How to get a pump track in your city
Peggy, a 10th grader in Eastern Washington, wants to build a pump track in her city.
Let’s try to help her out.
Thanks for the Welcome to Pump Track Nation book. It has great, useful information.
I am trying to get a pump track built in my town of Colville. Colville is in Eastern Washington State. This area is super for biking. We have good weather for so much of the year. We don’t get a lot of rain, so we won’t have problems with wash out.
I have been BMX riding for years and love it. I go all over a four state area to find sweet places to ride. Our town just dismantled the outdated, dilapidated ramps at the skate park. So now there is nowhere for kids to ride around here except up and down the streets.
I believe riding helps kids be healthy physically and mentally, and keep away from drugs, violence, suicide – those kind of things. When kids hang out and encourage each other, and get active. They can focus on something fun – instead of their problems. They feel connected instead of isolated.
Anyway, I have met a lot of adults that want to see a pump track built. I have met many adults that are freaked out about liability, and are sure a lawsuit would happen immediately. That is a tough obstacle to overcome. I believe having my design at least reviewed and approved by a professional would be a smart thing to do as far as liability goes.
I am in 10th grade, a straight A student. I am taking college classes already. I am willing to work hard, plan, coordinate, and do what it takes to see this pump track dream become a reality. There are so many kids around here that would benefit from having a fun safe place to R I D E !
Would you have any guidance to offer me so I can make this dream of building a pump track in my town actually happen?
Thank you for the most excellent book.
Thank you for writing! I can tell you must be a good student. Your note is very well written: smartly constructed yet it conveys your passion. Nice work.
This is so very true for kids of all ages:
“I believe riding helps kids be healthy physically and mentally, and keep away from drugs, violence, suicide – those kind of things. When kids hang out and encourage each other, and get active. They can focus on something fun – instead of their problems. They feel connected instead of isolated.”
Kids of all ages love riding at Superior Bike Park in Superior, CO.
BTW: Being able to write well is an extremely useful, valuable skill. As you continue to refine your BMX skills, keep improving your writing too!
Here are some thoughts:
Washington already has public pump tracks, so there is a legal precedent. Research how liability is handled at those tracks. In many places, it’s enough to fence the track area so there’s a clear entrance, then put a sign at the entrance. The sign states that the rider assumes liability.
Find some possible locations and find out who makes the decisions about those spots. Parks departments are usually best. Contact them. Find out what the process will be to approve a track. This varies with different cities and departments.
If you don’t know good locations, contact the parks department and find out if they have available areas. Many cities have land that’s waiting for great ideas and money.
Find out about budget. If the department has money for a project like this, you can hire a builder (this is ideal from a quality standpoint, but be warned: most “professional” pump track builders are not A students). If the department doesn’t have money, which is most likely, you’ll need to build a team of volunteers.
The Superior Bike Park in Superior, CO was a hybrid project. I did the design. My guys and I laid out the tracks and placed the dirt. Volunteers helped with final shaping and cleanup. It was a lot of fun, and the park came out great.
These are not crazy jumps! You have to present the pump track idea so the decision makers don’t envision risk-takers flying through the air. Show images of families, kids and bureaucrats.
Use a proven design. Governments love this! When they buy a swing set, it’s a proven swing set, not something some kids hacked together. You already have the Pump Track Nation ebook. If you want one of my pre-made designs (Pumptopia has been built in hundreds of cities like yours), I’ll donate it.
Here’s the main pump track at Superior Bike Park. Pumptopia is an evolution of this design.
Be methodical, thorough and PATIENT. I’ve seen this process take 2-3 years (then the build takes 1 week). Sometimes, by the time a park is built, the kid who started the project is away at college (but the new generation of 10th graders is stoked!).
Know more. Have more fun!
Join the leelikesbikes mailing list:
Did it work? currently trying to do the same thing is MA.
I don’t know how this project panned out, but pump tracks have become huge! Many cities have them, and soon most cities will.