October 25, 2020

Dave Long: The Rowan Roast at San Lee Gravity Bike Park

Founded simply as a day to invite and ride with friends, the ‘Rowan Roast’ was created as a no-pressure, open-invite, monthly breakfast session at our new local park, Rowan Skatepark in Fayetteville, NC. During the month of August, the decision was made to host the following Rowan Roast at the San Lee Gravity Bike Park in Sanford, NC. Although abandoned and in disrepair, this free and public pumptrack/jump line would be a perfect location to expand upon the Rowan Roast with the same ethos it was founded on, friendship and inclusion…

Over the next seven weeks, volunteers from around the Tarheel State donated their time and energy (often taking from their own spots) to revitalize this forgotten area; every weekend’s labor visually bring us closer to the goal of reopening and sharing this public feature with friends. During the preparations, many park goers, mountain bikers, and families wandered towards the sounds of punk music and shovel packing to check on our progress. A palpable sense of excitement was growing for the upcoming Rowan Roast…

Finally our day had arrived, and a grateful bicycle community showed up in force. What felt like hundreds of Freestyle BMX bikes, 20”/24” BMX racers, striders, and hardtail/dual-suspension mountain bikes took to the woods for the day, as members of a much larger bicycle community. Whether flying through the air or pumping through at their own pace, all riders were able to take full laps and excitedly follow friends through the line. From toddlers to veteran riders, all were able to participate and conclude their turns with a smile. To the trail diggers, local volunteers, and fellow riders, I hope the day was as rewarding for you as it was for me…

In closing, I’d like to thank the San Lee Park Team- Ranger Steve, Donn Otte, and Steven Jandora, the new and old friends that helped dial in the trails over those seven weeks, everyone that helped spread the word and came out to ride with us, Todd Nichols for the photography (and anyone that took videos/pictures), Profile Racing, Mongoose Bikes, Drop In Coffee, and RadShare for the support of the monthly Rowan Roasts, and finally- Profile Racing/Matt Coplon for the opportunity to share my reflections on the day. I appreciate all of you, hope you enjoyed the hard work of the volunteers, and hope you will join us for the next one.

-Dave Long

Accompanying Photos by Todd Nichols –

October 25, 2020


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