A Brief History of the Langley Mountain Bike Association
A small group of mountain biking enthusiasts contacted the Township’s Parks and Recreation department to discuss the prospect of a site where some trails and stunts could be built and after many meetings and talks, in late 2003 a committee was formed with the purpose of working with the Township of Langley to develop a bike park.
In March of 2004, the L.M.B.A. made a proposal to the Langley Township Parks and Recreation Planning Committee to construct – somewhere in the community – a mountain bike park.
The Township Planning Committee directed their staff to look at options for a park, and report back to Council. This process took several months and a report was submitted to council for approval. The report called for the creation of a Mountain Bike Park on a one acre site as part of the Willoughby Community Park that was under development at that time. The report also called for the Bike park to be funded wholly by the Langley Mountain Biking Association.
Willoughby Bike Park Comes to Fruition
The site turned out to be completely overgrown with scrub brush and blackberry bushes, mixed in with discarded trash, old fencing, and barbed wire. In addition, there was a potential fish habitat right next to the proposed site that needed to be protected. And finally, there was no access into the site, other than through our new, and luckily amenable neighbors – the Mountainview Alliance Church.
The first hurdle was figuring out how to create a proper access into the site. Valley Traffic Systems graciously provided a bobcat and driver who pushed a service road in from 200th and had a crew construct a gate to protect the road. With a service road into the site and protective fencing (provided by Valley Traffic Systems) clearing could begin. In the Spring of 2006, volunteer work parties began the long and difficult challenge of clearing the site and preparing it for use.
With the site beginning to open up, heavy machinery was required to do some of the more ambitious clearing, and the service road needed upgrading so it could support the machinery and trucks that would be required during construction. J. DeWitt Enterprises, a local company, came in and widened our service road and pushed it into the area we wanted for the dirt jumps. Lafarge Inc. agreed to supply us with several loads of gravel. Two local companies (Peter’s Trucking and Tag Construction Ltd.) agreed to supply trucks and drivers to haul the gravel from Abbotsford to the park site. Flath Excavating came on board and leveled all that gravel out into a roadway. J. DeWitt Enterprises returned a few more times to help level out the site and prepare the ground.
Private donations, a neighborhood initiatives grant from the Township, another from the International Mountain Bike Association provided the LMBA with the funds to purchase tools, hardware, and lumber. Valley Traffic Systems (once again) – donated several truckloads of timbers. Tartani Landscaping also joined us, volunteering to supply the machinery and operators to construct the dirt jumps (way more hours than either they or us would like to try and count). Construction started in late 2006, and the first stunts began to take shape.
This process had taken considerable time, as work has to wait for appropriate weather as well as the availability of machinery and volunteer time.
In July of 2007, the park was officially opened to the public.
The park project is still in progress today as we still have stunts and structures we need to build. We continue to come up against challenges and with much assistance from the community and Langley Township we have come up with solutions that work. We’ve worked with Langley Environmental Partners to plant native shrubbery along the ditch that runs through the middle of the park. Greenway Landscape Architecture agreed to complete and provide to the Township with the necessary scaled drawings – at no cost.
When the kids began asking for a pump track, Rotary Sunrise stepped up for us and provided the funds to have it built.
A wall ride, drop zone, triple teeter-totter, and enhanced jumps were completed in 2009 thanks to a $19,000.00 grant from the Provincial Government and another of $5000.00 from the Township of Langley.
In 2012 a circular wooden pump track was completed with funding coming from donated material and time, and a grant from the Township of Langley.
In 2013 a bmx style track was also built with volunteer labour and support from United Rentals of Langley, Cycling B.C., Édifice Construction Inc., and a Community Initiatives grant from the Township of Langley.
Aldergrove Bike Park Comes Online
In 2009 the Township asked the LMBA to help develop a second park out in Aldergrove. This project was completed as part of the development of the Aldergrove Community Park, with funding from the Federal Government and the Township of Langley.
A Tip of the Hat to Our Community
Not all of the companies, individuals, and groups that helped out in the development have been named – we apologize for the omissions. A lot of people have put considerable funding, time and sweat equity into the development of this park – between July and Dec. of 2007 we logged over 1000 hours of volunteer time. This has truly been a community effort, with help and support coming from individuals, local schools, organizations, and businesses.
Thanks to this community support, cyclists (both the young, and the not so young ) have a place to ride, challenge themselves, and develop their skills in the community.