IMBA Trail Solutions getting rad in China!
IMBA Trail Solutions is currently constructing the first urban bike park in China. The expansive bike park site is situated in the town of Gu'an in the province of Hebei, just south of Beijing. During the past 3 weeks the team have worked hard to construct over 20 trails at the huge 90 acre site, these include jump lines, pump tracks, cross country trails and a 3.6 km UCI specification XCE race track.
Not only have the IMBA team been building awesome bike specific trails but they have been using their down time to attend events and meet local riders. On Sunday 20th April the team travelled an hour South to the city of Langfang to take part in a Redbull sponsored downhill race event, which was held in a busy shopping mall in the heart of the city.
IMBA Trail Specialists Randy Spangler and Mark McClure were offered guest rides at the event, hitting the race track in winning time and getting the crowd stoked with their jumping antics.
The race course ran through four floors of the mall, using escalators to descend the different levels. The track was spiced up with a number of wooden jump and drop features with the finish line situated in a central atrium where large crowds gathered on three levels to watch the riders as they sped into the amphitheatre.
The local riders all used full suspension downhill rigs to compete, while the IMBA pair opted for their hartdtail dirt jump bikes, these proved much faster on the fast rolling marble floors, if a little harsh on the escalator sections! Once the racing was over riders took part in an impromptu long jump / style session using the final drop feature to wow the crowds with their aerial displays.
The event was a great opportunity to promote mountain biking to the general public and for the IMBA team to meet riders who will use the bike park upon its opening in June.
Mark and Randy are now possibly the two most photographed men in China after taking time out to pose with riders, fans and the Redbull girls after the event!
The fledgling mountain bike scene in China received a giant publicity boost through the event which brought extreme riding before the eyes of the general public for the first time in the country. It was great to see kids and adults getting stoked on mountain biking and with more events like this one planned for the future and the addition of the new bike park it seems like the Chinese mountain bike scene is going from strength to strength.
Many thanks to Redbull China, the race organizers, the riders and Larry and Mr Xiang from Trek for accommodating us and transporting us to and from the event.