kind of a big deal
so i didn’t want to compete with the memorial ride on sunday but now that its over and done i wanted to call some attention to some BIG news for off road riding in the area. this past sunday we had the grand opening celebration for the North Park Free Ride Area. there were easily a few hundred people eating, drinking and riding the new skills park and the dr j trail. this area is the culmination of 3 years of work with ptag and the county parks dept. not to mention several thousand hours of volunteer labor and countless unrecorded hours of work by the design team, our fearless leader and ptag freeride steward, Jamie Pfaeffle and our legal advisor Brian DelVecchio.
You may have seen the story on kdka (they dont have it online) or read about it in the local papers. this is the first area of its kind in a public park in PA and one of the very first on the entire east coast. the skills park has several wooden skinnies as well as a short trail of progressively larger drops and a dirt jump line to practice your skill on before riding the dr j trail. we will be expanding the skills park with an expert jump line and adding a few more features to the dr j trail this year. hopefully following up with more freeride and downhill trails in the area over the next few years. the area is near the sharron and harmar shelters off the pie traynor lot in north park.
i have some links to a few stories, photo galleries and the facebook group below. its hard to describe just how groundbreaking this really is, but i think the $10,000 grant rei presented to ptag at the event goes a long way. pittsburgh has been a mecca of mountain biking for a long time and we just took a massive leap forward.
kdka story (you may need to log into facebook)
That is cool, congrats and a huge thanks to everyone involved. I’d love to check it out sometime, assuming I don’t get laughed off the trail with my ancient mtb…
This is HUGE. for all the progress in the opposite direction from local governments over the decades to prohibit skateboarding, cycling and just simply having any fun within the public space, Andy Baechle and Allegheny County have added some pretty sweet amenities, like horse trails and skate parks. Nice skate parks, with concrete bowls, launch ramps, table tops, etc.
I don’t think enough can be said for how unique and big this is.
fav pratt pic:
I remember how much I love riding in North Park when looking at this photo.
It can NOT be stated often or emphatically enough just how damn lucky we are to have a parks director as forward thinking and open to new ideas as Andy Baechle. Hopefully, whoever wins the county executive’s office is smart enough to keep him around for years to come.
This place is awesome, and is going to get bigger, as C.Burch says. Go check it aht!
congrats! It looks rad! If you have any interest in a guest blog post on it, let me know.
I had a great time there. I need to buy a dirt jump bike to ride up there.
I never crashed that day but I think I cracked a couple ribs on one jump when I came up short and the seat smacked me in the chest.
i’ll see if Jamie Pfaeffle or Dave Brunger or Bill Kirk want to write a story for the blog. They would be the appropriate ones to do it since they made this happen. I just made the signs and moved some dirt.
i posted the event, but it would be nice to get something up there a bit more detailed about the park. this site is very search-engine friendly.
Is there some kind of guide or plan to the park that shows all the features?
you can see everything from the trailhead. the skills park isn’t very big. there is a map at the trailhead too but its not really needed as there are only three very short trails and they are each labeled quite clearly.
I was thinking of going up there this weekend. Where is this trail in relation to Babcock Blvd?
I tried the maps on the PTAG website, but I couldn’t find the trail on those.
its just up the road from the pie traynor parking lot. big clearing with some brand new park benches.
right about HERE
bump for a nice story on KDKA’s 9am broadcast with interviews and everything!
Yeah I saw that, it was cool. I think they should have made Kristine Sorensen go out and ride though.
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