Considering a bike park for 100 Mile House

A weekly sports column from the 100 Mile Free Press

Growing up, it was very common to find me and my friends with a skateboard or bike at hand. Not only was it a source of transportation but also a source of great entertainment.

We would try to do ollies, kickflips and other tricks but mostly ended up with bruised elbows and cut-up knees. We would skate for hours. It was in some aspects, a rite of passage.

100 Mile House should get a bike park because a community isn’t really one until you have a bunch of 14-year-old kids trying to attempt the most ludicrous stuff they can think of in the pursuit of showing off to the person they have a crush on, best their friends or just to blow of some steam.

Also, what parent could be mad at their kid for being at the bike park and not playing video games all day, every day? It’s a healthy exercise and allows kids to develop mental fitness, social skills and meaningful friendships.

It is also an alternative for those who don’t like or want to be involved in team sports, such as hockey or soccer for whatever reason. They can hit the park by themselves or with a group of friends, compete against each other or just bike for fun.

If the park draws enough people and is designed well, it could also draw in competitions such as the jump jams the park built by youth in the back of Centennial Park have hosted and bring in tourists and money to the community. It can also allow for other opportunities.

A trail system would also be handy, allowing visitors to experience what nature the region has to offer while also getting a good workout while biking.

The bike/skate park in my hometown of Milton, Ont., would often host small music festivals that would draw some good-sized crowds in comparison to the size of the actual park.

Often I see comments on stories or comments about the community needing more to get young families into the area. I think a bike park would go a long way, especially if it is catered to everyone and in the right spot.

I think it’s common for people to think technology has completely overtaken classic activities such as biking and everyone is getting rid of their bikes for new cellphones and Playstations, but I don’t think that’s very accurate. I see kids biking, skating and on scooters almost every day.

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