On Track with BCBSMT Volunteers

Can you really ride a bike without pedaling?

Several employees of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) learned the answer to that question when they volunteered at the Vigilante Bike Park Build and Skills Day event in September 2014.

More than 30 volunteers wielding shovels, rakes, and tamping tools transformed loose piles of dirt into what’s called a “pump track,” which is a series of dirt mounds configured in a loop. The idea is for the rider to use his or her upper and lower body in a pumping motion to create momentum without actually having to pedal the bike.

Helena is known for its incredible mountain biking opportunities, and the bike park, which is in Centennial Park right in the center of town, provides a great introduction to the challenging terrain nearby.

“Helena has a strong cycling community and we’re blessed with nearly 100 miles of single track trails surrounding our city,” said John Doran, BCBSMT public relations director. “The Vigilante Bike Park complements that really well. It is a fun, engaging, and safe environment for families. It’s a true gem for the City of Helena.”

The Vigilante Bike Park sits on 3.9 acres of what once was a landfill. Today, the bike park is just one element of Centennial Park, which also features a dog park, a climbing boulder, a playground, and a skate park.

“The Vigilante Bike Park fits right into Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana’s focus on helping people lead more active and healthy lifestyles,” Doran said. “I’m proud that Blue Cross volunteers were able to help complete new bike park features. Everyone had a great time giving back to our community. Hopefully, our volunteers will be able to come back with their families, ride on the pump tracks, and say with pride, ‘I helped build that.’ ”

“I had such a great time at the volunteer event,” BCBSMT employee volunteer Peggy O’Neill said. “Building something that will encourage people to get outside and enjoy this community is a great feeling.”