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Belle Isle’s new bike skills course designed to challenge kids and adults

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RICHMOND, Va. — The bike skills course on Richmond’s Belle Isle got a $84,000 face lift.

The most obvious changes include the addition of wooden ramps and boardwalks mixed in with the dirt ramps that were created when the skills area opened four years ago.

“It has been a game changer for us on Belle Isle, James River Park Superintendent Nathan Burrell said. “All the kids you see there, all the families. It is really helping to change the focus of the park.”

Nathan Burrell

Nathan Burrell

Construction on the new bike skills area is nearly complete.

Burrell said a soft opening is scheduled for June 11 at 10 a.m.

“The course is not just for kids,” Burrell said. “The real focus was to mirror the bike skills needed to safely ride on the trails around the river.”

In addition to adding some elevated wooden ramps and boardwalks, they also moved the pump track and gave it a different configuration.

Belle Isle Bicycle Skills Area (PHOTO: Rich Young)

Belle Isle Bicycle Skills Area (PHOTO: Rich Young)

They also added rollers and wall rides on the advanced pump track.

Belle Isle Bicycle Skills Area (PHOTO: Rich Young)

Belle Isle Bicycle Skills Area (PHOTO: Rich Young)

“We are really trying to make sure there is a progression of skills,” Burrell said. “It is for people who start off as a five-year-old on a scoot bike all the way to adult mountain bikers.”

Even if biking is not your thing, Burrell encouraged families to go outside and experience all Belle Isle has to offer.

“The James River Park System is an outdoor oasis with a wide range of activities for the kids. Belle Isle has it all.”