Truckee Pump Track Project

Jun 4, 2012 at 8:59
by Lindsay Beth Currier  

After riding a pumptrack in Sun Valley, Idaho about a year ago, Cortney Knudson and Brooks McMullin knew they had a project to bring home to the North Lake Tahoe Area. Teaming up with Mark Featherstone, a master of community fundraising, the Truckee Pump Track Project quickly came to reality as preliminary plans were approved in March 2012 by the Truckee-Donner Park and Rec District.

View of pumptrack from startmound on a chilly morning

The project successfully gained support from local businesses, including Cyclepaths, Olympic Bike Shop, TAMBA and Biking for a Better World, raising an overall $43,000 to support the build. A local fundraiser that brought in $6,000 took place April 24 at the classy Cottonwood restaurant and participants were rewarded with New Belgium beers and Coulier Wines.

Also funded by Specialized and IMBA, the Sun Valley roots of inspiration for the project connected McMullin and Knudson with Randy Spangler, an internationally recognized master of trail build and design. Spangler, joined by Josh Moreno and Bender literally pumped out the build in the short span of three weeks.

Spangler molds dirt with a little help from College Cyclery.


McMullin notes," it was great working with Randy, Josh, and Josh. As a builder myself I feel that Randy and I were on the same page with the vision. I am supper psyched and can't wait to bring more."

Moreno and Bender shape the track with hand tools.


Located in the Riverview Sports Park the site chosen to host the pumptrack project is adjacent to the current BMX track. At 17,000 square feet, the massive track is actually three special treats in one; a traditional pumptrack, a pumppark, and a strider-bike loop. Knudson, an IMIC certified mountain bike instructor, explains that "its neat to see the camaraderie between the BMX and pumptrack participants. It all goes together, bridging the gap between all ages and types of riders".

Spangler's preliminary design.


Knudson further explains that in a town dominated by a rich sport: skiing, the pumptrack offers a much needed affordable alternative. Downhill mountain biking may be nearly as expensive, but for a few hundred dollars, or even with a borrowed bike, anyone can join the pumptrack community. Community pumptracks offer a setting for the youth to get outside and create a fun sport for themselves.

Knudson assisting with dialing in the track


Casey Fong, a local rider and filmer, describes the pumptrack as "a great place for riders of all abilities to have fun. There are different lines for everyone from our next generation groms to pump track king."

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Knudson is currently working with with Parks and Rec to offer skill building clinics to new and progressing riders. The track should prove as a useful training grounds for many riders, including local racer Mikey Silvestry. Sylvestry recognizes the track as a beneficial area for users to gain an understanding of the physics of riding and appreciates its proximity to his home.


Sylvestry boosts



Although Randy and his crew have finished up their part of the Truckee Pump Track Project, the group asks that the public refrain from riding until the Grand Opening Party on June 10th. In the following week, Knudson, McMullin and other volunteers will continue to pack in the dirt and get the dirt in prime shape for opening day. You may see them shredding the track, but be assured they are just breaking it in and it is very crucial that everyone stays off (dogs included!).

Keep OUT!!


Unauthorized traffic in these early stages pose a major threat to the track's condition. And although equipped with an irrigation system donated by Western Nevada Supply and installed by Peak Landscaping, the track will require lots of love throughout the first season of use until it has completely hardened and settled in. If you would like to know more information about the Truckee Pump Track Project, skills clinics offered by Knudson, or how you can help maintain this new beauty, please join the Truckee Pump Track Project facebook group.
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73 Comments

