Velosolutions Goes to Thailand

Jan 12, 2015
by Velosolutions Global  
Views: 29,641    Faves: 136    Comments: 3

Velosolutions has been building a vast array of pumptracks and pumpparks in Europe over the past few years, most notably in Zurich, Pontresina, Sils I.D, and most recently in Pfaffikon. For us, to build something on another continent was a dream for us. So when the opportunity to build in South East Asia presented itself, the Velosolutions team was keen to create something unique and ambitious. Fast forward five months and 120 emails later, a scaled-down Velosolutions team of just me and Adrien Loron were on a plane to Thailand, to one of our most ambitious projects yet.

The fist Velosolutions asphalt pump track in Asia

The project is one of the largest taken on by Velosolutions to date, as although Zurich's pumppark is bigger and includes a BMX track and a jump track, the track in Thailand was to be purely for pumptrack action. Knowing how tough it is to build an asphalt pumptrack in Europe, we were quite nervous about building out in Thailand given the added factors of humidity and high temperatures we would have to brave whilst we built the track. Alongside this, we also had to worry about having to build the pumptrack in just one month. Questions were buzzing around our minds; "Will they have the right tools, machines, and materials?", "Will they have enough motivated workers?", "Will we get the exact asphalt that we ordered?", "Will it all be delivered on time?"

The first Velosolutions asphalt pump track in Asia

Situated in Aranyaprathet, next to the Cambodian border, on arrival the Velosolutions team was greeted by the person who commissioned the project. The welcome was warm and we were treated to a great evening of good food and whiskey. Lots of whiskey! As a result, come the first morning at the site, the our main concern was not getting the construction of the track underway, but just getting our heads straight again! Soon we realised that this was going to be the routine for every day for the whole month, which probably wasn't so great for our livers!

The fist Velosolutions asphalt pump track in Asia

After a while we realised that everything about the build of this project was chilled - except for the weather - and everything ran smoothly without any stress. Thanks to the pre-production work by the local team, including moving 5000 cubic metres of soil to the site and laying out the drainage, we could start straight away with shaping the lines. We could never understand why the local team never seemed to get tired despite the long hours working in the heat. Was it the delicious local cuisine? Was it the whiskey? Or was it that everyone on the site was always in a good mood? Whatever it was, we were happy too as this great vibe lifted our spirits above the soaring heat.

The fist Velosolutions asphalt pump track in Asia

It also wasn't long before we became addicted to the spicy Thai food. It kept the team sweating during breakfast, lunch and dinner, and last but not least, I had to escape from the ladyboys pretty much every night, so the sweating was going on 24/7! The weather was extreme and often Adrien and I had to step away from the asphalt for a couple of seconds, just to make sure we didn't pass out due to the heat.

The fist Velosolutions asphalt pump track in Asia

As the days went by, and quicker than we would have ever dared dreamed of, the pumptrack started to come alive in front us. This was down to the resourcefulness of the workers at the site and the local businesses in the area. If we needed a couple of rakes, they welded 10 for us, if we needed a truck modified, they modified two of them. We couldn't believe how easy they made the build for the pumptrack in such a short space of time.

The fist Velosolutions asphalt pump track in Asia

With the tarmac bedded in and rested, it was finally time to ride the track! With many local riders in toe, Adrien and I rode the track, trying different lines and directions of travel. From the very start, the pumptrack design was going to be something that was unique. It is symmetric, which means two riders can race each other on different loops, and it is wide enough to pass other riders. The design affords riders to make creative line combinations, as highlighted in the video, which just scratches the surface of the potential this pumptrack has to offer.

The first Velosolutions asphalt pump track in Asia

The first Velosolutions asphalt pump track in Asia

The first Velosolutions asphalt pump track in Asia

You might be asking who we were building this huge pumptrack for, or indeed given its location, who could actually afford a bike to ride it? In fact, I was wondering the same thing given the closest buildings to the track made up a small shanty town. At the beginning it felt quite awkward building such an expensive track next to families who were obviously in poverty. But in fact, the kids from the shanty town were the first ones to ride the pumptrack when it was opened, and they were able to ride it all day long on their bikes, the majority of which had broken off pedals which meant the kids rode barefoot on the axles. I asked the owner of the pumptrack if he was going to leave this open and free for everybody, even when he builds a hotel next door. He said he would, because the pumptrack is for the whole town. There is only one thing I can say to that - Thank you.

