Construction in Norman for a new bike skills park has been set in motion, and it won't be long until residents can strap on their helmets and go for a ride.
Installation of Creekside Bike Park began in early June, and the City of Norman parks planner James Briggs expects it will be completed in mid to late August.
The park will be located at the corner of 24th Avenue Southeast and Lindsey Street.
"It's something we've been trying to put together for a few years with the Bicycle Advisory Committee," Briggs said. "We were able to finally arrive at a nice piece of land that the city already owned with some good terrain and a lot of potential."
Although Norman has the Clear Bay Trails by Lake Thunderbird, Briggs said residents wanted a more conveniently located bike skills option.
"It's so far out that people have to load up the bikes and drive out there, so they've been looking for a spot to have it closer," Briggs said.
Hal Cantwell, Norman Bicycle Advisory Committee chairman, said the committee has advocated for a bike park for at least four years.
"I think it was a really, really strong effort by the advisory committee to spearhead the whole effort and to work with the city," Cantwell. "It was a really good joint effort."
The park will cost around $250,000. Briggs said funding has come from the Parks and Recreation Department's portion of Norman's room tax.
Briggs said the park is about 75 percent complete.
"All the features have been installed," Briggs said. "They're still doing some work on the trails, lines and a lot of cleanup. Next week … we're going to build a small parking area off the alley street that serves the park."
Briggs said the bike park is being built by Progressive Bike Ramps, a sister company to American Ramp Companies, which installed Norman's skate park.
"They've been excellent to work with and are no strangers to building bike parks," Briggs said.
The park will include a drop zone, jump line, technical skills area, children's biking playground and trails for people of all skill levels.
"There will be some mellow stuff, some advanced stuff and some even more advanced stuff so that everybody can enjoy the experience and be challenged by it," Cantwell said.
Briggs said the city will hold a grand opening event and ribbon cutting with Progressive Bike Ramps once the park is complete.
Norman currently has a bronze distinction in the League of American Bicyclists' Bicycle Friendly Community program, but Cantwell said the bike park is a big step toward silver.
"The intent is to try to enter an application to move up to silver," Cantwell said. "[The] skills park will carry a lot of positive weight in that effort."
Briggs said updates about the bike park's completion will be posted on the City of Norman Facebook page.