  • + 31
 Awesome work guys and gals! Hopefully more and more communities will see the value in pump tracks and other bike related venues and approve the building of these projects!
  • + 3
 dope track
  • + 2
 TAHBRO PUMPTRACK!!!!!!!
  • + 3
 Makes me want to grab a shovel!
[Reply]
  • + 14
 I wish the English government would allow things like that over here, there is too much health and safety involved. I think I might have to emigrate to the good old U.S! Oh and even if we built one some Chav would come and wreck it.
  • + 2
 I'm trying to get a pump track started where i work in Surrey, and its very hard to get the local authority interested. Not giving up though, we really need something like this!
  • + 5
 In bristol we've had like 3 pumptracks paid for by the council and 2 new xc tracks
  • + 1
 Thanks mate, I'll see if I can contact your council for a chat then Smile
  • + 1
 We are having a pump track built in rugby by the council thanks to some really hard work by the organisers it's nearly finished. It can happen Smile
  • + 1
 Wasn't there a feature in MBUK the other day about Bristol? The pump tracks looked awesome, I think Scott Beaumont was riding them. Something like Bristol was one of the first official 'cycling cities' in Britain. It would be awesome if more cities' councils realised how many benefits projects like this have to local communities.
  • + 1
 We have loads of other trails dh/xc and the like but they just don't seem interested in pump tracks or dirt jumps, its bot as if there isn't enough interest in the sport up here (Cumbria) they just seem hell bent on tourism and spoiling our fun.

If you manage to sort it with your council will you let me know so that I can out our council to shame.
  • + 1
 We in Notts don't have much. What irritates me is that the councils probably spend more money on destroying trails built by locals then it would take to create somewhere to ride. I've sent a few letters and emails and have only had the usual responses, 'we'll get back to you', 'we'll have to look at the bigger picture'.

It's so frustrating! Yes, there's cuts and the country's not exactly in the best financial state, but surely creating recreational places should still be something to be considered?!? Really p*sses me off.

Rant over.
  • + 1
 Cian - was about to comment about notts, I don't really live there any more, but there's a pump track being built up at holme peirrepont, have a google, should turn something up. There's some good skate parks in that area as well, and some good dirt jumps at bestwood quarry. Shame there isn't enough elevation for some good downhill tracks really.
  • + 1
 Cheers buddy. Will have a look at the Holme Pierpont pump track, I had no idea about it. I know Nottingham isn't the worst off place in the UK, but I was just using it as an example really. We've started to build our own stuff after finally getting permission off landowner. What you say about DH tracks it true as well.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Woo hoo local pump track!!
  • + 2
 Looks great!!! Cant wait to ride it when i go up!!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 The US needs so much more of this... kudo's to everyone involved!

I used to live about a 15 minute bike ride from Valmont (public) bike park in Boulder, CO and I miss it so much.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Awesome! Good to see stuff like this getting some love. Randy Spangler is one of our star trail designers and builders - he works for the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Trail Solutions. A lot of people deserve credit for the success of this project. IMBA Pacific Region Director Anna Laxague, working with local riders and the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District, utilized a grant from the IMBA Trail Building Fund to have Trail Solutions create the conceptual plan with the goal of providing the area's riders a cutting-edge pump park. The conceptual plan, which illustrated the project's impact and value, was then used to obtain permission and funding. This project is a perfect example of what can be done with educated and motivated locals, an organized grassroots effort and IMBA funding and design expertise. THANK YOU to everyone who was involved! Happy riding!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Lucky bastards, wish I had the tools and machines needed to build such a great pump track!...u guys must be really proud of it, enjoy it!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Sweet, but looks like there are alot of long straight sections for it being a pumptrack. I do love the huge size of it, way to make it happen.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 i really need to move back to donner/ truckee....
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I can't put my finger on it, but Downhill instructor Cortney is smoking hot...
  • + 6
 I bet you wanna put your finger on it tho
  • + 0
 *in it if you know what I mean
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Thanks for the great blog Lindsay. Hope to see you June 10th.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 so sick, im def gonna hav to take some time to come out there when im up at northstar
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I'm so excited about this...my office is literally two minutes away. Lunch breaks here I come!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Can you dig it. Yes you can ! Top job welldone
[Reply]
  • + 2
 that is so cool! i would love to go ride that pump track!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Man I used to live in south lake that's sweet.welldone. Now i need one in alaska
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
  • + 1
 I agree. Nicely executed and great job guys and girls. Are dogs allowed on the track! LOL! : )
  • + 0
 dogs destroy trails!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Perfection, setting standards for other municipalities! Wish upstate New York would follow suit!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I need's one in my backyard.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 SHINE ON!! great job Linds!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i am lucky to live across the street from this thing
[Reply]
  • + 0
 How did this take 40+ thousand dollars? Somebodies pockets got fat. I'd love to see receipts for where all that money went.
  • + 6
 Professional trail design, consulting and construction aren't cheap, and neither are city permits, but they result in much more durable products and parks that offer something for everyone, not just big hitters or total beginners, have amazing flow and can stand up to some serious beatings from riders and weather. If anything, look at the size of the park: 17,000 sq. feet is pretty big. Dirt alone is very expensive. And I bet the irrigation system wasn't free, either.

