By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson, Photography by Cy Gilbert
Whether you are a beginner or an expert trail rider, the Eagle Bike Park offers features for all mountain bikers, and best of all, it’s free. You don’t even need a specialized mountain bike to use the park, as it has trails suitable for all shapes and sizes of bicycles. The Eagle Bike Park offers a plethora of trails, and it continues to grow. It has grown quickly as a result of community support, dedicated volunteers, and hard work from people like Steve Noyes, Trails Coordinator at Eagle Parks and Recreation. A 40-year resident of Idaho, Noyes first become involved in the Eagle Bike Park “as a lucky rider.” We caught up with Noyes, where he shared his enthusiasm for the Eagle’s bike park.
EM: What do you want our readers to know about the Eagle Bike Park?
Noyes: That it’s the best mountain bike riding in Idaho and it’s only getting better. It’s located on North Horseshoe Bend Road, north of Highway 44 in the Eagle’s Sports Complex—a park that also features a cool skate park, basketball hoops, a picnic area, and more. It’s open from dawn until dusk and has an amazing collection of trails suited to many different cyclists—mostly built by non-government organizations like the Boise Area Mountain Biking Association (BAMBA) as well as many volunteers over the years.
EM: What does it take to maintain the trails?
Noyes: It takes a huge effort provided by City of Eagle, Ada County, and many, many volunteers associated with groups like BAMBA.
EM: Are there any special features on the trails we should know about?
Noyes: We have a pump track, jump lines, freeride trails, flow trails, and BMX features. Many utilize a combination of elements made from dirt, steel, wood, and more.
EM: Do you need to be an expert rider to use the park?
Noyes: You do not need to be an expert. There are trails for all skill levels, but be sure to read warning signs!
EM: Are you a bike rider yourself?
Noyes: I have been mountain biking for 23 years. It was a natural progression from my years in motorcycle and other forms of racing. One of the best things about Eagle Bike Park is the downhill bike trails. They are exciting because the flow is going in one direction and there’s no pedestrian traffic.
EM: What do you like least about the park?
Noyes: That I don’t get to ride there more often.
EM: How would you describe your job at Eagle Parks and Recreation?
Noyes: My job is a bucket-list opportunity to help improve the quality of life here, and to do so with passionate colleagues and volunteers. My work as a trails coordinator is to help ensure that the trails of Eagle are as safe and enjoyable as our resources will allow, and that means coordination of some great seasonal staffers, volunteers, and select service providers. I’ve worked with the City of Eagle since February—but I wish I had come to this sooner.
EM: How did they find you?
Noyes: A friend sent me a link to the job posting. From there I basically pestered the director through the entire process until they gave me a shot.
EM: What is your biggest challenge with the Eagle Bike Park?
Noyes: The biggest challenge is finding enough volunteers to maintain such an elaborate combination of cutting edge trails, but it’s a challenge I enjoy. It’s a labor of love.
EM: What do you like most about Eagle?
Noyes: What I like most about Eagle is its vision for the future. It’s more of a blank canvas than most places, but what’s been started here is an amazing beginning. What I like most about Idaho is the incredible excitement of outdoor adventure, and how close it all is to home.
EM: What tips/advice would you give to people who want to use the Eagle Bike Park?
Noyes: Ride safe and enjoy this special place in your own way.
EM: Who inspires you?
Noyes: I’m inspired by the men and women with whom I work—people who enjoy making a difference.
EM: What are your passions?
Noyes: My passions are mountain biking, skiing, whitewater rafting, and more recently, surfing.
Noyes: I plan to be part of this growing Parks and Recreation effort until I retire, and then I hope to contribute as a volunteer.
For more information, visit the City of Eagle’s website at cityofeagle.org. Furthermore, be sure to check out both the Boise Area Mountain Biking Association on Facebook and the Southwestern Idaho Mountain Biking Association swimba.org—they are hosting a basic bike repair class on May 22nd and beginners mountain biking classes beginning May 27th.