East Dayton could get an indoor bike park featuring wooden trails and other attractions, if a local resident can bring his vision to life.
Michael Bisig, who teaches in Beavercreek, says he is under contract to purchase a manufacturing facility at 221 Crane St. that has sat empty for at least three years.
Bisig wants to fill the multi-floor facility with indoor tracks, trails, rails and other amenities, including a foam pit that bicyclists can safely land in if they fall off elevated beams or obstacles.
Mike’s Bike Park, as the venture is tentatively named, would feature one major cross country track that is a large loop of hills and dips. Other attractions include trails that test a rider’s balance called “skinnies” and a “pump track,” which is a looping trail that doesn’t require pedaling.
“You’ll be able to put miles on your bike,” Bisig said. “You’ll have a 100 different things to ride on.”
Indoor bike parks have taken off in recent years nationwide, thanks in part to the popularity of early pioneers, including Ray’s mountain bike parks in Cleveland and Milwaukee, Wis.
Ray’s first opened an indoor park in Cleveland in 2004, and then opened another in Milwaukee about seven years later.
YouTube videos of riders at the parks show elaborate sets of trails and thrills, including jumps, bridges, narrow planks, hard turns and foam pits that riders fall into after taking big jumps.
Bisig said he has visited Ray’s in Cleveland nearly 30 times, and he wants to bring something similar to Dayton, featuring trails and areas for riders of all skill levels.
The park would likely offer between 15 and 30 bikes for people to rent. All sorts of bikes would be welcome, including BMX and mountain bikes.
Bisig hopes to have the park up and running early next year. But the business faces some financial and zoning obstacles.
Bisig says he’s working to collect sponsors for the park, as well as raise the funds needed to clean up the former factory and build wooden trails and attractions inside.
Bisig estimated that he’ll need to invest about $250,000 into the facility, not including real estate acquisition costs.
Bisig also must obtain a zoning variance for the site from the city of Dayton. He appears before the Board of Zoning Appeals next week.
In permitted districts, indoor recreation facilities require three off-street parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of space, said Jon White, a city of Dayton planner.
The facility is about 70,000 square feet, but Bisig plans to use about 50,000 square feet for the bike park. The property has only 10 off-street spaces, but would need 150 to 210 spaces based on the code, White said.
However, the park will likely have around 35 people using it at once and it could not hold more than 100 people, so the parking space requirement is not appropriate for the kind of services it provides, Bisig said.
The Northeast Land Use committee met on Tuesday and recommended approval of the use variance, White said.