If you still don't think it's worth it, consider how a city feels about a legitimate, professionally-built bike park compared to a rogue one or something that some kids threw together in a weekend. I'm not knocking the art, but which one do you think a city is going to support and not try to sell out from under the riders?
  • + 3
 whew, yeah. some might consider 40k a bargain for a good bike park. my relatively small and compact home bike park, the golden bike park, was built with about 30k cash and 100k of in-kind donations from a supportive community (a supportive community is worth its weight in gold, as they say). it was also volunteer built and is volunteer maintained.

so where did the money go? machines, diesel, tons of tools on hand for the volunteer crew, GOOD dirt (often the stuff on location is crap and/or not enough), irrigation, pro design, fencing, nice signs and more things i can't even think of.

i'm glad they spent the money! golden bike park is fantastic. i see everyone there from little tiny kids to old guys in sneakers on 1980s bikes to high school freeriders in full downhill gear, all using the same flow trail.

303cycling.com/golden-bike-park-opens
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that looks sick! id love to ride that Big Grin
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  • + 1
 Awesome work Brooks and Cortney. Well done.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 looks fuckin gnar its only three hours away
[Reply]
  • + 1
 yes!!! spending my summer here!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What tires are most people using for pump tracks? Width?
  • - 3
 anywhere from 2.3 to ive seen 2.7
  • + 6
 Yeah wet screams or minions. I prefer the 2.7s
  • - 3
 i would say minions but they both roll ok...
  • + 3
 small block 8 on front and K-rad on back both at 60psi. 2.3s work well for me.
  • + 1
 i run around 20 tubed
  • + 8
 Wet screams on a pump track? why?
  • + 3
 I see some guys riding a near slick. Pump tracks are all about rolling.
  • + 8
 pretty sure Joalst is just joking. High rollers, small block 8's, holy rollers, slant 6, bling bling/crossmarks...all good choices for pump tracks, and just like 4x, 2.1-2.3 max.
  • + 1
 I am building up an stp frame for pump track riding and one of my local pump tracks has a sign on it saying slick tires only. I haven't ever bought tires for dj/pump track riding before so i thought i'd see what other people ride. I have looked at the small blocks and they seem like a pretty good option, but i wasn't sure whether to go 2.1 or 2.35.
  • + 7
 That wasn't exaggerated enough? Haha yeah I was kidding. Small block 8s are sick but I love specialized so I'd go with a renegade
  • + 2
 smallblock8 front 50 psi bontrager xr1 55 in the back
[Reply]
  • + 1
 NICE i'm like 45 minutes away from this!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that place looks amazing!! wish i could go right now
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Love to have this in my backyard!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 shizzle this looks awesome!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 stoked on this. my hometown is getting pimped!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 shwalbe table tops are awesome pump track tiers
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Good to see the locals getting this thing together!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Nice work by total pros.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 great track! looks like a lot of fun! good work you guys!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Awesome, You'll for sure see me there the 5th-19th of july...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is awesome!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Stoked to have this!
[Reply]

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