After nearly 12 years, the Truckee Bike Park is now entering its final phase of construction — and you can help make it possible. Get ready for a family-friendly evening of good food and fun when the bike park’s biggest annual fundraiser takes over Bar of America for an evening.
“Our goal is [to raise] $25,000 that night,” Truckee Bike Park co-founder Cortney Knudson told Moonshine Ink, explaining that like most every other business, the pandemic hit the park nonprofit’s bottom line pretty hard. “We’re playing catch up right now.”
As life came to a screeching halt, so did donations and grants that normally are the lifeline of Biking for a Better World, the nonprofit Knudson started with her partner and fellow park co-founder Brooks McMullen. Biking for a Better World brought to fruition both Knudson’s and McMullen’s shared passion project. “This whole passion thing started out of a want out of our own hearts to ride,” Knudson said. “Passion projects usually last two years … we’re going into 12 years.”
In addition to the funds that come by way of grants and private donations, the park would not be possible without its partnership with the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District, which covers water, insurance, and sanitation needs, and the Truckee Sanitary District, which donated the land abutting Truckee’s Riverside Park.
Although funding dried up during the pandemic, the steady stream of riders at the bike park remained strong since more and more people took to spending time in the outdoors. At last count a few years back, there were an average of 50,000 visitors to the park each year. Since Covid, that number has leaped to 72,000.
With an operating cost of $120,000 to $150,000 for maintenance alone, the drought in funds could have detrimental effects. That’s where people like Bar of America owner Tom Turner comes in.
One night each year, Turner shuts down B of A and puts out a spread that will tempt the likes of the pickiest eater. Pizza, prime rib, vegetarian options, passed appetizers, and more are all included in the all-you-can-eat fundraiser ticket price of $47 for adults, $30 for kids. All proceeds are donated to the Truckee Bike Park. In addition to delicious eats, attendees can also enter drawings to win cool prizes like bikes, sporting goods, and clothing donated by members of the biking industry. The fundraiser is open to all ages and will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. at Bar of America on April 20.
Even if you can’t make the fundraiser, it’s still possible to donate through truckeebikepark.com. And if you’re not able to help out with a monetary donation, Knudson and McMullen are always appreciative of the donation of volunteer time, as the park requires anywhere from 20 to 50 hours of work time each week. Keep an eye on the bike park’s Facebook and Instagram pages for calls for volunteers to help prep the park for what is expected to be yet another busy season.
~ Juliana Demarest/Moonshine Ink