The first Velosolutions asphalt pump track in Asia

To find out more about Velosolutions, check out the website: www.velosolutions.ch

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83 Comments

  • + 126
 Every Major city should have at least one public pumptrack.
  • + 14
 not to talk about switzerland they have public pumtracks on several cities
  • + 15
 Swansea city have 2... both about 20m long and are utter sh*t... be careful what you wish for...
  • + 6
 same in northern Ireland, I wouldn't even call them pump tracks, just gravel loops with bumps.
  • + 7
 they recently built a pump track here at a local park, I swear it was intended for hobbits...no way a 26" mtb can make it around it...
  • + 4
 theres one in pasadena. its about 15 ft long, and 10 ft wide. thats the outside of the oval track. cute little baby thing.
  • + 4
 dammit I've got a wood from looking at a pumptrack... is that normal?
  • + 11
 if it lasts longer than four hours call your Doctor and brag about it
  • + 2
 We have a decent one by my place and it is pretty hard to navigate on my dirt jumper
  • + 1
 If only all government officials thought like @AndyMandura
  • + 1
 Try it on a BMX. They're way faster on a pump track.
  • + 49
 I was hoping for a pumptrack course preview
  • + 40
 I want my garden to look like that Frown
  • + 22
 ermahgerd purhmp trerk.
  • + 13
 Thailand gets that before San Diego, sweet.
  • + 4
 And your point is...?
  • + 8
 the point is these asphalt pumptracks should be all over the united states..
  • + 21
 ...and the world. Maybe if ISIS could ride they wouldn't be such assholes.
  • + 5
 I don't know you but ryanfarner comment sound a arrogant to me.. I live in a country where there's almost nothing to ride, not a single pumptrack, but i'm rather amazed to hearing this news and seeing the pros helping the locals there
  • + 10
 Yes I agree, but "merica" ya know! I'm sure he just wants a pump track and I don't blame him.
  • + 5
 The point is that San Diego has a huge amount of riders, but no bike parks.
  • + 2
 But you have Rice a Roni.....dammit that's San Francisco..... oh well, you are screwed
  • + 7
 joaquinRDiert just comparing the amount of riders that could take advantage of something this awesome. It still blows my mind that San Diego cant get something like this done. I'm stoked for Thailand.
  • + 3
 ok ok stop! helibike "Maybe if ISIS could ride they wouldn't be such a*sholes."
That is epic!

I think we should beer up and laugh!
  • + 0
 Instead of moaning about what someone else has and you don't, how about getting something going yourself? If there are so many of you in 'merica/San Diego/wherever...do something about it.
  • + 2
 There is a lot of people in merica, so just dig ur own pump track in them middle of San Diego I'm sure it will work out fine. Good one harrybel. I think we should follow Tfox31's advise and stop this thread, then drink beer and laugh.
  • + 1
 I've already gone and dug a pumptrack in the middle of San Diego. That doesn't mean it's legal/sustainable/public.
  • + 8
 Our town (Powell River, BC) is lucky enough to have the FIRST concrete pump track in North America....thank you to Alpine Bike Parks for making this happen!
  • + 4
 Seriously? That's in the middle of nowhere, two ferries and a bus ride to be exact.
  • + 2
 12 hours of driving and 2 ferries for me
  • + 2
 Yes. Seriously. In the middle of nowhere.
  • + 1
 How does it ride?
  • + 7
 super smooth! wondering what's the construction cost for pumptracks of this quality and scale
  • + 1
 i don't want to guess, but it's definitely five figures USD/EU money. from the work put in, the design and most importantly (costly) the asphalt
  • + 2
 I've tried to petition for a concrete one here in Atlanta. I've checked the numbers and they are not pretty
  • + 6
 Crowdfunding campaign? I used to live in ATL, there is a huge rider group there.
  • + 2
 There sure is. Most of them are outside the city, and for good reason. Most people in the city with bikes have franken-fixies or vintage road bikes.
  • + 3
 @ diesel84 You sir, are a genius.

If riders just crowd funded every city with a decent rider base could have one. I'd kick $200 towards a public pumptrack within biking distance of my house. if 25 guys did the same - $5000. Probably even a local shop could throw some money in to get some ad space somehow. Step 2 go to parks div and say, we got $5000 and just need the space of 1/2 baseball field. Done.

