Former pro mountain bikers coaching at clinic

July 2, 2013

The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance will host a skills clinic from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 13-14 at Duthie Hill Park.

Former professional mountain bike racers Kat Sweet, of Sweetlines, and Simon Lawton, of Fluidride, will join Evergreen’s certified instructors to lead the clinic.

The clinic, open to ages 14 and older, is designed for mountain bikers of all skill levels. Participants will spend the weekend learning and practicing skills and putting them to use on the park’s trails. The clinic will take place regardless of weather conditions.

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County seeks proposals for youth sports facilities

February 7, 2013

NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 7, 2013

Local youth sports organizations can apply for King County grants to build or upgrade recreation facilities.

The county Youth Sports Facilities Grants Program provides matching grant funds from $5,000 to $75,000. Past grant recipients include playgrounds and athletic fields, including the Issaquah Little League’s Dodd Fields near Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

Other local grant recipients in the Issaquah area include city-run Central Park in the Issaquah Highlands and county-run Duthie Hill Park in Sammamish.

Overall, officials awarded $12 million through the program in the past 20 years.

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Explore outdoors in King County Parks Fitness Challenge

February 6, 2013

NEW — 6 p.m. Feb. 6, 2013

Parkgoers can participate in challenges, enjoy the outdoors and burn some calories as King County Parks rolls out a fitness program at Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park and other sites.

Countywide, organizers designed 30 challenge locations countywide for the King County Parks Fitness Challenge.

The challenge — initially created through a partnership with Group Health’s Fitness Network for county employees — is available to the public.

“The public can also enjoy the parks fitness challenge as a great way to exercise while enjoying some of the 26,000 acres of parks, 175 miles of regional trails and 180 miles of backcountry trails that we proudly maintain,” King County Parks Director Kevin Brown said in a statement.

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Parks task force recommends 2013 property tax measure

December 10, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 10, 2012

King County voters could decide next year on dollars to complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail, add a Cougar Mountain trailhead in Issaquah, and continue funding parks and trails countywide.

Late last month, King County Parks Levy Task Force members unanimously recommended continuing a pair of six-year levies to support county-run parks, trails and open space. Voters overwhelmingly approved the most recent pair of park levies in 2007.

The voter-approved levies fund the bulk of park operations, but the property tax measures expire in December 2013. In June, King County Executive Constantine convened the task force to explore options future funding.

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Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day comes to Duthie Hill Park

October 4, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Oct. 4, 2012

Duthie Hill Park hosts Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day on Saturday, as Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and Cascade Bicycle Club offer a free mountain biking event.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and includes trail riding, a children’s obstacle course, a jump show from local and pro riders, a free barbecue and prizes at the park near Issaquah. The event is open to all ages, and parents can ride with children.

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day is a yearly celebration meant to encourage communities around the globe to join together and ride mountain bikes with youths. In 2011, the Duthie Hill Park event hosted more than 100 children.

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Duthie Hill mountain biking competition sweetened with all women riders

July 10, 2012

Women from across the United States and Canada flocked to Duthie Hill Park to prove that women belong in mountain biking.

Hailey Starr, an amateur rider from British Columbia, dons her protective gear before heading out on the course. By Brittany Cardoza

The Sugar Showdown on July 8 was the first women’s freeride competition in the state of Washington. The sold-out event featured 20 professional female bikers and 45 amateurs.

The two-day event was about “building sisterhood in freeride,” said Kat Sweet, founder of Sweetlines, a women’s-specific training program.

The event was a way for women to improve their skills, compete and bond with other female freeriders.

Freeriding is a style of mountain biking that focuses on riders doing tricks and using trail features to show off creativity, style and speed.

The first day of the Sugar Showdown consisted of a clinic taught by the pros. It focused on providing inspiration to women mountain bikers through building confidence to try new things and improve their skills.

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Future parks funding is mission for King County task force

July 3, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine appointed 20 business and community leaders June 26 to devise future funding plans for King County Parks before the levies supporting the parks system expire next year.

In 2007, voters overwhelmingly approved a pair of six-year levies to support county-run parks and trails. The measures expire Dec. 31, 2013.

Constantine asked the King County Parks Levy Task Force to recommend a funding plan for 2014 and beyond. The group is expected to submit a plan by late September.

Members include representatives from the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, Washington Trails Association and other outdoor groups.

“Parks, trails and open space are part of what make King County a great place to live,” Constantine said in a statement. “I have asked the task force to map a course that keeps our parks open and continues to build the system for future generations.”

The county park system includes the 3,115-acre Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, Grand Ridge Park and Duthie Hill Park in the Issaquah area.

Countywide, the system includes 200 parks, 175 miles of trails and 26,000 acres of open space.

King County task force to examine future funding for parks

June 27, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. June 27, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine appointed 20 business and community leaders Tuesday to devise future funding plans for King County Parks before the levies supporting the parks system expire next year.

In 2007, voters overwhelmingly approved a pair of six-year levies to support county-run parks and trails. The measures expire Dec. 31, 2013.

Constantine asked the King County Parks Levy Task Force to recommend a funding plan for 2014 and beyond. The group is expected to submit a plan by late September.

“Parks, trails and open space are part of what make King County a great place to live,” Constantine said in a statement. “I have asked the task force to map a course that keeps our parks open and continues to build the system for future generations.”

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Evergreen Mountain Bike Festival offers muddy thrills

June 12, 2012

By Lillian Tucker The Jump-Off Huck Contest at the Evergreen Mountain Bike Festival gave riders the chance to catch air on some of the largest jumps at Duthie Hill Park.

Walking along the trail through Duthie Hill Park on June 9, the only sign that a mountain bike festival was taking place was the occasional rider that whizzed past.

Nearing the center of the 130-acre park, the tops of tents began to peek out through the trees. Soon, music seeped into the air and a clearing gave way to booths, bikes and people with mud-caked legs.

“We are celebrating mountain biking. This is just a great chance for everyone to get together,” said Stacy Karacostas, communications and membership director for the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.

For the third year in a row, the non-profit group hosted the Evergreen Mountain Bike Festival. The event attracted more than 1,200 people.

“This is our biggest event of the year…we are definitely hopping,” Karacostas added.

Karacostas was busy that day renewing memberships, selling raffle tickets and handing out information packs. Around her, local vendors sold bratwursts, bike companies held demonstrations and a few festivalgoers paused for a break in the beer garden.

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Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park hosts Evergreen Mountain Bike Festival on June 9

June 5, 2012

See bike demos and races, and shop vendors June 9 at the Evergreen Mountain Bike Festival at Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park in Issaquah.

The free event is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be races and competitions; free bike demos all day; fun events for kids, both on and off bikes, including prizes and a special kids raffle; all the big bike brands with the latest bikes and gear for guests to check out; a beer garden with beer available for sale from the Snoqualmie Brewery; and food available for sale from local vendors.

The competition schedule is:

  • 8-10 a.m. — “Duthie Dash” Cross Country Time Trial Race, courtesy of Project 529
  • 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — “Dueling on Deuces” Dual Slalom Race (Pro/Open & Amateur classes)
  • 1:30-3:30 p.m. — Jump-Off Huck Contest courtesy of Go Huck Yourself (Pro/Open & Amateur classes)

Learn more about the Evergreen Mountain Bike Festival at www.evergreenmtbfestival.com.

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