What's the deal with Colonnade?

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwest' started by Skookum, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Skookum

    Skookum bikey's is cool

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    # Colonnade Park was a dream that is being realized into a reality wherein the future of mountain biking is being re-established much as it began, as a sub-community united. How can i state this without coming off as being overly sentimental, being how i've been loosely tied to this project for a few years now. As a volunteer that attended meetings, to helping assist Art, Mike, Jim, Dave, Walt, and countless other hands moving tons of stone on Limestone Loop, to currently overseeing the construction of a dual Interpretive Skills Building Trail (Currently named The Learning Trail). With a bit of foresight, and some self admitted naive hope, i believed in The Colonnade Park project, and thought it as a window of opportunity, that we as a mountain bike community could not let pass by. But beyond that now it has surpassed the positive expectations i dared to believe and envision before. i will illustrate.
    # The original park proposal was a give away. Dead space the city had no clear vision on what to do with. With challenging terrain, dreadfully dry soil, and foul conditions typical for a homeless retreat. Who would be willing to do anything with an area where thousand of hypodermic needles littered the ground. The proposal moved to give a place where mountain bikers could call their own. The first of it's kind Mountain Bike Skills Park in the Puget Sound area, finally an opportunity to show land managers our salt.
    # At first work parties were sparse, with limited funds, difficult working conditions and limited tools and resources. This along with dry dusty soil that when wet from flooding turns into a greasy goopy sludge. Intensive drainage, a massive network of rock retaining walls, and tons of cobble, gravel, and wood were needed to complete what is now known as Limestone Loop. It should be noted that this trail is the foundation of everything else that takes place at Colonnade, it's the rock that will enable the stability for current and future projects to grow. Being in construction i was familiar with the challenges this park faced, and knew the project could gain momentum with each new section of trail completed. Volunteer and funding at first was at a premium, and i did everything i knew in my power to promote the park. Using internet message boards, emails, word of mouth, and photography, i banged the drum, because i knew that the most awe inspiring construction projects always look terrible up until they are near completion. With volunteer labor we were able to pull it off. With the original project manager and trail designer Art Tuftee there was a pursuit of creating trail that not only was done right, but each stone was literally placed to near perfection. Mike Westra continued as managing duties were transferred to him, and pursued to complete the trail with imaginative flair while also keeping respectfully true to Art's vision. Today we are blessed to have an aesthetically beautiful skills building trail, that will stand the test of time. Countless non bikers and bikers alike that i have talked to at the park have expressed their appreciation at how beautiful the trail turned out. It truly is a wonder to behold.
    # The final phase of the trail is currently underway. And the momentum is definitely building as strong turnouts of volunteers are now the norm on weekends, and riders are turning out in force and riding the trails. With 6 major trail projects moving forward, as well as many sub-trails being added it's beginning to be an easy guess that Colonnade will turn into a major destination for riders of all skill levels. For it's not only a place to ride, it's a place for the mountain bike community to meet. We have employees from 2 local bike shops actively participating in creating the Trials area, and the Pump Track. i've seen people from all walks of life stroll through the park. From weekend warriors, to mountain bike manufacturer reps, to former bootleg trail builders, to founding members of BBTC. i've ridden with Pro-level riders here as well as backcountry cross country riders, to bikers who are rediscovering the joy of riding, and i've even given a tour to a large bike group from the King County Sheriffs Department. i've seen every kind of mountain bike imaginable, which includes a couple unicycles.
    # There has never been a place where it's been possible to bring in riders from all different walks of life together in this way. Opportunities to network, opportunities to learn about mountain biking from each other, and inevitably opportunities to grow and expand. It provides not only a place to hone our skills, but it provides easy access from the public to witness some of the amazing fun things we do. Pulled from deep in the forest and out in the open for all to see. A true showcase, that serves as not only a learning tool so that we can ourselves become more proficient in our riding abilities, but provide an interest in mountain biking to bring more people on board to what we've derived so much positive pleasure from.
    # i'm happy to say that my hopes and dreams are being realized through this park. Being in an area that we have been persecuted as a user-group, we've been denied access to trails, some that were built by mountain bikers. And in our short history our club has had our success measured more by concession, trying to minimize what we lose instead of having the ability to focus on what we can gain. Maybe that's why we were so successful with this project, in so much as turning dead space into something beautiful, we are experienced in being able to play the hand we're dealt. We as a community aspire to create beautiful trails, fun opportunities in which to recreate, and have the desire and knowhow to participate in enriching the community. For so long we have heard many of our arguments silenced as if we have no voice, well i would say that the Colonnade Mountain Bike Skills Park is one song in an ongoing symphony. Now after so many years we have a stage on which we shall be better understood.
     
