Save the pump track at Clayton Middle School in Salt Lake City

This just in from the Pump Track Nation. If you live in SLC (or even, I suppose, if you don’t), please consider passing this note along to the mayor.


Clayton Middle School has a pump track that is going be removed because someone thinks it’s a bad idea. We need to save this valuable community resource. You can help us by cut and pasting the letter below and putting your signature on it and sending it the Salt Lake City Mayor. The email address is

Thanks so much for helping the community,

Shawn Carter (April 27, 2011)

Honorable Mayor Becker,

It is with urgent concern that I write you today. A valuable community resource is going to be lost if we don’t take immediate action.

Some of the students at Clayton Middle School have built a pump track as a community project. This was done with the schools permission. The head of groundkeeping is adamantly against this wonderful kids resource and they are threatening the school administration and going to tear out the pump track.

Under your leadership this community has increased its bicycle friendly efforts and spent a great deal of energy improving things for bikers. There has been a lack of development of non paved bicycle resources and when the community destroys valuable resources such as the Clayton Middle School pump track it demonstrates a lack of awareness of the communities biking issues.

Park City has a pump tracks at most of their schools for the kids to use during recess. If we want to be perceived as a progressive bike community we should not be destoying resources that other communities are paying money for.

The students that built that track put in countless hours of time and energy as well as lending valuable skills in its development. What kind of message are we sending our kids when we destroy their hard work so someone can have their grass to water.

I urge you to contact the Principal of Clayton Middle School, Linda Richins, and discuss options with her as the grounds folks are intending to destroy this community resource within days if not today.

If you are not sure what a pump track is here is a short video of the Clayton track as it was being constructed.



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16 replies
  1. Zak says:

    Sent – mayor Becker is a big big guy, so hopefully he’ll help.

    Lee – there’s a misspelling in your letter – it’s “principal” when referring to the school boss.

  2. Ben Blitch says:


    I am living in Park City UT now and would love to hear a little more about things I can do beyond sending a letter. Can you contact me and give me a little more information on what is going on? or who to contact?

    I will be at the Bike Utah conference tomorrow and the mayor will be there, it would be great if I can get a moment with him, and present this face to face.

    But, want to know what I am talking about. Thanks for the advocacy work brother. Hope to get a ride with you now that we are closer.

    Ben Blitch

  3. Patrick Ogden says:

    I know it is not yours, but the letter is incorrect. Park City School District does not have any pump tracks. Thanks, Patrick Ogden,
    Park City School District

  4. Shawn Carter says:


    You are correct the Park City School District does not have any pump tracks. I never said the “school district” had pump tracks. I was pissed when I was writing the initial letter (thus spelling mistakes) and what I should have said was the Jeremy Ranch Elementary has a pump track adjacent to their school and the kids use it during recess as well as after school.

  5. Shawn Carter says:

    Its all a moot point now. Salt Lake City, the “progressive bike community” destroyed their one and only public pump track today. RIP Clayton Pump Track. It was a good one.

  6. leelikesbikes says:

    That is a bummer. Judging from the build/ride video, the track looks well planned out and executed.

    You know what this means? Go to the parks department and formally request a track. A high school kid in Superior did just that, and that’s how Superior Bike park was born. Of course, now that the park is finally done, the kid is off to college. This stuff can take some time.

  7. Shawn Carter says:

    Thanks for the support Lee, and the rest of the pump community as well. That track was built and fine tuned by an 8th grader so we have some time to get something done before that kid goes to college :>))))). The good news is all the local politicians now are on board with pump tracks and there is some serious momentum moving in our favor.

    regards to the entire pump community

    Shawn and Galen Carter

  8. Jeff says:

    It is in my best interest that we do not have a pump track at our school. I can see it now…

    Mr. Zook – “Ok class, if we finish this lesson we can go out to the pump track for the remainder of the day.”

    Class – “But it is only 8:30.”

    Mr. Zook – “Good you can tell time too, pump track all week!”

  9. leelikesbikes says:


    Math: OK class, we need to build a new pump line around the school grounds. Let’s calculate how much dirt we’ll need.

    Geology: Let’s figure out the best dirt composition, then based on the natural history of this region, figure out where to find it.

    Physics: OK class, given a speed of X and an average G tolerance of Y, what’s the optimal turn radius?

    English: Express how rad pump tracks are. You have 20 minutes and 100 words. No prepositional phrases allowed. Go!

    Shop: Dude, let’s build SICK pump track bikes!

    And on and on …

  10. Tim Garner says:


    Sorry to hear the pump track was landscaped out of existance. I hope some good comes out of it. Keep us updated. Kind of reminds me of Caddy Shack and we know the Gopher wins in the end!

  11. Shawn Carter says:


    Good news, the city is now committed to building a community pump track. Siiiiick. I need some info to present to the city council.

    First if we import dirt how much do we need per square foot of pump track and what is the “best” dirt to use? What is a typical cost for the dirt per cubic yard?

    Second what would be a typical cost to keep the track up and running?

    If you could express these numbers per square foot of track it will help us decide how big of a track the city can afford. We are a big city so hopefully we get a world class pump venue.

    Oh and one more ???? Are you interested in bidding/building the the project?


  12. leelikesbikes says:

    Heck yeah!!! I’m interested in bidding and building.

    The ideal dirt is topsoil with high clay content, aka clay loam. That’s what we use at Sea Otter — wow, great dirt.

    Clean fill works too, but you’ll spend more time/money maintaining the track.

    If the track is build properly with good material (and drainage!), the maintenance cost is very, very low. The cost of maintaining Lyons Bike Park’s riding surfaces is close to zero (with volunteer workers). If you get great dirt and use a stabilizing compound like Soiltac, maintenance gets even easier.

    Dirt prices depend on local conditions.

    I’ve never thought about this on a per-square-foot basis. I’ll follow up with you via email.

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