MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s another classic Minnesota vs. Chicago matchup.
A new local BMX mountain bike park is a finalist in a national competition for a $33,000 grant.
It’s a neck-and-neck race right now, and your vote could make the difference helping Minnesota beat Chicago.
“A bunch of us are into BMX and mountain bike free ride. And there really is no place to do that in Minnesota, especially in the Twin Cities,” said 28-year-old Chance Glasford.
So as it is with any of these kind of undertakings, it started with a group of guys sitting around and thinking, ‘Hey, what if?’
He grew up in this sport.
“My big passion is just riding, and getting more youth into riding,” he said.
So he approached the city of Cottage Grove with an idea.
“I (first) had to explain what a bike park was,” he said.
The city liked the idea and approved the idea, and Glasford and his friends ran – or, make that rode – with it.
“It was actually probably easier than I expected,” he said.
They put together a design and put out the word, coming up with a plan of getting sponsors, donations, and starting to write grants. Then last summer, they started building.
“We raised the money, rented the equipment, found the dirt, moved the dirt, shaped the dirt and actually physically built this. Blood, sweat and tears, as they say,” he said.
An excavation company donated all the dirt and let them borrow a bulldozer all of last summer.
“My wife jokes that she’s a bike park widow, like hunting widows,” he said.
It’s 100 percent volunteer built, funded, and maintained. And since, as you might imagine, this is kind of an expensive project, winning that $33,000 grant would be a major boost.
“Yeah we could really use the money,” he said. “For sure.”
Once completed, different parts of the park will have different skill levels — from beginners to pros. Glasford is really excited to see kids get interested in the sport.
“Hopefully get more people into the sport and get people off the couch,” he said.
Voting is done online on the Bell Helmets website.
Voting closes at midnight on Sunday. The winner will be announced Monday.
The park’s grand opening is scheduled for June 26, but it could be sooner if the park is finished in time. It will be 100 percent free and open to the public.