TELLURIDE – Pump tracks, or small-scale riding parks replete with appropriately scaled jumps and berms, have begun cropping up in bike-savvy communities around Colorado, and Telluride is now among their ranks, thanks to the local cycling organization, the San Miguel Bicycle Alliance.
SMBA will host a grand opening of the newly minted Pump Track on Tuesday, July 17, with a party, barbecue and pump park unveiling, at 6 p.m. at the pump track (located adjacent to the skate park in Telluride Town Park.)
This week, SMBA Vice President Trevor Martin stood on the periphery of the just-constructed pump track as volunteers helped to put the finishing touches on the Town Park’s new 45-foot wide, 75-foot- long bike park.
“This is really just planting the seed, by capturing the attention of kids and older bike enthusiasts as well,” Martin said of the pump track, which he designed and helped build with the assistance of nearly 40 local volunteers. “It’s going to do the same thing the skate park does, in bringing the whole gamut together, and giving people an introduction to mountain biking.”
The pump track is a small, rectangular park where riders can hone their skills on small to medium-sized roller style jumps and bermed turns, shaped out of dirt. Pump tracks are steadily growing in popularity across the state thanks to a number of factors, including accessibility for riders of nearly all levels.
“It’s a good workout and skill-builder, as well as a mind-builder, because you’re always doing something. As you go faster, the more rapid-fire it gets. It really opens up a lot of possibilities” for improving mountain-bike skills, Martin said, noting that the pump track isn’t specific to downhill or cross-country riding, but is beneficial to all styles of mountain biking.
The pump track concept was initially suggested by the local nonprofit cycling advocacy group’s membership. The organization held regular meetings throughout last winter and heard from members that a pump track could be an excellent addition to the local cycling landscape. The Town of Telluride and Telluride’s Parks and Recreation Department approved the concept in October, and construction began on the Telluride pump track just before the Bluegrass Festival in mid-June. Thanks to a horde of dedicated volunteers including Martin, Nate Smith, Tom Fields, Rich Shoup, and other local bike enthusiasts, as well as the ten loads of dirt Telluride Gravel trucked in at no cost to the organization, the bike park will be ready for its first official riders next week.
Martin created the design relying on the expertise of pump track guru and mountain biker Lee McCormack, a Boulder-based biker who has designed pump tracks and written about their construction. The Telluride pump track was designed specifically to fit the Town Park site.
“This is a benefit to all-age riders, and provides an activity the entire community can come out and enjoy together,” Martin said.
SMPA President Adam Black expects the addition of a pump track to the Telluride town park will help promote the development of biking skills to people of all ages in the Telluride community. “We are seeing pump tracks show up in various towns across the country and were extremely pleased that the town of Telluride and Town Parks and Recreation received our vision and plan as positively as they did,” he said.
One of SMBA’s primary objectives is to facilitate the growth of cycling opportunities within Telluride and the region. Cyclists already have the SMBA to thank for facilitating the opening of the Mountain Village Bike Park, as well as working to bring back the Full Tilt in Telluride mountain bike race.
The Grand Opening Celebration takes place Tuesday, July 17 at 6 p.m. All SMBA members and any interested community members are invited; SMBA will provide mini-clinics, tips and tricks for riding Telluride’s new bike venue.