P.S. I have drooled over everyone of these velo solutions articles. Nice job guys.
  • + 1
 Yeah, and we built this p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/19973/photos/67289/s1600_ic373R9460.jpg?1386284108 with $2k and 6 people in about 2 days...

Granted we had full reign over tons of land that the University wanted us to work with to build this stuff. We got very lucky.
  • + 1
 @ diesel84 that looks really well built.
  • + 3
 Just curious, but as earth begins to wash away, erode, expand and contract won't the asphalt crack and be far more difficult and costly to maintain than normal dirt pump tracks?

This happens on asphalt running tracks and they are flat and not feeling the same impact at as a pump track. Not to mention they are wider.
  • + 3
 It looks to me that they capped all the mounds. Therefore reducing the likeliness of water ruining the dirt. But yeas the flooding rains of the wet season would have an effect though. Some brainy fulla out there probably knows how to reduce your dilemma.
  • + 2
 Funny thing about the shanty town comment, and feeling bad. In my travels i've learned that in warm climates, if people have a roof over their head and food in their belly they tend to be some of the happiest people on earth. Things really don't make us happy, they just make us want more things. Would be a great place to send some bikes to though!
  • + 4
 I was like give themsome proper bikes and then claudios grabbing out of a track the brand new one! Superb vid Smile
  • + 4
 The track looks amazing. I'm sure having atrack like that will push local riding scene forward or even create one.
  • + 1
 My town needs one of these so bad but the city will never allow it! We've got a good 20 sports fields all over the place, one dirt park on the outskirts and a skatepark that doesn't allow bike . How do I get in touch with velosolutions?
  • + 1
 Hay-zus Maria! I would eat my left (insert body part here) for one of those! Northern climes would destroy a work of art like this, unfortunately. Plywood indoors in Markham is ok, but.....
I was all stoked when Toronto got a dirt dj park and pseudo pumptrack near my house. Then I drove by during a January thaw and thought "boy, someone has a lot of work to do in April!" My 40 yr. old office hands blister at the sight of a shovel....
  • + 1
 Concrete skateparks have been living here for years, surviving the cold winter of Montreal
  • + 3
 This is what everyone wants near where they live, Great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111
  • + 3
 i would like to get a place like this in my city, i would spend my entire day on it
  • + 3
 CLAUDIO HAS THE SKILLS, fact
  • + 3
 *Velosolutions goes to my back yard*
  • + 0
 I love mountain biking and wish everyone could do it, but I feel like access to modern healthcare should be a pre-requisite. Who is going to patch up these barefoot kids' broken bones?
  • + 2
 I've ridden their tar pumptrack in Chur, Switzerland. it's great!
  • + 0
 i was this summer at chur and didnt hear about it!
  • + 1
 I was there this summer also...bummed I didn't make it to the pumptrack but I did get to ride Alpen Bikepark! Awesome place if you're ever in the area!
  • + 2
 Amazing! Please build one in Bali Smile
  • + 1
 I live in Bangkok, this is a 3 hour drive away. I'm stil gona get my ass there pretty damb soon! looks great!
  • + 2
 Claudio involved = Very Cool
  • + 1
 Whats the name of the new hotel, never been to Thailand buts its on my list now.
  • + 1
 if you want to ride go to Chaing Mai, epic Jungle DH, lovely roads, (not driving though), and great XC. If you dont mind the heat!
  • + 2
 Please build one in Gothenburg, Sweden Smile
  • + 1
 pleeeaaaseee! what are you waiting to come to argentina???
  • + 2
 Cool as hell!
  • + 1
 Hells yeah! Looking forward to riding it.
  • + 2
 awesome!
  • + 1
 that is so sick! Go Thigh-land!
  • + 1
 envy
  • + 1
 I'm soooo jealous!!!
  • + 1
 Beautiful!
  • + 1
 Claudio is a legend.
  • - 2
 Hate the top layer...
  • - 2
 agreed! don't understand the hype about this... we all know riding a pump track made out of real dirt feels like a bazillion times nicer and think about crashing on this surface... yikes!
  • + 8
 have you tried it? theres soo much grip and its super fast. It does hurt but, my young one had a fall on a kids one, shook him up a bit but was alright. would have just dusted himself down on dirt but he didn't fall again. Dirt falls apart in our climate with all the rain.
  • + 2
 that fact that in Thailand that was built is a big win!
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