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Brighton’s 'blessing' for BMX

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — Tired of having to drive to Boulder or Breckenridge to ride his bike at the bicycle motocross park, 17-year-old Logan Holland Jr. decided a park was needed closer to home.
    Holland said he had been looking for property to build jumps on and asking favors but nothing really happened until he got in touch with Brighton’s Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Mark Heidt.
    Heidt said Holland came to him in mid-March with the idea that he’d like to see a BMX track in Brighton. He said a committee was formed with people who had the same interest and from that committee, they started to do some fundraising and donation gathering to help fund the park.

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    Heidt said he knew Holland got frustrated because the process took so much time.
    “It was long, lots of meetings until we got PlusSizeBMX to come and help out and they kind of helped move things along with the engineers and design,” Holland said, adding that working with the city was a good learning experience that took “patience.”
    Roughly five months later, the first phase of Brighton’s BMX park was complete.
    The park is a three-quarter-acre site and is adjacent and west of the Brian Aragon Skate Park on Judicial Center Drive near Bromley and, according to Heidt, has one of the longest run of jumps in the state.
    Holland, who would like to ride professionally one day, said he was “very happy” with how the park turned out and that it was a “blessing we got our bike park.”
    He said the park has a skills loop, which is for people who are new to the sport and a pump track, which is a step up from the skills loop where riders don’t pedal but use their muscles to propel them through the track and can perform “rollers,” “doubles” and other “fun stuff.” He said the park also has small jumps and big jumps.
    Chris Olivier, owner of the website PlusSizeBMX.com out of Denver, said his team helped with the design as well as supervised the construction with the volunteers. He said PlusSizeBMX manages two other bike parks in Colorado and that the whole drive through every project they do, is to get people riding.
    According to Olivier, the Valmont in Boulder is the park that tends to get the most press but in comparison to the rest of the parks, Brighton’s BMX park offers the most features.
    “It’s also great that it’s connected to the skate park, so there are multiple riding options there,” he said. “The park is very much designed to offer a line of progression for riders.”
    Heidt said the Parks and Recreation Department believes it’s important to promote recreational opportunities to our community that the community wants to see. He said the city has done quite a few community oriented projects where the city uses minimal funding but gets donations and volunteers to help with the projects.
     “We saw the passion of the individuals who were meeting every other week concerning this project and we were able to put together a good team of volunteers,” Heidt said.
    Among those volunteers were Brighton Residents Wyatt Thorpe, 17, Andrew Thorpe, 13, Kyler Hergemueller, 13, and Tony Almada, 14.
    Wyatt, who has been riding for the last two and a half years and would like to ride professionally one day, said it’s one of the better BMX parks he’s been to and is glad he doesn’t have to travel to Boulder to do “dirt jumps.”
     “I think it’s really nice compared to the other parks I’ve been to,” Hergemueller said, adding that his favorite part of the park is the jumps which are easy to flow over.    
    Andrew and Almada said they help take care of the park by not letting little kids with skateboards on the jumps because it destroys the jumps. Andrew likes the jumps because he is able to push himself to get better and Almada likes the camaraderie.
    “We all look out after each other and we’re all like a big ‘ol family,” Almada said.
    According to Heidt, the second phase of the park will include additional dirt for the starting hill, a shelter and a permanent sign for the BMX park and roads. A grand opening is also being planned for next spring along with some clinics PlusSizeBMX will be offering.
    Heidt said one of the things he loves about Brighton is the passion and giving spirit that individuals in the community have. He said the BMX park is a great example of how the community comes together to develop something positive.
    “It’s important to realize that it doesn’t matter what age you are to have a positive effect on your community and Logan Holland is a great example of that,” Heidt said.
    As of press time, volunteers and sponsors were set to be recognized during city council’s 7 p.m. board meeting Tuesday at city hall.