Thirteen-year-old Jackson Goldstone races his bike down a steep slope that ends in a jump. As his momentum kicks him up, he and his bike backflip through the air.
The landing is perfect. He touches down, and wheels away with a grin on his face.
“It’s kind of a dream because I’ve been wanting to get Squamish jumps for so long, and they’re finally coming along, so it’s awesome,” said Jackson, who’s also helped with constructing the bike park. “It’s starting to take shape. I can’t wait.”
It’s an assessment that Jackson’s father, Ron, seems to agree with. He explains that it’s about time Squamish – with its huge mountain biking and BMX community – gets a worthy jumping circuit.
If everything goes according to plan, this dream will become a reality next year in late spring.
“I hope that it’ll be a world-class facility that people will want to come here and visit,” said Ron, who volunteers with the Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association, or SORCA.
At this stage of development, things are starting to take shape. Small mountains of dirt have been formed to create jumps. A sharply curving trail zigzags through the course. It’s hoped that it will soon serve as a paved pump track.
Pump tracks are composed of a series of banked turns that allow riders to race through the path by pumping their bodies upwards and downwards.
“They’re unbelievable for developing skills for racing,” Ron said.
He added that he hopes that all local BMX and mountain bike clubs will be able to enjoy the space, which is located just behind Chances Casino.
A soft-landing jump for trying out new tricks and a series of other ramps are being moulded out of the dirt, often ranging between three and over eight feet tall.
The project is fuelled entirely by volunteer time and money.
Ron estimates that about $100,000 worth of volunteer hours will have gone into the project by the time it’s finished.
In addition to that amount, local company Dream Wizards is expected to kick in about $60,000 worth of machine time to assist with the efforts.
Dream Wizards, headed by local trail builder Ted Tempany, is behind many local mountain biking, hiking and trail running circuits.
As the late afternoon sun begins to fade, Jackson and his friend Ben Thompson take another run at the most recently completed jump. After Thompson soars through the air – hands-free for this trick – his excitement for the future of the bike park is evident. “I’m stoked finally to have something like this in Squamish,” he said.