A view of the return rollers (on the right) and the table top line (on the left) at the newly revamped Polo Grounds Bike Park.
What: Party and Jump Jam
When: July 16th from 12-3pm
Where: Visit the Polo Grounds at 2255 Huntington Avenue, Aptos
Join us on July 16th to see some of the current stars of the sport ride along with the next generation of riders, and demonstrate that dirt jumping belongs in the heart of the Aptos community. This family-friendly event will provide food and fun and it’s open to everyone. Bring the kids out to ride, cheer and celebrate this community effort! Appetizers will be prepared by generous local sponsors: Aptos St. BBQ, Little Owl Italian Kitchen, Burger Aptos, The Hideout, DeeDee’s Deli-ishes Taqueria, Severino’s Bar and Grill, and Quiznos. Aptos Chamber of Commerce will be conducting a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3pm.
Huge thanks go out to Alex Fowler of Action Sports Construction (ASC), Dave Smith of Shuttle Smith Adventures, Granite Construction, Earth Works Construction, McGuire Hester Construction, Alex Reveles of Dirt Magic Creations, C&N Tractors, Epicenter Cycling, MBoSC, PPD Multimedia, and all our amazing volunteers for making the rebuild a reality.
For over 15 years, Aptos has been at the forefront of dirt jumping. Since the demise of the Post Office Jumps and the Aptos pump track, there is a void left in the community. The dirt jumps at the Polo Grounds Park have served as a location for beginner and intermediate BMX and Mountain Bike (MTB) riders to develop their dirt jumping skills. This is a place where people can learn the basics, and progress to that elite level. However, the site was overdue for a refresh and a new perspective on the jumps. The rebuild is now complete and has upped the level of construction, and it will help riders up their level of riding. The Polo Grounds rebuild also serves as an example of the dirt jump community coming together to renew a public riding space for future generations to enjoy.
The Story of the Rebuild
The 10,000 square foot site provides the opportunity to progress from small rollers to intermediate gap jumps. Thanks to the tireless work of volunteers, the jumps slowly evolved with park users and riding styles. Last spring Epicenter Cycling and the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBoSC) received approval from the County Parks Department to rebuild and update the jumps lines. Alex Reveles and Dirt Magic Creations begin the rebuild process. Due to the drought conditions, completing the rebuild was postponed until the winter.
In January, a favorable window for building presented itself: there had been sufficient rains to prime the dirt for digging and compacting. Alex Fowler of Action Sports Construction (ASC) and Dave Smith of Shuttle Smith Adventures had a free schedule and were able to spare some time to work on the park before the next rounds of rain. Unfortunately, complications arose once again.
Due to drainage issues and the need to mix the dirt, the site was leveled. Granite Construction came in and checked the grade using professional laser equipment. Earth Works Construction and McGuire Hester Construction supplied trucking and some fresh dirt. MBoSC paid for the rental of a skid steer tractor and C&N Tractors donated a day of tractor use as well as delivery and pickup of the tractor.
Action Sports Construction then went to work, spending 8 hour shifts in the tractor to lay out and sculpt the various jump lines. Dave Smith helped coordinate efforts of other volunteers, and worked with ASC to dial in the drainage. Several volunteers provided some shovel work during the process.
Alex Fowler of Action Sports Construction getting precise shaping a jump with the tractor.
Once complete, the jumps had a chance to settle before the next round of rains. The good news during those rains was that the drainage was working as designed. The bad news was it would be a little bit longer until the rebuild was ready to ride. During the next few weeks of dry weather, ASC dialed in the lines and completed the main construction of the park.
Riders took to the air right away. On any given day, there are groups of riders out shredding the park. The new design features some small jumps and rollers for the true beginners. An intermediate tabletop jump line will keep riders from beginners to intermediate challenged as they hone their skills. The larger gap jump line will help intermediate riders really progress and be ready to tackle larger jumps that are found at other bike parks.
Interested in riding the rebuilt park? Visit the Polo Grounds at 2255 Huntington Avenue, Aptos, CA. Want to help provide more opportunities for mountain biking in Santa Cruz? Consider joining or donating to Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz at www.mbosc.org. Want to have an expertly constructed pump track or bike park? Check out Action Sports Construction at www.actionsportsconstruction.com. Need a good dirt jump bike? See Epicenter Cycling in Aptos or Santa Cruz. Need a shuttle and trail advice? Contact Shuttle Smith Adventures at (831) 234-3383.
Andrew Hofkins stylin’ over the shark fin jump on the fenceline.