Canadian Cyclist


November 30/04 9:22 am - Dirt Jump Park Growing in North Saanich

Posted by Editoress on 11/30/04

Dirt Jumps are Growing in North Saanich! North Saanich (Vancouver Island)
Courtesy George Matthews

The creation of a DJ park in North Saanich (on Vancouver Island) has been a long process. While we still have a way to go, the park is taking shape. I don't want to rehash the last two years of political challenges that have brought us this far. I will say it has been a learning opportunity... and leave it at that. I will add that the process left me with a deeper respect for Mark Matthews' ability to stick with a project and to mobilize the resources to see it through. Way to go dude!

Before any jumps could be placed on the property, a fence had to be put in place. With the help of Reg and Jarrett Moore, we pounded in about 70 fence posts. This was a full day project. Good thing that Reg brought his tractor and fence-post pounder. It made the job so much easier. In fact, it would have been impossible without it.

Once that was completed, we needed to get the fencing on the posts.

Over the past couple weeks we assembled the pieces and put up more than 700 feet of chain link fence. This was all done with volunteer labour. I'm not sure if you know what this takes. The best word is commitment. One of the challenges is the material we had to deal with. The fencing was donated and not always in "new" shape or even the correct dimensions.

Some of the material came from the Inter-river site on the North Shore where Jay Hoots is building a DJ Park. Thanks for the support Jay! Another large chunk of the material came from John Plant Excavating. John is a great guy who has donated much more than just fence, more on that later. The posts for the project were purchased with the money we received from the IMBA/Kona Grant. Thanks again to the good people with Kona and at IMBA.

With all of the material on site, we needed to get the fence in place. Mark rallied the troops and got a crew of people in place. Russ Campbell showed up with a much needed generator and a come-along. Everyone else showed up with pliers, hammers, and a great attitude.

The majority of the donated fencing was 10 feet high. As we only needed it to be 5 feet high, we had to cut it in half. This was labour intensive work. We had a work party with a crew of guys cutting the fence, a crew laying out poles and drilling, a crew bolting on rails, and everyone coming together to stand up the chain link, stretch it, and attach it to the posts. This was a couple of serious days of labour but the fence is now in place.

On to the next phase.... building the jumps. I told you about John Plant. He owns the property adjacent to the DJ Park, and he owns an excavator with an articulating bucket. This is a very cool machine and John has been right there donating his time, machine, and expertise. John's contribution is huge. So far he has supplied fence, dirt, trucking, and machine time. All of this was donated free of charge. John has committed to staying with us until the park is complete. His generosity is a major factor in our success.

We started massaging the dirt around the site today. There were about 15 loads of earth on site at the start of the day and it is very clear that we will need a whole lot more than that. We will need 45-50 more loads to have enough for the planned park. For now we had enough to get a start moving it into place.

We decided to move the dirt we have into one long straight berm (a whale back). The idea is to create one of these for each row of jumps we want. We are planning on 7 lines. You can see this in the picture. The flags represent some of the additional lines that will be going in.

Once we have 7 whale backs in place we will sculpt them into runs with 4 - 8 jumps in each line. Ya, I know... that's one hell of a lot of jumps, cool. At the top end there will be a start ramp.

The start ramp will be about 5 feet high at the "beginner" end and 15 feet at the "advanced" end. Here's is a rough idea of what we are building (courtesy of Patrick Henry)

The drawing we have here shows 6 lines but we will be installing 7 lines. The 2 advanced lines will be side-by-side and offset so riders can transfer sets. We are also hoping to place a large wall-ride at the end of the advanced set, subject to approval of North Saanich.

The drawing above will be modified based on what we discovered while doing layout today. The 7 runs will be like this:
1- Beginner - 6 jumps (tables)
2- Beginner - 8 jumps (tables)
3- Intermediate - 8 jumps (tables)
4- Intermediate - 8 jumps (tables)
5- Intermediate - 6 jumps (some gaps)
6- Advanced - 4 jumps (gaps)
7- Advanced - 4 jumps (gaps)

Yes my friends.... that's 44 jumps, no waiting!

For all you trials riders, we are hoping to negotiate a trials area. There is a very nice treed area next to the jumps and on the same site. It includes an open flat area with some large rocks. It has trials written all over it.

At this point I bet you are saying to yourself, "wow how can I help?" Great question!
Give us a call:

George Matthews- 655-4887
Mark Matthews - 655-4887
Matt Grossnickle - 655-9155
Patrick Henry -

We will be out on the site most Sundays working on the site. I will post dates on the SIMBS site and Matt at Russ Hayes Sidney will always have the information. When in doubt, give us a shout.


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