    #1 -   Jan 3, 2008

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  2. Monkeybidnezz

    Monkeybidnezz Turbo Monkey

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    Nice write up T. I'll admit, your title through me off a bit though.
     
    #2 -   Jan 3, 2008
  3. DBR X6 RIDER

    DBR X6 RIDER Turbo Monkey

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    No doubt...I was waiting for the "BUUUUUT".

    Tim bleeds nothing but mud!
     
    #3 -   Jan 3, 2008
  4. Eren

    Eren Turbo Monkey

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    that is very well written. im happy i took the time to read it.

    but the title did throw me off a bit. . .


    yea it is great we have a place like colonnade, next will be the land in sammamish!
     
    #4 -   Jan 3, 2008
  5. oly

    oly skin cooker for the hive

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    I heard theres no flaming loop.......
     
    #5 -   Jan 3, 2008
  6. Neal

    Neal Chimp

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    >>Being in an area that we have been persecuted as a user-group...


    Seems overdramatic to me.
     
    #6 -   Jan 3, 2008
  7. Skookum

    Skookum bikey's is cool

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    i understand, but i will still stand by the wording. People got mountain bikes and believed they could ride on trails. During the 80's and 90's user groups rallied to ban us, with much success. Some of their concerns may have been founded with valid concern, but mostly they lied, bullied, sued, misconstrued facts, double talked, and stabbed us in the back with every chance they could get.

    Alot of old time advocates, riders, and trail builders experienced this and we still see it today.

    Did you know new trail cannot be put in north of I-90 because of grizzly bear habitat? Did you know that there are no Grizzly there save near Canada, and you tell me what would a mountain bike trail would do to discourage Grizzly Bear habitat.

    We used to be able to ride around Snoqualmie Pass, but we can't anymore, you should ask people why...

    Did you know that we used to be able to ride all the trails at Tiger and Cougar Mountain.

    Why is there such a vast network of trails at North Shore. Why did that not happen here....

    Do you think illegal trails got started so people could join "cool" cliques and try to keep them secret by calling them by some other name on the internet?

    No this kind of hassle is the reason why the BBTC and IMBA got formed in the first place.

    Is it as bad as being hassled over your race or religion? No, but the wording still is appropriate from what i have seen, and still see.
     
    #7 -   Jan 3, 2008
  8. Skookum

    Skookum bikey's is cool

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    i know that's why this park sucks. i change my mind, the whole thing is a failure. Stay away.

    Actually working for a few months on this job at Boeing i am beginning to understand why Mmike was the way he was....
     
    #8 -   Jan 3, 2008
  9. evilbob

    evilbob Monkey

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    So then we need to start calling you Sskookum from now on right!:crazy:
     
    #9 -   Jan 4, 2008
  10. Mut

    Mut Monkey

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    Skook, I love you man. Lets build that flaming loop together.
     
  11. Snacks

    Snacks Turbo Monkey

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    GO! SEAHAWKS!
    Pictures from New Years Day. It's pretty amazing how much has happened just since late summer.
     
  12. Snacks

    Snacks Turbo Monkey

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    One more shot to show of Zeb's mad trial skills.
     
  13. Skookum

    Skookum bikey's is cool

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  14. pnj

    pnj Turbo Monkey till the fat lady sings

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    simply amazing!

    I'm still not exactly sure where this place is located..
     
  15. Psychic_Pimp

    Psychic_Pimp Chimp

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    Hey man, long time no see!

    How's the skeleton feeling these days? You been riding at all?

    If you take the Lakeview exit off I-5 heading north the park is under the freeway as you exit. If you pull up 1800 franklin ave e on google maps it will center in on the north end of the park.
     
  16. pnj

    pnj Turbo Monkey till the fat lady sings

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    spine is hangin in there. I rode my bmx around (just pedaled) a few days back for the first time in nearly a year or so. felt ok.

