(Roswell, GA) June 17, 2023.
Roswell-Alpharetta Mountain Bike Organization (RAMBO) celebrated a grand opening of the Skills Kitchen, a progressive skills area appropriate for riders of all levels. Attendees included our Development Director, members of the Roswell City Council, Roswell Pro Tem Mayor, city administrator, parks & rec liaison, sponsor representatives and a large number of community members and volunteers. Below is a statement from RAMBO’s Vice President and SORBA Georgia State Representative, Stuart Thiel.
“Since 1996 the mountain bike trails at Big Creek have seen their fair share of riders, leaders and local administrations of varying perspectives on what the park should become. Many locals come to get a quick lap on the XC trails after work or they come to ride our more aggressive Freeride trails full of jumps and technical features. But what about the riders who just want a little something extra without taking on the higher risk of our Freeride trails? Or maybe, they want to practice some specific skills before moving up to the more challenging trails around the greater southeast?
Big Creek had a void in its trail offerings and RAMBO wanted to help fix that by building a new skills area. We wanted to provide a next step in skill progression from our small and medium pump tracks as well as provide some small jumps and technical features for our XC riders to enjoy while using our trails.
After the concept was born, we reached out to community to see what local and regional business would be interested in helping us fund this project. To our surprise, we received a huge influx of support from local business like Sunbelt Rentals, Fresh Bikes, Gate City Brewery and Site One Landscape supply but also from larger National brands like Santa Cruz Bikes and Maxxis Tires. We also received support from a local nonprofit who focuses on group road cycling events around Roswell. They wanted this skills area added for their families and fellow cyclists to come train and practice on which validates the strength out of entire local cycling community.
We worked through all the proper channels with the City of Roswell’s building department and Recreation, Parks, historic and Cultural affairs office to review the design and sponsors per our MOU with the city. They could not have been more supportive of the project and it’s goals and in the end we feel like this partnership between land owner and MTB non-profit support organization, really came together to deliver a unique and fun filled addition to our city park.
After the project started we began to get more interest from local business like Jamison Construction, who stepped up and offered to build our entire skinny line out of concrete. We worked through the design details with their input and construction team with the riders varying abilities in mind. To our knowledge there are no other skinnies built like this in our area and we could not be more proud of the final result.
In the end we only added a few hundred yards of trail but these additions will build upon the our MTB community by providing a safe, low risk area for them to play and progress their riding abilities on familiar grounds.
The project cost is roughly $35k but most of the materials and equipment were donated as part of the sponsorship agreements. 90% of the labor was volunteers outside of the concrete work and the amazing boulder gardens that were installed by the trail buildings from Jarrod’s Place bike park in Summerville, GA. Again, proving this project’s importance and excitement from our surrounding communities who were willing to contribute.
RAMBO is very grateful for all the support we have been given for this project and we could not be more excited about the future of our MTB community. Strong trails really do build strong communities and this new “skills kitchen” hopes to reinforce that for years to come.”
Photos by Chris Cooley and Vojtek