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.
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."
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.
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!).
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