The covered bike park area at the Salem Fairgrounds is open for business. The bike park area consists of a dirt jump line and a wood kicker to mulch landing. The dirt jump line has two options for skill levels: a beginner/intermediate and advanced line.
When we arrived in the early afternoon on a Saturday, there were about 15-20 kids on BMX bikes riding the jumps in the dark. The lights in every other part of the facility were on, except for over the jumps. I spent the next 20 minutes or so searching for the light switches. The men’s restroom had a box, and I managed to turn on all the lights on except for the overhead lights. After pedaling all over the fairgrounds, I found a State employee at the home show, and managed to get him to radio someone to turn the overhead lights on, as riding the jumps without the lights was a safety issue. For future reference, if this happens to you, here is the Main Fair Office phone: 503-947-3247 and the info line: 1-800-833-0011.
As the only indoor public bike park we’re aware of in Oregon, (currently open, Windells AKA NSoF also features a bike session night for their indoor skatepark, but public riding sessions are limited) the Salem Fairgrounds makes for a great rainy day destination. While we wished for more features, the jumps kept us entertained and challenged for the several hours we were there, and we rode until we were too tired to keep going. Adding elevated ladder skinnies and similar features would be a great addition, and a big draw for mountain bikers. The facility had a small pump track last year, but as it never was completely dialed in, (as far as I know- we only visited the park once, on our way through the NW) using the dirt to make the jump lines better seems to be a better call. Perhaps due to the BMX biased jump line, we only saw a few kids on 26″ wheels, although a few more 26″ riders showed up as we were packing up.
There is room for additional features, and we would love to see more. There was an empty area with a wood quaterpipe that would be an great area to add to and build on. The addition of a wood box jump and grind boxes would spread the rider traffic out, and this area could have also housed a number of skinny technical challenge lines. I’m not sure the status of the park, but from what I understand, it is all built by volunteers from the Black Rock Mountain Bike Association. As Oregon is notoriously rainy, we would love to see this facility open year-round. Even better would be an additional facility in the Metropoliton Portland area, but the fact there are covered jumps within an hours drive is not shabby either.
We have been unable to locate more info on the park, as the Oregon State Expo website doesn’t even mention. Details were lacking on the BRMBA website as well, but when we do, we’ll be sure to post it. As it is, it’s almost like it’s on the down low.
The beginner/ intermediate line features three table top jumps and a step up into a 180 berm. After the berm are four rollers and an intermediate table top jump. For more advanced riders, the three table tops are matched with three doubles. The first three sets are significantly larger than the table tops and have platforms built into the landings, which offer minimal penalty for casing.
The fouth set is a rollable double into a big berm. After the berm, there are two large doubles. Although there was evidence of use, we didn’t see anyone hitting them, and as I personally was feeling rusty, didn’t try them either.
There is a considerable amount of rider traffic, as kids coming back on the return line and kids headed at the wood kicker/ mulch jump cross lines, so be aware of your surroundings. However, this is standard for bike parks, and hopefully everyone does that already.
While signs are not posted, helmets should be worn. About a third of the BMX riders weren’t wearing helmets, and as the area is unsupervised, this policy didn’t seem to be enforced.
How to get there:
exit 258 toward N Salem/Fairgrounds/Amphitheatre
- right at Portland Rd NE
- Left on Lana Ave NE
- right on Silverton Rd NE
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