When I was 5, my dad and I accidentally found the Mountain Bike Trails at Bluff Creek Park (North of Lake Hefner by Hefner Road and Meridian). We had never ridden on anything like it and immediately fell in love with the sport during that adventure and have been riding ever since. So when it came time for me to choose an Eagle Project, I decided I wanted to do something at Bluff Creek and help the Oklahoma Earthbike Fellowship (which is a 501c3) with their trails.
After meeting with the Oklahoma Earthbike Fellowship Trail Boss, Jorge 'GT' Valdez, I learned they want to include more features and continue to grow and improve the trail system. The Bluff Creek trails are pretty hidden back behind the trees and are mostly ‘cross country’. By building a small series of entry level ‘Technical Terrain Features’ at the trailhead, I worked to create an inviting area that not only has the opportunity to introduce beginner riders to the sport, but also will allow more seasoned riders a chance to work on new skills and improve on existing ones. My project provides a visually appealing landmark and gathering place, and allows the OEF to introduce the community to what lies behind the tree line.
My short-term goal in building these features will help the OEF to provide all levels of riders at Bluff Creek the opportunity to work on their skills, learn new skills, and improve on existing ones. My long-term goal is to help introduce more people to the sport of Mountain Bike Riding which is a life-long activity that can be enjoyed by many ages and abilities.
My project consists of three individual features, a ‘Nessy’, ‘Skinny/Snake’*, and ‘Cannon/Roll off’. In case you’re asking “what in the world are those?”, I’ve included pictures below.
Thank you to the many donors who helped by providing funds, materials, and time to help with my project.
- Billy Vega
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My first ride at Bluff Creek! (We won't talk about that jersey.)
Oklahoma Earthbike Fellowship
To learn more about the Oklahoma Earthbike Fellowship, please visit their website:
9/8/22: We have wood! Thank you to Tommy Davis, A.R.T.T. Manufacturing, for picking up the rough-cut cedar from M&M Sawmill in Arkansas and helping me process and prepare the planks.
9/29/22: We have the 'all clear' from CallOkie, to mark and prepare the area for drilling footing holes! Thank you to Glenn Hightower who has agreed to be my project foreman mentor.
9/30/22: Drill and Fill day. Thanks to Mitch Manning, 4M Trenching LLC, for the help and lessons on running a skid steer and auger to 'Drill' the holes.
Thank you to Krapff Reynolds Construction Company for providing the CemenTech truck to help fill the footings for the features.
And thank you to Jerry Hietpas, with Action Safety Supply Company, for the safety cones and sign.
10/6/22: Supply Shopping.
Wood for framing out the features.
And thank you to David Hill for supplying me with plenty of deck screws!
10/7/22: My Francis Tuttle carpentry instructor helped me cut templates for the Nessy rollers on the CNC machine. Then Glenn and I were able to make those cuts at his house before heading to the job site.
10/8/22: Nessy Framing Day
We installed Simpson Strong Ties into the concrete footings to attach the 4x4 posts. This will make it easier to repair/replace any pieces years down the road for maintenance. Then we installed the 'rollers' and framed out the rest of the feature.
10/15/22: Decking Day
Thanks to the help of my fellow Scouts from Troop 201 and 6201, as well as some volunteers from the Oklahoma Earthbike Fellowship, we made great progress on installing the decking.
10/15/22: Time to test them out!
11/2/22: Thanks to Minick Materials for donating a large ‘sitting’ rock at the head of the feature area as an anchor to create a place for the Bluff Creek community to gather and connect, while participating in a healthy family-friendly activity.
11/4/22: And thanks again to Jerry Hietpas, with Action Safety Supply Company, for donating the permanent sign to identify the project.
If you have the chance to visit my project, please send me pictures or tag me on social media. Have fun and enjoy!