The LaunchPad Bike Park in the Quarry commercial district is currently closed and will stay that way until conditions are right.

And every time someone steps foot in the park, it will delay the opening that much longer.

As we enter spring, conditions are wet, more snow is inevitable, and the frost hasn't completely come out of the ground.

"We really do have to wait until it dries," explains Paul Perrault, Bike Cochrane's director of operations and chair of its active transportation committee. "It's not simply that it looks dry, we have to wait until the frost is all the way out of the ground."

There is a fence surrounding the park and the entrance blocked, but some have gone within the park's boundaries.

"Anytime you do that, you're damaging that surface. We then have to do more surface work before we let people in there, and that's volunteer time we could be spending expanding trails in town and doing other work, so please stay out of the LaunchPad Park Bike Park until it's open."

The park is at the complete mercy of the weather and will be subject to closure on occasion.

"We are going to see more snow between now and basically the May Long Weekend. That means we can't really be in a perpetual open state. We look forward to opening as soon as we can, of course, but it's going to be open and then closed, open and then closed, and that's just simply the nature of what we're dealing with."

New signage is coming to clearly identify whether the park is open or closed. When it does open, they'll be broadly spreading the word.

Spring presents the same challenge to backcountry trails in West Bragg Creek, Canmore, and Banff. Using them at this time of year causes extensive damage.

"If your bike is doing damage to the trail, if you're riding in mud, those ruts are going to be a challenge to manage for the balance of the year," says Perrault.

"We totally understand. Everybody wants to get outside. It looks like we're going to have a very early spring, and so you're going to have many, many days to bike this year. Every day that you don't bike when the trails are wet means you will have many more days to bike when they're dry."

Perrault says they were thrilled to see a large volume of families using the LaunchPad when it opened in August. They're looking forward to their first full summer season and have plans in the work for activities, including a Bike Rodeo.

"We saw hundreds of people a day at the LaunchPad. We're just so in awe of the way that the town has really received the bike park and really gotten after it."

They're also impressed to see how many people have discovered or rediscovered the joy of cycling.

"I think there's been a real opportunity, both last year and this year, to see what we can grow and what we can do right here in Cochrane."