TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Things are jumping in Auger Falls Park.
With the construction of the Viki Le Fevre Mountain Bike Skills Park, budding mountain bikers and seasoned jumpers have a place to practice getting some fresh air next to the 680 acres of Auger Falls, which has more than 20 miles of trails.
The park is finished and open to the public since December. On Wednesday, county commissioners, city councilors and representatives from some of the many community organizations and institutions that came together to make the project possible were on hand for a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the partnerships and funding that gave live this dream.
The Skill Park was proposed by the Magic Valley Trail Enhancement Committee and the Dirt Trails Alliance and has been endorsed by the City of Twin Falls. The skill park was built with money from a community transformation grant from the Blue Cross Foundation for Health, with matching funds from the Viki Le Fevre Memorial Fund.
The skill park has two different jump lines, one with large gap jumps and one with medium sized table jumps. The park also has a pump-track section, made up of small rollers and several turns.
Jeremy St. Claire is a member of the Dirt Trails Alliance and coaches the Magic Valley Composite interscholastic mountain bike team. The park is designed to be used to develop and practice skills that can be useful on the trail, St. Claire said.
“With a pump track, when you go mountain biking, it’s like free speed, isn’t it?” he said. “If you go down and there’s a little roll and you can pump in and out, you generate some speed that you don’t have to use your legs to do. So that allows you to go more fast, not to use as much power, so in a race it’s important to be able to pump, because it saves power for other times when you need it.
“Having a pump track where we can come here and teach kids to pump and ride without pedaling, teaches them a valuable skill for racing.”
About 60 kids are part of the Magic Valley Composite Interscholastic Mountain Bike Team, and ages range from sixth to 12th grade. The next season will start in July.
Twin Falls was one of two communities in Idaho to receive a transformation grant from the Blue Cross Foundation in 2019. Courtney Frost, senior program officer at the Blue Cross Foundation for Health, said the community really makes a great pitch for the grant. won them the prize.
“We don’t give them a check and walk away,” Frost said. “It’s a long-term partnership. They took an entire year to talk to community members about what they wanted to see… That’s the coolest thing about it, seeing them take that community feedback, synthesize it, really narrow it down, and then it happens.
Mandi Thompson, with the Town of Twin Falls, remarked on the forces that came together to come together to build the bike park.
“The (grant application) process was basically about selling ourselves as a community,” Thompson said, “and about the strong partnerships that we have that exist that would make those funds well spent.”