State of Community Dinner: Recreation Award

ARD’s bike park champions win award

By: Gloria Young, Reporter
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State of the Community Dinner

When: Cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7

Where: The Ridge Golf Course and Events Center, 2020 Golf Course Road, Auburn

Admission: $50 per person

For more information and tickets:

Two Auburn women’s tireless efforts over six years to bring a bike park to Auburn have earned them this year’s Recreation Award.

Diana Boyer and Lisa Kodl were selected for the honor by the Auburn Recreation District.

“They’ve been involved from the very start when we were looking to get the bike part built, spending their own time and money,” Auburn Recreation District Administrator Kahl Muscott said. “They have set up multiple fundraising events. … They are both wonderful ladies who really have the community’s best interest at heart. They have high energy and we are lucky to have them helping us out.”

Cycling has been a lifelong passion for Boyer.

“I’ve always ridden bicycles for fun,” she said. “I went to the next level when I was at UC Davis for my undergraduate degree. Davis is a strong cycling community. That’s where my passion turned into cycling for recreation as well as doing it as a sport.”

Boyer said she become interested in creating a bike park for Auburn after illegal bike jumps discovered on Union Pacific property near Recreation Park were plowed over  in 2011 because of liability concerns.

“It was actually a couple of guys who worked with me when they were very young men who built the jumps on the Union Pacific land off Auburn Folsom,” said Kodl, who owned Auburn Bike Works for 18 years before she closed it in 2014. “(The jumps) became very popular. The kids maintained them. It was advent of YouTube that was (the site’s) downfall. Someone posted a video of people at the jumps and described them as ARD jumps.”

That made it a liability issue, she added.

“That called attention to the need for a place legally sanctioned for people to ride their bikes and have fun,” Boyer said. “In 2012, we approached the ARD board to build a park and they agreed to try to make it happen. Since then, Lisa and I have led a group of volunteers to locate suitable sites —not only to find a site, but create a facility that would be used by all ages, from toddlers to everyone who wants to ride a bike.”

After a review of nearly 20 sites, the ARD board selected a piece of land measuring close to an acre on Maidu Drive near the Canyon View Community Center.

The site is not far from near several schools, has nearby parking and is convenient for visitor use — three crucial elements that Boyer and Kodl sought.

Boyer and Kodl also have been devoted fundraisers for the future bike park, including organizing spaghetti feeds and an event at Knee Deep Brewery. ARD’s annual Food Truck Fiesta replaced the spaghetti dinner fundraiser

“We have volunteers who come out and help every year,” Kodl said. “It morphed into this tremendous successful event.”

For Boyer, having the park is not only important to her as a cyclist, it means a lot to her as a mom.

“Auburn is a bicycling community. A large number of adults ride their bikes and we have several bike shops,” she said. “We see a need for having a safe place for our kids to ride, too. That is one of the main reasons Lisa and I are doing this. We want a safe place for our kids to ride away from traffic. It also builds a sense of community and it gets kids physically active and away from their computer screens.”

The park, which was designed by Auburn resident Randy Spangler, will have an area for very young children to ride as well as the jumps and trails for youth and adults, Kodl said.

“This is a labor of love for me for the community,” she said. “We need more things for our children to do outside and need to be willing to do that a for all of the kids. I’ve always been a huge supporter of ARD. I grew up going to the pool over there and spending time at all of the parks.”

The park will also fit well into the Auburn Endurance Capital of the World theme, they both said.

As plans moves forward into reality, it is a dream come  true for Boyer and Kodl.

“It’s going to be great,” Kodl said. “There’s a lot of work ahead of us. We have a lot of volunteers, a lot of donations.”

The Recreation Award will be presented at the Auburn Chamber of Commerce’s State of the Community Dinner on Sept. 7.

“I felt very humbled by the award. I feel very thankful we have great partners in ARD that are willing to hear what the needs are and work with us to make it happen,” Boyer said. “They’ve done an excellent job in involving the public in that. I feel really thankful to have a part in this opportunity in partnership with ARD.”