Jason Queen and Lily Hickenbottom stand in front of the bike track at H.J. Carroll Park in Chimacum. The two, along with Doug Ross and support from Jefferson County Parks and Recreation, hope to update the track to make it more usable for local riders. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Jason Queen and Lily Hickenbottom stand in front of the bike track at H.J. Carroll Park in Chimacum. The two, along with Doug Ross and support from Jefferson County Parks and Recreation, hope to update the track to make it more usable for local riders. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Upgrade eyed for BMX bike track at H.J. Carroll Park in Chimacum

Organizers are expected to present their proposal at a meeting in Port Townsend today.

CHIMACUM — Bike enthusiasts aim to update the BMX bike track at H.J. Carroll Park in Chimacum.

While the new park is still in the design phase and construction likely won’t begin until 2017, Doug Ross, Jason Queen and Lily Hickenbottom of Port Townsend hope to find individuals and local businesses that will help them raise the money and manpower they’ll need.

According to Queen, who along with Ross coached the Port Townsend High School Olympic Mountain Bike Team of Jefferson County — which won a state championship in the Washington Student Cycling League in 2013 — the group was approached by Matt Tyler, Jefferson County parks and recreation manager.

Tyler said they’d discussed the bike park — and its much-needed update — a few times in passing.

“Eventually they just stepped up and said they’d do it,” Tyler said.

No cost estimate is available now, Tyler said.

The Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board will hear the group’s proposal for updating the track at 11 a.m. today.

The meeting, which is open to the public, will be in the first-floor conference room at the Jefferson County Courthouse, 1820 Jefferson St., Port Townsend.

Much remains to be done to obtain county approval, Queen said.

The group hopes to raise most of the money needed through donations.

“It’s something that needs to be updated anyway,” Queen said. “The pump track is kind of the new thing, so that’s what we’re looking at.”

On a pump track, bikers use momentum to speed themselves around a hilly course without pedaling. It’s useful for all ages and skill levels, Queen said.

“You can kind of make it as hard as you want it,” Queen said. “You can speed up and try to jump over each hill instead of just rolling over the top. So it’ll be pretty accessible for everyone.”

Queen said the group hopes to reconfigure the entire track, which was built to conform to the space available at the time.

The current track was built in the late 1990s and, according to Queen, hasn’t had any maintenance since its construction.

Area bikers resorted to building bike jumps near the decommissioned Chimacum Campground across the street from H.J. Carroll Park rather than use the existing track.

“Some of the local kids had basically built their own bike park in the area near the campground,” Tyler said. “It demonstrated that there’s definitely a need here.”

As coaches for the local mountain bike team, Queen said the group hopes the new trail will function as a good training ground for young bikers — but it also is a community service project.

“We really want to get the kids involved in the trail building and maintenance,” Queen said. “They’re going to use it, but it’s also a way for them to give back to the community.”

Currently, the project is sponsored by the Seattle-based Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, the state’s largest mountain bike organization.

Queen said the group hopes to see local bike shops jump in to help support it as well.

For now, Queen, Ross and Hickenbottom are working to design the new project and come up with a maintenance schedule that will meet the standards set by Jefferson County Parks and Recreation.

Queen said they hope to break ground as close to Jan. 1 as possible.

For more information or to offer help, call Tyler at 360-385-9129.

________

Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5550, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

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