Pump Track Nation: stokes and bummers

Lots of movement this week on the pump track/bike park front:

Stoke 1
The Lyons Bike Park is a huge success. We’re planning Phase 2 for this spring. Anticipated sweetness includes:

– Permanent dirt takeoffs to replace the portable wooden ones. The community is ready for bigger jumps. Cool!

– Slalom course. I flagged it out last year, but we ran out of dirt and time.

– Improved pump track. The outside will be cleaned up, and the inside will be made more turny.

– Sitting areas and a shade structure.

I’m rocking the Lyons Bike Park as a volunteer. Stay tuned for work days.

And: I’m working with the town to offer skills clinics though the department of parks and recreation. They’ll be very accessible, very affordable, very pro.

Stoke 2
Alex in Longmont, owner of three acres, said yes to Phase 1: a start hill, pump track and intermediate dirt jump line. This is going to be very cool.

I’ve been working to help convince a municipality near Boulder to build a bike park. I’ve done meetings, tours, presentations, the whole shebang. The city approved the idea then engaged their engineer, who hired a big landscape architecture firm, who hired a prominent local MTB trail designer (not me).

At some point the landscape architect wasn’t happy with the MTB designer, so he fired him and decided to do it on his own. From the very beginning, the city parks committee told the landscape architect to call me. It’s now a week before a major county funding meeting, and the plans are not dialed. So the architect called and asked for my help (for free).

He, of course, is being paid.

This is a tough balance: I want to help, but I can’t give away all my kung fu (and, besides, I’m busy!). I want to see this project succeed, so I invested almost two days analyzing the working design, revisiting the project requirements, giving input and — of course — encouraging the landscape architect to hire me to dial in the design. In my judgment, the design didn’t flow, it wasn’t safe and it didn’t appeal to the target audience. Those are big issues, and I know how to help.

In the end, the landscape architect took my ideas and decided not to hire me. I suppose that’s business, but it’s a bummer.

Waiting to hear …
Back on the positive tip, I sent a proposal to improve the Bike Skills Park at Ketam Mountain Bike Park in Pulau Ubin, Singapore.

The space is big enough for a pump track, dirt jumps and more. The park looks fun and the ridership looks enthusiastic. I really hope this works out.


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16 replies
  1. tony says:

    they could have at least bought a copy of the e-book for $10. scumbags!

    haha. dude, you give away so much of your “fu” for free right here on this site. if those silly ‘tards had half a brain they could prolly get their park built using your free feedback right here on the archived comments.

    oh well. would you really want to work for people who didn’t want to hire you if the first place?

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    Yeah, it’s funny.

    All they had to do was Google me or look at the materials I gave to the city. This site, plus a measly 10 bucks, would have given them a great start. That has worked for thousands of projects around the world.

    >> would you really want to work for people who didn’t want to hire you if the first place?

    1) I need to work. 2) I want this bike park to rock!

  3. Simcik says:

    That sucks! We all now know that when the park is sweet, its because Lee was self-less enough to donate more of his time to better the industry and local scene. I want to be the first to say thank you Lee. Lyons is sweet because of your direction and planning. Lets get started on your backyard pump track soon!

  4. leelikesbikes says:

    Thanks man.

    >> Lets get started on your backyard pump track soon!

    I know, huh? I’m looking out the window at stakes in the ground. Gonna be the world’s sickest pump track built into a hillside. It’s taunting me!

  5. Daniel says:

    Have you seen the track in Temecula that was built into the side of a hill? Awesome track that they say was built by Kovarik. I’m inclined to believe it as I’ve seen him riding there. Its really hard to maintain pump going uphill though! I watched Julian Camellini crash due to exhaustion after 10 laps because it was so difficult. I can only do 6 solid laps myself.

    Email me and I can send you a video of me riding it plus a really short clip of Brendan Fairclough on it. I have pictures of Julian Camellini and Matti on it too.

  6. Luka says:

    Hey Daniel, why don’t you post the video on the tube? I’d love to see it and probably I’m not the only one 😉

  7. Simcik says:

    Yeah that pump track is SICK! I have seen Kovarick hitting it in one of the race movies, (TIA) This is Australia if my memory serves me correctly

  8. leelikesbikes says:

    I just heard from the other MTB designer, and he got played by the landscape architect just like I did. The other designer has been doing this longer than I have, and he says this is not a unique pattern. The landscape architects don’t understand or respect the projects, the clients, the professionals or — even more of a bummer — the end users.

    No, it’s not Valmont Bike Park.

  9. jezza says:

    i feel your pain lee – but then again i’m a landscape architect although that’s secondary to being a mtber. however i recently got a chance to work on redesigning local set of DJ using principals from your site and from the past 2 years of doing a bit of volunteer trail building. sure it might not be a UCI BMX world cup grade track, but i think i manage to reinstall the flow back into the design (and take out potential clashes between experianced and new riders). Can’t wait to see it built!

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