Mountain-bike playgrounds function as a gateway to mountain biking. They describe a central area consisting of various elements which are easily accessible and in flat terrain. Centrality plays a role in that they are within easy reach for the general public and can also serve as a social meeting place. Similar to the center of a village, people can meet and exchange. Here you can take a break, watch others, swap ideas and, as a beginner, try out your first laps or refine your technique.
In principle, a mountain bike playground plays an important role when it comes to providing access to the sport of mountain biking. First and foremost, the flatter terrain gives beginners a sense of security, so that any initial hurdles to participation are lowered. The fun factor invites participation and parents can always keep an eye on their children in the recreation area from the nearby benches and tables. As a result, participants can improve their skills step by step. A mountain-bike playground is the perfect place to try out the sport of mountain biking in a safe environment.
Arosa Skill Center
The design of a mountain bike playground can be adapted according to the wishes of each region. The Skill Center in Arosa, Switzerland, which was planned and implemented by Allegra in 2019, is an excellent example.
Thanks to a conveyor belt (magic carpet) and four different practice trails, beginners in Arosa enjoy ideal infrastructure for their first tentative attempts on a bike. An easy rock field, large-scale berms, waves/depressions, a simple footbridge and a seesaw await newbie bike enthusiasts at the Beginner Trail. Alternatively, the Flow Trail features berms, waves and depressions. The integration of small jumps improves training on the trails. The second trail has a bit of single trail character, which means that the trail is narrow and boasts some trickier rock elements. From learning how to ride easy berms to overcoming rock elements or mastering jumps, the skill center offers a wide range of opportunities to improve one’s skills. After all, this environment teaches riders how to gain confidence on the bike or simply improve their riding skills step by step.
Skill Park in St. Johann in Tirol, Austria
The Skill Park is St. Johann in Tirol is another great example. Though a bit smaller than Arosa, this skill park still boasts three variety-rich trails. It offers well-balanced opportunities to improve one’s riding techniques or to gain first experiences on the bike. Via the uphill trail, riders reach the starting point of the 600-m trail, which has different descents of varying degrees of difficulty.
Thanks to different curve radii, riders easily learn how to turn corners. Additionally, the trail has smaller obstacles and a mini drop of 25 cm. There are even tree trunks where one can also practice balance and staying on track.
A pump track, a track with little hills and berms, is another wonderful addition to a mountain bike playground. Due to the arrangement of the line, the rider has to pump his or her body weight up and down to gain speed. As a result, there is no need to pedal in order to move on a pump track.
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