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It’s official: West Coast’s first indoor bike park open for business in Portland

Posted by on May 25th, 2012 at 11:44 am

A great sign for local biking and business.
(Photos by The Lumberyard and Josh Harvey)

The Lumberyard, an indoor bike park on NE 82nd Avenue in Portland, is now open for business. The new, privately-owned riding area swung open its doors to the public earlier this month. It’s the first facility of its kind west of the Mississippi and will provide a much-needed riding opportunity for both Portlanders and visitors alike.

Lumberyard co-founders Will Heiberg and Michael Whitesel began renovating a former bowling alley across the street from Madison High School last fall. $3.5 million of redevelopment and countless hours of hard work later, they’ve transformed the space into a 48,000 square foot cycling Shangri-La. The facility includes jump lines, pump tracks, skill sections, and a “cross-country style” trail loop that winds between it all. Riders of all abilities will find something to love about the place, says Heiberg.

And if you aren’t sure how to tackle this type of riding, Heiberg recommends a one of their many how-to clinics or summer camps for the younger ones.

When Bicycling Magazine named Portland the #1 Bike City in America, local mountain bikers bristled due to the lack of places for them to ride. Heiberg hopes The Lumberyard helps fill part of that void. “Portland has an active bike culture,” says Heiberg, “but there is nothing for the mountain biker close to town and few options to ride during the rainy season.”

Another reason Heiberg’s bullish on his new business? He knows it will be a must-stop destination for the hordes of riders and bike industry types that constantly travel between Southern California and the mountain-biking mecca of Vancouver, B.C.. Watch for The Lumberyard to host lots of industry events, product launches, and magazine photo shoots.

The facility is being built out in three phases. Along with some great riding, phase one (which is completed) includes The Lumberyard’s retail shop and event room for hosting parties and meetings. They also offer bikes, helmets, and protective pads for rent. By early July, phase two of the build-out will include a full restaurant, bar, and a riding area just made for kids up to six years old. The final phase will see the addition of a 20,000 square foot “barn” with 40-foot ceilings that will house advanced/expert features like a foam pit (to practice crazy jumps and flips), a downhill trail with rock gardens, drops, ramps, and more.

Here are a few photos from inside…

Bikes for rent…

A wider view showing parts of the pump track and jump area…

Welcome to The Lumberyard!

Help Will, Michael, and the rest of the Lumberyard crew celebrate this exciting opening with a big launch party on June 9th from 3:00 to 9:00 pm. There will be pro rider demos, vendor tents, food and drink, a kids ride, product showcase, prize raffle and more.

— The Lumberyard is located at 2700 NE 82nd Ave. Hours are Monday through Friday 4 – 10 pm and 11 am to to 10 pm on the weekends. Learn more at LumberyardMTB.com or like them on Facebook.

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Nick Falbo
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Nick Falbo

This place rocks!

Mindful Cyclist
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Mindful Cyclist

Nice they rent bikes. I sold my MTB because I didn’t want to move it and it looked so sad since I was not riding it.

oskarbaanks
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oskarbaanks

OH YEAH ! Long may you live!

Kristen
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Kristen

Anybody else think of “Lumbar Yard” whenever they see that sign?

Spiffy
Guest

this is a great use for that location… high profile with the high school and skate park nearby… and even if Walmart ends up buying the surrounding area that will just give bikes more exposure to the masses…

Spencer Boomhower
Guest

The Lumberyard is awesome. Amazing see it go from vision to reality. It’s got me inspired to get back to mountain biking.

I think it’ll become one of those places Portland is known for. Powell’s, good coffee, Voodoo Donuts, and the Lumberyard.

And what a great destination to have along the future Sullivan’s Gulch Trail!

ac
Guest
ac

i rode this with my 7yo son on mother’s day (opening weekend). it was empty, which was great for us beginners. we had the run of the place and got into as much trouble as we were able. i came away with some scrapes and a couple new skills…a LOT of fun for both of us!!

only hesitation is that it’s not THAT big and, on busy days, the experience may not be great waiting on riding particular lines…wait and see, i guess…and tall people watch your heads on the upper reaches where you’re near the ceiling beams

we WILL go back…i wish they had a camp for my son but it appears they start at 9yo

Tom M
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Tom M

Oh yeah, dust off the old mountain bike. Time to ride!

Ted Buehler
Guest

Fabulous!
* Another new “big bike business” in Portland.
* A bike destination on the fringe of the Platinum zone
* Another new way to get kids excited about bikes
* A bike fun magnet
* A business precedent for other cities, and other big bike dreams.

Congrats, thanks and good luck!
Ted Buehler

Bill Stites
Guest

This looks really cool, and really dangerous.

CaptainKarma
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CaptainKarma

Bet insurance is a big expense, even if customers sign waivers.

Spencer Boomhower
Guest

I had a similar thought at first glance, but then realized that as far as risk goes, it’s nothing compared to, say, a ski area. And as with a ski area, you can tackle different levels of risk according to your comfort level. There’s a helpful color code system that denotes different skill level courses.

My first visit to the Lumberyard was with a 5yo, not yet off training wheels, who came ready to ride on his balance bike. After a walkthrough and some valuable guidance from Will, the boy took to the beginner sections like a pro, basically making a leap in skill level right before my eyes. I had a minor heart palpitation the first time I saw him ride one of the green-level half-pipe-type rolling platforms, of the type seen here in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Q-BvXoMIAtg#t=155s

But then realized that ramp allowed a very controlled way for him to learn balance: the downhill gave him just enough speed to stay upright, and then the uphill slowed him right down without his having to put down his feet. The height of the platforms had me a little freaked out, but he easily had the skill to keep himself towards the middle and away from the edge. The most important lesson for me in that section was that I tended to create the biggest hazard when I would hover along trying to guide his steering; I created more wobbles than I prevented.

So it’s much safer than perhaps it at first appears. And the scary parts are reserved for those who have the skills to handle them.

That video (which got the 5yo psyched to visit the Lumberyard in the first place) came from this great little write-up:

http://www.pdxfamilyadventures.com/2012/05/08/lumberyard-indoor-bike-park

eric
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eric

reason for mountain bikers to not hate portland anymore… thank you for building this place, rode there last week and it was sikkness! some of it was a little beyond my skills but I can see riding there for a winter and learning a lot

aaron
Guest
aaron

While I must admit I was bummed when the bowling alley went away, this is a great replacement!

GlowBoy
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GlowBoy

I would not agree that it substantially helps resolve the the lack of local mountain biking. (To me, mountain biking is about exploring and enjoying nature and the outdoors; “terrain features” may be fun but are just part of big fun picture, and are not in and of themselves the primary point of it). Comparing this to mountain biking is kind of like sleeping in a tent in your backyard on Friday and Saturday nights, and saying you spent the weekend “camping.”

But stunts are still fun, and does it sound like a blast for what it is. I am sure I will visit the Lumberyard more than once, and I will bring my kid. It’s still going to be another cool place that helps make Portland great.

And maybe, just maybe — just as a backyard tent might pique some folks’ interest in camping — it might make some pavement-bound Portland cyclists curious about mountain biking.