It’s been a while since we’ve done a post on pump tracks, but recently I’ve had pump tracks on the brain. And while there is quite a bit written about pump tracks online — including this site — it’s hard to find a comprehensive online resource on all things pump track. That’s why I began to compile all the stories and research I’ve done over the last few years to create the Bermstyle Guide to Pump Tracks.
It’s a work in progress, but my hope is to provide an online resource for any local community that wants to propose and build a local pump track. I plan to continue to build upon it, until it’s the definitive guide, with inspirational photos, ideas and resources to get anyone interested up to speed on all things pump track.
We’ve always donated time to our local trails and projects when possible, and hope to improve and enhance riding opportunities. There is a ton of stuff brewing, and while the lack of riding locally in Portland, Oregon is extremely frustrating at times, 2016 is looking far brighter than ever. It’s easy to give up, but I’m convinced that low hanging fruit is often left dangling on the tree, so I’m committed to helping the future Gateway Green Bike Park site. Until then I’ve been looking at other opportunities that have not been fully developed. I’m sick of waiting, and its time to make things happen now.
The Ventura Park Pump Track in Portland, Oregon
We recently relocated to the Portland area, and while the Ventura pump track is a few short miles away, our visits and sessions there weren’t what we hope for in terms of the riding experience. While it is a success story, it lacks flow, is overly difficult to ride and has drainage issues. In addition, many of the features are worn down and in need of maintenance.
Informal polls with local riders indicate the local riding community feels similarly, as much of it has become overgrown, with RC car enthusiasts being the most common users.
Dirt jumpers, BMX trails riders and builders all know that dirt needs to be maintained regularly. Every time maintenance is done, the riding experience improves. So often public parks are left to deteriorate after the initial construction is completed, and without regular maintenance, left to crumble.
This site has a massive potential — it just needs additional soil and a dedicated group of experienced builders and riders to make it happen. A few weeks ago, I visited the site with a rogue hoe and a shovel to remove some of the weeds over taking the track and got fed up. Maintenance on this track should have happened months ago, but the steward of the park doesn’t even live in the city, and is busy.
Thing is, this is a community pump track, and local riders should be taking ownership instead of complaining about it. And that includes me, as a new resident of the community. Communication is traditionally the biggest challenge for bike clubs (see: IMBA) as the core riders with the skills and knowledge often left out of conversations. So I began to make some calls. I have the blessings of the board of the Northwest Trail Alliance, and have gathered a talented crew.
Update: I have already secured additional soil from Portland Parks and Recreation and it’s been delivered on site. We’re just waiting on a break in the weather and we’re going to see what we can do to make a riding spot that can build a community around it.