Blue Ridge Pump Track Battle and “Grand” Opening

Blue Ridge Pump Track Battle and “Grand” Opening

Rocky Knob Park

Pump Track Grand Opening

Press Release

The Pump Track at Rocky Knob Park has recently received some upgrades designed to help riders pump the rollers, carve the berms and improve their overall bike handling skill and, in order to celebrate the completion of the track, a Grand Opening Ceremony will be help on August 29th at 9:30 AM, before the start of the Blue Ridge Battle Pump Track Challenge. Be sure to show up early to get some coffee from Bald Guy Brew and some cinnamon rolls from Stick Boy. The Blue Ridge Battle Pump Track Challenge, a pump track competition series, will begin at 10:00 AM. Riders can register on site.

A Pump Track is a special bicycle area with rollers, berms and other features where riders can learn and improve their bike handling skills.

The Pump Track at Rocky Knob is one of the first of its kind in the country to incorporate educational signs around the course to teach the skills necessary to be successful on the track. Sign topics include skills that range from novice to advanced, including: proper body position, pumping, bunny hopping, manualling, wheel lifts, and more. The educational signs were designed by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s Kids in Parks Program, and the Pump Track was designated as one of their “TRACK Trails”.

Jason Urroz, Director of Kids in Parks, said of the partnership, “We’re excited to partner with the Boone Area Cyclists and Watauga County on this project. Rocky Knob is an amazing facility for mountain bikers. I’m glad Kids in Parks was able to help design educational signs that encourage kids and families to get out and be more active in our parks and on trails of all kinds.”

The Pump Track was made possible through a partnership with the Boone Area Cyclists and the Watauga Country Parks and Recreation Department. The track was built through collaboration between Terra Tek Trails and Elevated Trail Design, and was funded by the following organizations and private donors: Ray’s Weather Center, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Cole’s Lawn Care, Coyote Kitchen, Destination By Design, Bald Guy Brew, the Tessien Family and numerous other individuals.

Kristian Jackson, a representative and volunteer for the Boone Area Cyclists, said, “We’re excited to have partnered with the Kids in Parks program on this project. Rocky Knob Park has developed a reputation with mountain bikers across the Blue Ridge as an excellent riding destination. The pump track, with these new educational signs, will provide riders of all skill levels an opportunity to increase their enjoyment of mountain biking.

Rocky Knob Park was created in 2009 when the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority (WTDA) identified outdoor recreation as an important component of the county’s culture and economy. Two $5,000 grants were secured from the Bikes Belong Foundation and Specialized Bicycles. These grants were made possible through the WTDA’s partnership with Boone Area Cyclists (BAC), a local nonprofit organization working to promote and develop cycling opportunities throughout the Boone area. Watauga County, in partnership with the WTDA received a $500,000 grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) to assist with the acquisition and development for Rocky Knob Park. Volunteers from the Boone Area Cyclists contributed over 3500 hours to date working with professional trail builders to create and maintain over 8 miles of multi-use trails and four skills areas.

An Appalachian State University economic impact study conducted by the College of Business and the Recreation Management Program in 2013 found the park contributed an estimated $2.8 million to the local economy that year alone.

In 2014, Rocky Knob Park was designated a National Recreation Trail system by the Department of Interior in recognition of the outstanding opportunities for recreation.

For more information contact Kristian Jackson at Jackson.kristian@gmail.com.

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