Since we’ve revamped the pump track at Ventura Park, it has been gratifying to see all the local kids and riders riding and enjoying it. Any time we have our tools out and are grooming the track, we’re approached by local residents that thank us for our efforts, or inquire about how they can help.
It’s been nice to get feedback from the locals, and though the riding experience isn’t yet up to the level of what we hope to achieve with the track, we’re happy about how fun the basic loop is and how well it flows now. Considering we only had use of the club’s earth mover for one day, and had to compact and shape the track by hand, we got a lot done. Until this week, we’ve yet to get a real session in on the track though.
The pump track wouldn’t have been possible without the relationships created by the Northwest Trail Alliance, a 501c3 nonprofit group dedicated to creating and enhancing mountain biking opportunities in the Portland Area and beyond. The group is 100% comprised of volunteer mountain bikers like us, that step up to make things happen, as opposed to simply complaining on the internet. (we still that do too though!)
Once a month, the group gathers to go over all the various efforts and initiatives. Though progress within city limits has been frustratingly slow, the group has a lot going on, and if you’ve gone mountain biking anywhere within a few hours of the city, you’ve benefitted from their work.
Not only is the club active in trail advocacy and trail building projects, but there a large social component too. If you’re new in town or the sport, or simply looking to connect with more people to ride with, the club is a great place to start. At the bbq the energy level and stoke was high.
Arriving early, we groomed the track, watering it down and prepping it.
A lot of mountain bikers that came out hadn’t ridden a pump track before, so we put on a Intro to Pumping Bikeskills clinic. Starting with body position, we taught the basic body moments needed in order to get pumping, then hit the dirt to practice.
After being watered a few times and hundreds of laps logged, the track was flowing better than ever, and everyone had a great time enjoying the camaraderie, hotdogs and chips. Many of the riders have never been to a NWTA event but hopefully will be back for more. If we want more riding opportunities in the city, mountain biking needs more political influence and consideration, which will only happen if the group grows exponentially.
Learn more about the Northwest Trail Alliance at NW-Trail.org. If you’re interested in learning how to shred the pump track, we encourage taking a lesson! The Lumberyard offers coaching, and for those that prefer to learn on dirt, we also offer a class held at Sandy Ridge through Bikeskills.com — our next date is August 14th, and there are still slots available.