Words: Grow Cycling Foundation / Eliot Jackson
Grow Cycling Foundation’s pumptrack is finished and we are opening this weekend! I figured I would say that before I even introduced myself. Hi, I’m Eliot Jackson. I used to race World Cup DH, now I ride bikes for some great companies, I talk about bikes on Red Bull TV and also have a non-profit that is focuses on getting underrepresented kids on bikes.
I wrote an article just a little bit ago that describes a bit more of who I am and what Grow does that you can read here
We are having our opening day block party this Sunday, September 24th
with the ribbon cutting with the Mayor and City of Inglewood happening at 11 am. We have a local food truck, Little Anchor, doing lobster rolls (we’re very fancy), Red Bull is bringing some music, Trail Trust is doing a cool mural, Five Ten/adidas are doing shoe demos, Canyon is doing a bike give away. Your favorite athletes like Bas Van Steenbergen and Brad Simms will be there, too. It will be great. If you’re in the area you should definitely come!What: Grow Cycling Foundation Inglewood Pumptrack Grand Opening
Where: 700 Warren Lane, Inglewood CA
When: 11am PST, Sunday September 24th
While we celebrate, I thought it would be cool to look back at 6 important moments that got us here.
1. Picking the Location & Approval
Our first choice was always Inglewood. They are a community where 95% of the residents are people of color; they are incredibly ambitious, innovative and committed to building a better future for all, and we would be in the heart of LA.
I couldn’t believe Inglewood said “Yes!” They just held the Super Bowl, had a bunch of Taylor Swift concerts AND they are at the heart of early hip-hop. They are very cool. The city leadership has been a dream team to work with and Sabrina, the director of parks, is such a force and a joy. Working with such an incredibly talented Black woman was really special for my mom and I.
This was one of the slides on our pitch deck to the city about the location. We had originally only asked for the space from the sidewalk on the right to the telephone pole on the left, but they gave us way more to work with. So, as you do, we decided to build two tracks.
P.S. The design, branding and strategy is a whole ‘nother story but Kate Jones
on the design side and Lindsay Knight on the strategy side deserve a special shoutout. Also, Hannah Peterson for all of her long hours of support.2. Fundraising
It’s important to remember that so much of the early buzz and support was from athletes. People like Traction Coffee
and Richie Rude
. Nate Hills
built an entire campaign for us and raised so much money. Kialani Hines
, Heather Young
and Luca Cometti
made a video and donated a bike to raise money. Margaux Elliott
(great last name) rode 1 million feet of vert in a year and tied her fundraising efforts to Grow. Jolanda Neff
donated a bike and did an interview for us. Casey Brown
did a custom painted frame, donated the bike, AND all of her Crankworx winnings in DH to us that year. Neko Mulally did a giveaway
at the end of the race season and raised over 3k! John Hall, Brad Copeland and Ryan Verg doing toolbox giveaways with Abbey Bike Tools
. These are just a few examples.
THIS is why Grow was able to gain the credibility to achieve the next steps.3. Breaking Ground
We broke ground with the same ceremony that SoFi Stadium had, a place that will hold the opening and closing ceremony of the Olympics in 2028 just a couple miles away. I was super nervous to do my speech in front of City Council and the Mayor. I remember he told me where to stand during the picture and I was so proud to be in the company of these leaders.
It also marked a big moment for us! WE WERE BUILDING IT!4. The Building
Then it was time to build! From the very start we worked with Velosolutions
to design our dream pumptracks. One that we could hold the World Championships on, and another that sweeps through the trees that is a little more mellow. Ironically, the actual building of the pumptrack only took a few months!
Sometimes Velosolutions gets overlooked in this story and I want to highlight just how amazing of a partner they are. Their commitment, artistry, engineering and expertise is unmatched. They are passionate about creating what a great ride feels like every time and purposeful in every foot of track they lay down, which is why they’re the best. They handcrafted our pumptracks with their hearts and souls, going above and beyond to build something extraordinary in Los Angeles. We wanted the absolute best and that is exactly what we got. 5. Construction Delays
It wasn’t all smooth sailing. We ended up hitting an underground pipe when we started construction, a blessing in disguise that helped the City discover an old and eroding drainpipe that had to be completely replaced before we could resume construction. Some big time construction experts: Engineers from Michael Baker, D&D, and especially AECOM, Turner and Better Way, who are all involved in building the new NBA Intuit Dome a few short miles from our our park, came onboard to help get it all done safely and professionally so we could build our Pumptrack.6. Partners and Donors were there through it all
I love this picture because it captures our whole vibe perfectly. You can imagine me saying “Can you believe we are on the front page of Santa Cruz Bicycles?” and my mom saying “Of course we are. Where else would we be?” Her ambition helped push us forward and our partners never left our side. They trusted us completely. We will be forever grateful to what we call our founding partners, the companies who committed to raising at least $100,000 for us from day one. adidas, Santa Cruz (Paydirt), Pinkbike, Yeti Cycles, Rapha, and FOX (TrailTrust).
Beyond the companies, YOU trusted us. You donated SO much. I can’t put into words the feeling. Makes me emotional even thinking about that amount of passion you have and trust that you put in us to carry out what we said we would do.
Thank you.Field of Dreams Moment
And now we are here! It is absolutely beautiful. The City said it looks like a golf course haha. My brother and his family went out to take some pictures and they embody what this space is about: a new generation of bike riders exploring, learning, and having fun. I am so jealous and yet so proud that they will just think that having a world class pumptrack in their backyard is normal. Normality is what this is all about. I can’t wait for kids in this community and around L.A. to say “Of course, me and all my friends ride bikes at the Inglewood Pumptrack, what else would we do?” THAT truly is the dream.
I am sure I will have more thoughts and emotions after seeing everyone on opening day, but for now, after so much hard work, it’s still just sinking in and I am enjoying being in this moment.
Pinkbike is going to be updating you with coverage over the weekend and we will have a video for you next week so stay tuned.
As you probably know, we have so much in store for this space. Follow along at growcyclingfoundation.org
We can’t wait to start this next chapter.