What you need to know about Bike Yard, Dayton’s first bike park: Contract approved for work

After running into some obstacles, Dayton’s first bike park is finally getting rolling and is now on track to be completed by next spring.

The Dayton City Commission on Wednesday approved a $1.1 million contract to begin to transform Welcome Park into the Dayton Bike Yard, which will be a new public recreational amenity.

The Bike Yard, which was first publicly discussed about half a dozen years ago, will have paved mountain bike flow trails, climbing hills, pump tracks, jump lines, rock skills trails and kicker ramps.

Other features could include a rhythm section, tables, rollers, ladder drops, a curved wall, 180-degree turns and slope-style trails.

“While we are improving a neighborhood amenity, and increasing access, we are also building this amazing regional asset — something that is really new to the region,” said Susan Vincent, a city of Dayton planner.

The entire Bike Yard project, including a bike playground that opened last year, will cost about $1.8 million and will be paid for with federal Community Development Block Grant funds, including some that were awarded as part of COVID-19 relief.

American Ramp Company will install the new mountain bike features and trails at Welcome Park, which is 10.5 acres and sits in the Carillon neighborhood, near Welcome Stadium.

Next month, the city commission is expected to vote to award a contract for additional site work and access improvements at the park, Vincent said.

A new bicycle playground opened at Welcome Park a year ago that cost about $36,000 and that was paid for with private donations and grant money.

Construction of the Bike Yard and other neighborhood improvements will start in the fall and conclude in the spring of next year, Vincent said.

She said the project timeline was impacted by increased costs and production delays.

“Instead of being able to break ground this past spring, we needed to adjust and postpone until now,” she said. “We did not want to build a partial park, so we spent the time to find the necessary funding to complete the project.”

The total investment in Welcome Park will be $2.2 million, which includes previous enhancements to basketball courts, playground equipment and other elements.

Other upcoming neighborhood improvements will include upgrades to a park entrance and a perimeter walking trail will be paved, Vincent said.

Additionally, Miami Valley Urban League has created a new Community Bike Fund with the Dayton Foundation that seeks to raise $25,000 to help ensure that youth who live in neighborhoods near the park have access to mountain bikes, said Nikol Miller, the group’s executive director.

The urban league is working with the city of Dayton, the Miami Valley Mountain Bike Association and CityWide to raise funds and develop and offer programming to teach youth about how to use bike trails and how to perform bicycle maintenance.

Youth who complete a “bike immersion experience” will be provided a mountain bike, and priority preference for spots in the program will be given to youth including those who live in the Carillon, Edgemont, Miami Chapel and other West Dayton neighborhoods.

“Ultimately, we would like to start a BMX club so that kids can maximize their opportunities,” Miller said.

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