Meet the Demand of the Era And Build the Best Bike Park in ChinaDate:21-08-2017 Source:chinamotor
Q: Correspondent Xia Mengmei A: Li Mingzhe
Editor’s note: With the increase and development of domestic cycling competitions, building a decent cycling area seems rather significant. The construction of the 9 Dragon Hills Bike Park started in July, 2015 and the circuits and field are still being constructed and optimized. Although it’s in trial operation phase, it already is the first choice of several domestic cycling competitions thanks to its favorable natural conditions. Therefore, our correspondent travelled to Pinghu, Jiaxing, the glorified treasure land, to interview the founder of the park—Li Mingzhe. The two of them had a thorough conversation.
Q: How was the 9 Dragon Hills Bike Park constructed? Could you please elaborate the process?
A: Presently, China’s cycle racing has reached a point where upgrade is extremely urgent. With the development of cycling itself as a sport, more competitions are being organized. That makes it necessary to build a sound, professional and popular race course. A good course can increase the passion of cycling enthusiasts and sustain their curiosity and concentration as well as boost the healthy development of China’s cycle race. That’s why we’ve been looking for an ideal place to build our own bike park.
Back to 2013, me and some other shareholders did put our attention on this treasure land — 9 Dragon Hills Tourist Resort. It has favorable natural conditions. The mountains are surrounded by the sea and the environment is stunning. Within 100 km radius, it covers big Eastern China cities like Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi, Jiaxing, Hangzhou and Ningbo and a population close to 100 million. It’s the mountain range closest to Shanghai and has the sea nearby, which fits the standards of holding international cycle competitions. It was also a coincidence that the Pinghu government and leaders of 9 Dragon Hills’ listed companies were both interested in doing something to facilitate China’s sports development. After hearing our scheme, they became rather curious and we soon hit it off and hence started the construction of the 9 Dragon Hills Bike Park.
Q: Can you give us a brief introduction of 9 Dragon Hills Bike Park?
A: The mountain range locates in Zhejiang’s Jiaxing Pinghu 9 Dragon Hills Tourist Resort area. It’s also at Hangzhou Bay’s first class port, Port of Zhapu, and the center of the golden corridor cross — Shanghai-Hangzhou and Suzhou-Ningbo. It’s only one hour drive to these core cities of the Yangtze River Delta and embraces unique natural ecological landscape of mountain, sea, island, forest and bay. The Department of Forestry named it National Forest Park in 1997 and the next year it was listed Zhejiang provincial tourist resort. Its first period develop area is 10.12 km2.
The park is surrounded by mountains and sea. The highest hill in the park reaches 220 m and people can have a bird’s view of the East China Sea and the Hangzhou Bay Sea-Crossing Bridge. The total distance of constructed mountain tracks reach over 10 km and 12 km for a single way of road track, including a training dirt track for teenagers and one for adults. It covers over 1000 m2 of cycling race square. It can simultaneously hold a first level trail running competition, outdoor swimming and a triathlon race. It is also capable of holding dealers’ convention or test ride events for big sports companies.
Q: What difficulties did you encounter when constructing the Bike Park? And how did you finally solve them?
A: During the construction process of the Bike Park, the construction of the circuits was without a doubt our priority, but at first we failed to meet international standard. And based on the development of domestic market, the park couldn’t reach the ideal level within one step in other respects. How to build a bike park that suits domestic market and reaches international standard became our biggest problem. It seemed impossible for us to start the project both in designing and constructing.
Later we fumbled an ideal construction plan that really suits Chinese bikers by continuously inspecting and referring to some foreign bike theme parks’ development process and consulting some Chinese racing companies and several active amateur and professional bike racers and the media. With our unremitting endeavor, the park’s blueprint was created and our construction target became rather clearer.
Q: What tracks does the park have? And can you talk about its most attractive features?
A: Currently the park has the following tracks: XC track, Enduro Trail, Cyclo-cross track, technique park dirt track, road bike track and triathlon track. The most attractive feature is that besides road bike races, the park covers all the track types for any known cycle sport.
MTB Park: Currently 15 km of mountain bike tracks have been constructed, including elementary, intermediate and high-level tracks covering internationally popular tracks like the Enduro trail, XC track and DownHill trail.
Cyclo-cross track (under construction): Cyclo-cross originates in Europe. As a recreational off-road competition for racers to maintain good stamina in winter, it’s very picky for tracks. It’s also rarely found in China at the moment.
Triathlon track: Originated in the US, the triathlon is a newly-developed multiple-stage competition. It involves open-water swimming, cycling and running and the athletes have to complete all three races successively. The 9 Dragon Hills Bike Park has 1 km of internal lake area, 12 km of road tracks and 20 km of running tracks, which gives triathletes a good experience and practice platform.
Trail running: Derived from our ancestors’ hunting and migration activities, the trail running is an outdoor sport basically consists of running or hiking. The 9 Dragon Hills Bike Park has 4 hills with altitude of over 150 m. In the mountains, there are bamboo forest, roads, dirt roads, rock roads and levees, which makes a perfect field for practicing and competing trail running.
Technique PUMP Park (under construction): It’s suitable for BMX bike sports and races and mountain bike technique training. It’s a training field for elementary riders to experience and improve mountain bike techniques.
Bicycle Training School: The training school in the park invites the best MTB experts from Canada, Hong Kong and China to give systematical instructions and provides correlated textbooks, simultaneously giving theoretical and practical training. The opening of a training school also helps with nearby clubs hold activities in the mountains.
Q: What races has taken place in the park already?
A: So far, the park has held a road bike race, triathlon race, Cyclo-cross race and all.
Q: Does the park have its own club? If it does, how do you run it?
A: Actually, the park itself is a club entity in the resort. We now have a marketing department, race department, sales department and track management department and all four divisions work tightly together to offer premium service.
Q: How’s the current operation performance of the bike park?
A: During the three months of trail operation in 2015, we held three major cycle races of East China area, one long distance challenge race in Jiaxing area, over 30 club activities from Jiangsu and Zhejiang and one big brands retailer event. Therefore we are pretty optimistic about the official opening of the park in April, 2016.
Q: How do you plan to develop the park in the future? What’s your direction and prospective?
A: We’ll complete the construction of the infrastructures in three periods. The first period will be completed in March, 2016. According to our plan, the second period will kick off from March, 2017 and the final period will finish at the end of 2019. When it’s all completed, we’ll have various mountain bike tracks with a total distance over 30 km, a dirt track technique park which suits any kind of cycle race and training and a complete triathlon area. Meanwhile, the 9 Dragon Hills International Bike Park will be an international race area with the capacity to hold races for 2000 athletes simultaneously. It’ll also be the best hardware and software equipped international bike park in East China area or even the whole country.