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Bike skills park options not examined

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  |  Posted: Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 06:00 am

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You know, out of hand I was about to write a letter arguing with Liselotte Engler's letter and point of view on the announced location for our new bike skills park. That was until I read the final paragraph of her letter and I was wondering the same thing. Is Riel Park the best we can do?

When the idea of a park for mountain bikers came up I immediately thought of so many ideal locations for it, and was actually shocked at the locations that were being considered. It seemed the point being made was out of sight out of mind. But yeah, there's a couple of mounds of dirt across the tracks from the man made lake park along McKenney, so why not? Why not down along Meadowview Drive beside the baseball diamond? Those that have lived in the area always knew there was an unofficial skills location in the trees behind Lacombe Estates and the Giroux Fire Station, so why wasn't that considered. The point where Coal Mine Road and Bellerose Road meet would have been obvious, or the hill behind the old Hole’s location along Boudreau, right across from the waterpark/skateboard park. There is already a path at that spot that has a dead end.

The possible locations seem endless, and many way more accessible then Riel.

And just what is it with St. Albert's obvious dislike of those of that ride bikes? I object to Engler's assertion that I am a 55-year-old mountain bike vandal. We've chased the Tour de Alberta out of our city, a ride that attracts hundreds to pedal through the towns north of St Albert that have a French Canadian heritage, that now avoids St. Albert altogether.

Why don't we take a page out of the city of Devon's play book and attract folks to our area? Devon's built a magnificent bike skills park, advertises itself as a place that welcomes people that bike with open arms. Every weekend the highways, the shoulders of those highways are filled with triathletes and road cyclists all attracted to Devon, the skills park attracts even more ... while we in St. Albert seemingly want to discourage folks from visiting.

I noted that in a recent Gazette article that someone feels we need more hotel rooms in St. Albert. Why, if we don't really want people to visit?

Warren Footz, St. Albert


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