New Shastice bike trail is start of grand design

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Great progress was made during the first week of creating a new mountain bike flow trail at Shastice Park in Mount Shasta.

A joint effort between, the Mount Shasta Trail Association, and the Mount Shasta Recreation and Parks District, with approval of the Forest Service, the flow trail is the first part of a grand plan to create 100 miles of multi-use trail in the greater Mount Shasta area.

It was designed and shaped by Randy Spangler of the International Mountain Bicycling Association, who said, “The space is great, it’s a decent hill, and the potential for growth is there.”

Work began on June 16, led by local contractor Leif Hansen.

Mount Shasta High School shop teacher and excavation contractor Thad Wallace loaned and operated his heavy equipment to move dirt at the site.

“This is a dream come true for me,” said Eli Newman, one of 13 board directors and organizer of the volunteers who were on the course late in the week fine tuning the new trail and test riding it.

The flow trail, as described by Newman, features jumps, berms, rollers, and a big turn at the bottom that will help propel riders into the uphill trail to get back to the top for another run.

“We’re trying to pocket in a lot of different features that can help you with your skills,” said Spangler, who travels the world working on mountain bike trails. “It will be a training ground for more advanced riding.”

It is located behind the skate park and was formerly covered heavily with manzanita. Hansen, who is also a board member, predicts that by next summer the newly constructed up track will wind through a meadow of thimbleberry.

The Ski Park loaned the project a masticator (and its operator), a machine that chews up and spits out manzanita.

Hansen and Spangler capped the trail features with a mix of clay and sand because the existing dirt in the area is loose.

They designed the features to be easy enough for novices and high enough to be enjoyed by experts.

More trails are scheduled to be built in Shastice Park, and the larger goal is create a huge network of trails throughout the area.

Other donors include Owens Healthcare, the Kimball Foundation, and Mountain Wheelers, according to director Kathy Polkinghorn.

Spangler said IMBA promotes all kinds of mountain biking, “at ski resorts, public parks, in your backyard.”

He said he helped develop an 80 acre park in China, was in South Dakota last week, and is headed to Richmond, Virginia this week.”

A former pro rider who started in Auburn, Spangler said he is giving back to the sporty now. “I’m like Johnny Appleseed, leaving my mark everywhere I go.”