Bikers set sights on another Carpentersville park
By Erin Sauder For The Courier-News July 15, 2013 5:34PM
Mike Angus, president of the Chicago Area Mountain Bikers volunteer organization rides his bike along one of the trails in Keith Andres Park in Carpentersville. | Sun-Times Media file photo
Updated: August 17, 2013 6:05AM
CARPENTERSVILLE — Members of the Chicago Area Mountain Bikers volunteer organization have set their eyes on another Carpentersville park, and local officials couldn’t be happier.
Carpentersville Village President Ed Ritter said he attended CAMBr’s presentation last year to the Kane County Forest Preserve District in regard to making Raceway Woods near Route 31 and Huntley Road a bike park. He thought the same could be done for Keith Andres Park, located on Tulsa Avenue.
“It’s basically unused. It’s about 26 acres, and we’ve never been able to really give it proper attention,” Ritter said.
“When (CAMBr members) described the kind of site they’d like to have for biking, it seemed like a perfect match. I said, ‘Why don’t you come over and you guys can see what you think?’ And it kind of went from there.”
CAMBr’s mission is to educate bicyclists, promote responsible trail use, prevent trail closings, and maintain and build multi-use natural surface singletrack and freeride cycling opportunities in the Chicago area.
The nonprofit organization decided to team up with Carpentersville and Alpine Bike Parks to develop Keith Andres Park into a 25-acre bike park dedicated to family-friendly active recreation.
CAMBr has spent nearly $10,000 on the design to date and is raising additional funds to complete the construction documents and begin building sections of the park. The overall projected cost is $250,000.
“That’s a lot of money for us to raise,” said Mike Angus, president of CAMBr. “What we’re doing now is putting in all the trails without the features that cost the money.”
Money raised for the project so far has gone to renting equipment to help build the trails.
In the future, Andres Bike Park will contain features to support both beginner and advanced riders, including skills areas, gravity jump lines, downhill style trails, pump track areas, and flow trails.
The timeline for the project is three years.
“By the end of this year, we’ll pretty much have all the trails in place, without the features,” Angus said. “As we raise enough money, we’ll put those in place.”
Recently, Tom Roeser of Otto Engineering donated $2,500 and Main Street Bikes donated $500 to CAMBr toward the development of Andres Bike Park. CTI Construction has provided a Bobcat and operator for free when available to support the cause.
“We are speaking to other companies in the area and have also approached the chamber and local landscaping companies for support,” Angus said.
The village is happy to see the park getting a second chance.
“Everybody knows this park was not used or misused,” Ritter said. “Now we’re going to have a good use for it. This is a good thing for Carpentersville as a whole.”
Resident Wayne Bastiaans, who lives near the park, initially had concerns when CAMBr began rallying for the bike trail a year ago.
“It came as quite a shock to a number of us living here. And of course, with hours of operation these parks have — from daylight until dusk — if (riders) were making a lot of noise, it would’ve made an inconvenience because this is a quiet area. But when Mike and the other (CAMBr) fellows started discussing it with us — what they were going to do and their proposals — it seemed legitimate,” he said.
“And they’ve moved one trail from close to our backyards away from them so we wouldn’t be seeing people ride or hearing if they’re yelling. So they kind of worked with us to calm the situation down.”
Bastiaans said he still has some concerns.
“I still don’t see a monetary impact for helping the city,” he said. “There’s nothing close to the park in way of food services that could benefit from it. And as far as the hours of operation — we still don’t know anything about that because the trail system is still being worked on and laid out.”
Raceway Woods in Carpentersville has proven to be a hit, thanks to CAMBr’s creation of a mile-long natural surface, multi-purpose trail open to the public and suitable for walking, hiking and mountain biking. Building of the trail began in August last year and was completed by winter. About 1,200 volunteer hours and $8,000 in labor, funded by CAMBr, went into the trail’s development.
More information about the Andres Bike Park project is at www.andrespark.org.