    I live in west seattle now, on Avalon. you still in these parts?
     
  17. Psychic_Pimp

    Psychic_Pimp Chimp

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    Yup, I'm still in my stacky cardboard box around the bend from Alki. Let's see if your phone number still works...
     
  18. Dave_Schuldt

    Dave_Schuldt Monkey

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    PLEASE DON'T RIDE THE PUMP TRACK. They have it blocked off until they can fix the drainage problem.
    Thank you! If you see anyone on it, kick them off.
     
  19. seand

    seand Monkey

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    someone needs to tell Zeb that trials is dead. :)
     
  20. oly

    oly skin cooker for the hive

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    haha... Yea. I bet you get more propositions than when you worked on the roof of the purdy detention center.....
     
  21. Skookum

    Skookum bikey's is cool

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    i miss the bearded lady, she was hot!
     
  22. DBR X6 RIDER

    DBR X6 RIDER Turbo Monkey

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    I'm pretty sure he's aware of this. I think he just wants to be the last of the Mohicans.

    On the original topic, made it out there today since I didn't have to work and have to say they've really gotten far with phase two. Impressive line up along the off-ramp. Wish I would have seen it before it got dark out so I could have rolled it. Next time.
     
  23. bent^biker

    bent^biker Turbo Monkey

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    looks like it will be a sick place to rehab my busted wrist, thats fo sho
     
  24. fuzzycatnuts

    fuzzycatnuts Monkey

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    There are some good lines there now, good place to practice skinnys.

    The rest of the plains for phase 2 to make me want to build and ride there more, wallrides, step up step down, ect...not to mention a pump track!!
     
  25. MMike

    MMike A fowl peckerwood.

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    Don't tease about flaming hoops!!!!

    I may just move back for a flaming hoop!!!

    And yes...Boeing "does things" to people....
     
  26. Borneo

    Borneo Turbo Monkey

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    Skinnies? Did someone say skinnies?

    You ain't seen nuthin' yet.... ;)
     
  27. scottjustscott

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    Ok I'll admit that I wasn't too stoked on this place; but I went out there yesterday and was impressed by Phase 1 and absolutly blown away with Phase 2! You guys are doing an amazing job and as my time permits I'll be out there with as many tools that will fit in my messenger bag to help out. I am now a believer.
    And for those of us who choose not to own a car; the #25 bus has stops going in either direction within 25 yards of the park. Unfortunately, it only runs on the weekdays. But there's like 5 different routes that run along Eastlake Ave. Watch out for the #70 though, none of the busses had bike racks on them for some reason.
     
  28. talusslope

    talusslope Chimp

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    sick stuff. I should go there and ride when my forks finally get back! oh my gosh hippytech!
     
  29. fuzzycatnuts

    fuzzycatnuts Monkey

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    My forks worked really good after hippytech, but then shortly sucked really bad. Might have been my fault for purchasing 01 boxxers in the first place...
     
  30. SeaPig

    SeaPig Monkey

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    I was out there today, Andy was there too. Man I am impressed with what Mike and his crew are doing. Will be out there Sunday to help a bit, ride a bit and will have my Camera to get more footage of the progress.
     
  31. coiler7

    coiler7 Monkey

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    Anyone interested in doing a fun race there after midnight some weeknite? It could be like CX style, 45 minutes long & different age categories? only if you do use a cross bike you can't have disc brakes or wear gloves. anyway I think it would be a great way to raise funds for the BBTC & get more diversity from other cycling genres.
    RIDE On
     
  32. scottjustscott

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    I'm down as long as it's on a Monday night. That's the only free night I've got.
     
  33. Eren

    Eren Turbo Monkey

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    haha a race!
     
  34. Dave_Schuldt

    Dave_Schuldt Monkey

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    Good turnout today, who cares about that stupid game anyway.
     
  35. fuzzycatnuts

    fuzzycatnuts Monkey

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    Pump track looked open last time I was there, if they don't want people to ride it they should put up signs or tape or something.
     
  36. DBR X6 RIDER

    DBR X6 RIDER Turbo Monkey

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    They were working on it Saturday and had it running good - it just needs to stop *@#%ing raining so the exposed area isn't so mucky. Once it's dry, it's going to be fast! We got the nod to try it and it's a good workout. Two laps and my arms/shoulders were burning.