The Southwest Montana Mountain Bike Association (SWMMBA) has set out to restore and rebuild what used to be a gathering place for local bikers to practice and perfect their riding.
Westlake Park, located west of the Gallatin County Fairgrounds, has been a known spot within the Bozeman biking community for years, but new developments within and near the park destroyed around half of the jumps and flowy features. SWMMBA is a non-profit organization with many goals and projects with the purpose of improving and growing the mountain biking and trail riding community in Southwest Montana.
SWMMBA, partnering with Integrated Trail Lab and the City of Bozeman, set a goal for the this fall to redesign and revamp the Westlake Dirt Jumps.
“The upcoming Westlake Dirt Jumps will have multiple lines from easy to hard, similar to before but a little bigger in area,” Adam Oliver, an SWMMBA member, told the Exponent. “The layout and drainage will be improved, and they will be part of a nice park with a plaza and functional irrigation.”
SWMMBA turns these projects into reality with the help of volunteers and donors, and has set a goal of raising $30,000 for the project. As of press time, SWMMBA has raised $1,483.20, according to a tracker on its website.
“Cash donations help a lot, but we also need help finishing the jumps with hand tools this fall, organizing and advertising, signage and the administrative tasks that keep the club running,” Oliver said. “It's great to have volunteers that show up with a particular skill, but we can train volunteers too.”
SWMMBA is hoping to include constructed features such as wooden ramps and wall rides if the donation goals are met.
Organizations like SWMMBA often go unnoticed despite playing a huge role in maintaining the outdoor interests Bozeman is known for.
“It's a great thing for anyone to be a part of because depending on a person's availability and ability, they can help in a lot of different ways,” Oliver said. “I spend a lot of time between meetings, policy review and paperwork, but some people show up to dig, some people show up to help at events or contribute in other ways.”