TCD Hits All Three Alberta Parks

by Aaron

TCD helps open Alberta’s 3rd Bike Park
2007 marks another milestone in Trail Crew Design operations. We have signed on to help open Alberta’s 3rd and largest bike park. Northern Alberta’s Nite Hawk Resort will be home to the next gravity fed park. Last month we spent some time assessing the feasibility of creating a park. Our trip in late April found us hiking through thigh deep snow as a result of a 30yr record snowfall this season. All the snow aside we’re packing our bags and boxing our bikes and making the trek north to give Albertan’s another place to shred.
Where to go from here?

Poplar Trees on the one side

Nite Hawk resort is found nestled in the Wapiti river valley just west of the town of Grande Prairie Alberta. TCD spent 4 days getting to know the locals, getting a feel for the communities needs and getting a taste of oil country culture. Our time on the hill was spent wading through the bush on snow shoes triangulating our positions so we could best get to know the terrain. The opportunities here are endless. The first thing we realized is that GP has some decent vertical. With over 500ft of height and a wide span in which to build Nite Hawk will be Alberta’s largest bike park once open. The forests change from one side of the hill to the next, from darker pine to typical Alberta Poplar and a good dusting of Birch.

GP Pine on the other side

TCD will commence construction of the new park this long weekend and are planning for an August opening. The first year’s trail system will consist of a Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced trail as well as a dirt jump park and skills area located near the lodge. The park will only grow from here.
TCD is a firm believer that no bike trip can be complete without a tour of the local bars. The town is not for the prissy boys with gel’d hair and buckles on their shoes. It’s a roughneck town with big dudes with big toys. I think we must have smelled like city folk, or maybe it was the shinny new Carharts and the brand new boots that go us heckled in the liquor store the first night of our trip. Either way we learned if we’re gonna spend some time up here we have to adapt to the local customs. The bars up in GP are not like most others we’ve been to. There’s a whole going on from mechanical bulls to crack head street fights. We saw it all. Towards the end of our night on the walk back to the hotel we heard some bitching guitar wailing out from a dark alley. There was still some time left before last call so we decided one more beer and a little music wouldn’t hurt. Little did we know the treat we were in for. The place was called the Hotel York, found in a back alley off the main drag. We strolled through the door and it was like one of those movies where everything stops, everyone turns and you have no idea if you should stay or turn around and never come back. The band was rippin on the stage and everyone was givin’r harder then I’ve ever seen. Emerson and I decided we’d dive into the deep end and grab a bottle of Pil. We sat down and started chatting with people. We met the owner who told us that the guy at the table across from us used to play back up for BB King and that the guy next to him was “the best drummer in the world”. Needless to say, the York ruled. Locals will tell you to stay away but if you want a killer rock show and a bar that starts selling more booze when offsales hit then the York is the place.

If you are seeing this sign you may meet "Two Button Frank"

We’re looking forward to spending the next while up on the banks of the Wapiti river living in an RV and going hard to give these guys a place to shred. Our mission has been to create more quality places to ride your bike and now folks up north will have somewhere to play. Stay tuned to our site for more updates on the progress this spring.
”Life’s a Trail, Dig It!”