Professional cyclists coming to Lander Saturday for dirt bike park’s grand opening

UPDATED to more accurately reflect the bike park’s history.

(Lander, Wyo.) – The Lander Dirt Bike Park constructed several years ago by local Alan Mandel as an Eagle Scout Project has received a professional reconstruction, and the grand opening is Saturday.

Mission Possible’s Jim Donahue said the festivities will run from 2-6 p.m., but the park will be open as long as there’s light. Mission Possible helped in the construction of the skatepark, and seeing the crowds it gets, the nonprofit decided to hire a professional designer to upgrade the dirt bike park.

“The kids are so excited about it,” Donahue said. Mission Possible, which works to help Lander’s youth stay on track in and out of school, has a cycling club that has been involved in the process to an extent. “It just felt like a natural progression,” he said of Mission Possible’s decision to invest in the park. It was Mandel’s work in the past that got the facility park status with the city, and since its 2009 inception he has played a role in keeping the park maintained.

Professional cyclist Kyle Ebbett and Ryan McEvoy have been hired to design and build the new park. Donahue said physical work got started in mid-May. Ebbett has built a number of parks around the country. With Ebbett’s name behind the track, Donahue said several other professional mountain bikers are coming to town to ride park. “This is a big deal,” he said.

Among Saturday’s festivities are professional demos, clinics led by the professionals to help train riders on the jumps, competitions, a live DJ and more.

A raffle for a dirt jump bike, held as a fundraiser, will conclude the event. Donahue said a number of businesses and individuals have donated time, services and prizes for the event.