redevelopment will include offerings such as:

  • Flow trail or mini “slopestyle” course with technical skill features
  • Asphalt pump track accessible to all skill levels
  • Jump lines with walls and drops to support safe skill development
  • BMX-specific section
  • Common gathering and staging areas
  • Connection to larger Burnaby Mountain trail network and Barnet Highway bike lane
Rendering of the jump line upgrades at the Burnaby Mountain bike skills course. By City of Burnaby

The city held “extensive community engagement” about the plan in 2022 and 2023, according to the report, which also noted the popularity of mountain biking in Canada is projected to grow at an annual growth rate of more than seven per cent annually, citing Statista Global Consumer Survey.

Construction on the bike skills course redevelopment is expected to begin after the 2024 summer season, with the new course opening in summer 2025.

The bike skills park was built in 2008 on the site of a former gun club, a 2.7-acre parcel on the north side of Burnaby Mountain.

Heather Edwards, senior manager of parks planning, called the project “exciting” and told council the course is unique because it offers a variety of riding styles, including opportunities for beginner and intermediate riders to learn in a region where advanced courses are common.

Rendering of the flow trail upgrades at the Burnaby Mountain bike skills course. By City of Burnaby

Coun. Daniel Tetrault said the project is a “tremendous opportunity” and suggested school-based mountain bike clubs could use it, expanding the park’s usage among local residents.

“In talking to many young people in Burnaby, the common thing I hear is ‘There’s not enough to do,’ and ‘No where to go to hang out.’ … It checks a lot of boxes there, making the city more fun for young people,” Tetrault said.

Andre Isakov, director of parks planning, noted there is likely a need for other locations for similar amenities and said, in the long-term, the city may consider a specific strategy for off-road cycling and skateboarding.

Map of the upgrades to the Burnaby Mountain bike skills course. By City of Burnaby