TAMPINES BIKE PARK
#DESIGN #CONSTRUCTION #CROSSCOUNTRY #BMX #MOUNTAINBIKING #YOG2010 #OLYMPICS
The original Tampines Mountain Bike Track was an approx 3-km long gravel track, with some slight undulation. It was the flattest beginner mountain biking track and the fastest off-road racing venue Singapore had to offer.
In 2006, DirTraction worked hand-in-hand with RMC Pte Ltd, the contractors managing Tampines trail, to create an additional 4km of off-road trail extension. A man-made, “teletubby-like” knoll was created on top of a flat piece of land, and a winding, multiple- switchback singletrack was carved out of that hill. A short jungle section allowed for some cool relief from the majority open-field course, followed by a long straight dirt track. Plans were underway for the creation of a 4-cross track, which was abandon eventually.
In 2007, DirTraction and RMC got their hands dirty again in the construction of yet another 3 km off-road trail. A sister knoll was added with more signature short climbs and downslopes, s-curves and long switchbacks that pattern the hill slopes. Certain sections of the mud-thirsty jungle sections are now elevated on northshore-style platforms, while certain branching grassy paths were created along the gravel track, some parts even skirting around a picturesque pond.
In April 2008, a refreshing new 10-km Tampines mountain bike track was born, although parts are still slightly raw on the edges. With pet names like Horizon Hill, Banana Berm, Ziggurat, Descender, Moonscape Climb, The Ridge, Kidney Stone, Pond Curve, Wooded Wonder-The Shore, Breakwater Flat and Monster Mud Madness.
Feb 2009, brings a beginner’s Super D track into reality. Two new sections, namely Lower Kidney, and Upper Kidney are built with nice contour line singletrack, offering new options for some sloppy runs.
THE YOUTH OLYMPICS
2010 see massive change in Tampines mountain bike trail. The land lot is split into 2 sections. National Parks Board managed ‘Tampines Mountain Biking Trail’ while the Singapore Sports Council take ownership of the 28ha Tampines Bike Park.
The segregation is needed for the construction of the Youth Olympics Games Singapore 2010 venue for mountain biking and BMX.
As the principal trail consultant for the venue, Dirtraction place forward experimental trails to marry new Olympics requirements and long term trails sustainability. The requirements by Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to shorten the Olympics trail network and concentrate media vantage points requires packing sections of technical trail features within a tight 3km Olympic loop. The resultant trail is a trail with an impressive series of rock and freeride features, pioneering the concept for Youth Olympics and also for the mountain biking XCO course in London 2012.
The Youth Olympics Games BMX track is designed by Tom Ritzenthaler, with Dirtraction project manage the build process of the track in collaboration with HCJ Construction so to fit SYOGOC and UCI requirements.
The construction of the BMX track in the tropics proof to be a challenge. While the track successfully presents the Youth Olympics with worthy venue, the almost pure clay surface required by the Games may not withstand the torrential tropical rain water soaking in the long run. Sustainability of the track is definitely questionable.
BEYOND THE YOUTH OLYMPICS
Singapore Sports Council continues to manage Tampines Bike Park via various managing agents from 2011 – 2013.
Apart from holding races as event organiser, Dirtraction involvement in the trail system ended in Aug 2010.
Meanwhile across the fence line of the bike park, Dirtraction continues to be consultated by National Park Board on Tampines Mountain Biking Trails issues.
The park is eventually closed around 2015, when the land lease runs out and is now redeveloped into Tampines North housing estate.