Burlington Bike Park
By Brandy Shreve
When freestyle park designer Joseph Prisel dreams, he dreams big.
This time around it took 40 semi truckloads of dirt to make his vision of an indoor dirt track come to life in Burlington, and riders across western Washington and British Columbia are reaping the benefits.
The Burlington Bike Park opened in December 2013 and has quickly become a favorite destination for those seeking all-weather riding in a region that isn’t inclined to accommodate it.
“It’s the only indoor dirt track that we know of,” said employee Casey Jarzombek, who noted that most indoor tracks are made of wood. “It takes a lot of planning and a lot of work to maintain this kind of track, but it accommodates a wide variety of skills and bike styles.”
Jarzombek said that the 40,000-square-foot warehouse building was originally slated to be a BMX racetrack, but when that deal fell through, Prisel saw the opportunity to create something with broader appeal and swooped in.
Prisel specializes in creating freestyle bike parks that are geared toward the masses and pros alike, and is the mastermind behind The Lumberyard in Portland, The Flow Skatepark in Columbus, as well as many of the features at Ray’s Mountain Bike Parks in Cleveland and Milwaukee.
And he builds every jump one by one.
“It’s like a giant puzzle,” Jarzombek said. “There’s a lot of trial and testing on each section of the course before he can move onto building the next jump. He has to make sure it’s not too fast or too slow for riders and that everything flows together.”
Prisel spends hours upon hours piling up dirt, shaping it, riding it and then rebuilding it to get exactly the kind of rhythm and ride he’s looking for.
“There’s something for everyone here,” Jarzombek said. “We put the jumps in the middle of the park so you can ride the entire course, including the pump track without ever having to cross the jumps. A beginner can come in and learn the basics and experts can come and have their pro videos done here. You make it what you want it to be.”
Jarzombek added that the park is family friendly, and they will be expanding it this summer and adding an outdoor course that can be utilized while Prisel is revamping the indoor course. “It’ll be a completely different design in the fall, but in the meantime, we’ll still be open and people can come ride.”
The Burlington Bike Park offers rentals, workshops and lessons and is open Tuesday through Sunday. Helmets are required and pads are highly recommended. Riders under 18 must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian before they will be allowed to ride.
For more information, visit burlingtonbikepark.com. x