“Come in, We’re Awesome,” said the sign on the front door. We hauled the bikes and helmets out of the back of the van and stomped in through the newly-fallen snow. The kids were quiet as they took in their surroundings: ramps, jumps, tracks, and possibilities everywhere. We were at B-Line Bike Park, one of Calgary newest recreational facilities.
We were met by Ryan Greenberg, the innovator behind B-Line Bike Park. After building ramps for his daughters to practice on at home, he noticed how other kids were naturally drawn to what he was doing. He tells of a time one boy came to visit the bike features outside their house and returned with 8 friends. They all had a great time practicing and rearranging the features. The more he built, the more kids were attracted and excited about the possibilities, and the idea for a family fun centre revolving around bikes was born. Ryan hopped on a plane to visit indoor bike parks in Milwaukee, WI and Markham, ON. The one in Markham, Joy Ride 150, helped design the 60 000 square foot facility that opened in Calgary on October 24, 2017.
The B-Line Bike Park is a biking playground for all abilities and all ages (the youngest visitor they’ve had was a 15-month old that used a run bike!). Lots of kids show up on weekends, and evenings are busy with adults, especially Tuesday evenings when it’s ladies night. With a beginner section, pump tracks of various levels, and jump lines that an expert would be happy with, any level of biker can have fun and be inspired. Some of the features are moveable so you can create a new experience every time. There’s even a foam pit for jumping into! Approximately 60% of visitors are BMXers, but mountain bikers make up the other 40%, with a section dedicated specifically to them.
So, our family bikes, but biking around the neighbourhood is one thing; walking into the B-Line Bike Park was like walking into a playground we had never imagined. The kids couldn’t wait to get going. We quickly learned park etiquette and safety, the advantages of certain types of bikes over others, and how to manage the berm at the end of the pump track. It all looks so easy . . . until you’re the one on the bike! (I’m happy to say I did not wipe out, although I have to admit that I didn’t try quite as many new things as my kids did.) While we were visiting, a few bikers were practicing jumps and flips in the Big Air Room and it was both impressive and exciting.
The kids played hard the whole time we were at B-Line Bike Park, gaining confidence and speed as they went and finding their rhythm on the pump tracks. Two of them even decided to try out the foam pit, rushing down a steep ramp until they swooped up and over the ledge into the pit. (And although I refrained from trying the foam pit myself, the hardest part seemed to be getting out of the pit!) When I finally had to drag them away, sweaty and rosy-cheeked, they started planning our next visit before we had even left the building.
Everyone agreed that our visit to B-Line Bike Park was fabulous! Or, “epic,” as the middle-schoolers in my house like to say. And while we were driving away, my son read the open sign aloud, “Come In, We’re Awesome.”
“Well,” he said, in an understated way, “they’re not lying.”
B-Line Bike Park is open extended hours over the winter break, so make a plan to try out this amazing biking playground!
B-LINE Indoor Bike Park Details:
Address: 401 33rd Street NE, Calgary, AB