Building a Pump Track with COPMOBA in Montrose

Sharon at the pump track

A pump track is a short dirt track for bicycles that is designed to teach you how to use momentum and your whole body to propel yourself forward without pedaling.  Imagine how you can pump your legs on a swing to gain speed and you have the basic concept.  The Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA) got approval from the Montrose City Council to build a pump track and skills area at Cerise Park in October and now, after only three days of volunteer labor the track is a reality, open for riding this past weekend.   The track was even featured on the front page of the Montrose Daily Press, with two photos of Jay.

Sharon with the other volunteers building pump track

The track was built that fast because of community support.  The city lent their equipment and operators.  Donny, the owner of Cascade Bicycles and a former project manager in construction, directed the crews.  Bill Harris, a COPMOBA Board Member who literally wrote the book on mountain biking around Montrose, recruited the volunteers.  Rob Brethouwer, founder of the Montrose Area Bicycle Alliance brought the crew lunch.  Each day at its peak we had a crew of a dozen volunteers all of whom cared about making Montrose a town that had a lot to offer bicyclists.  Several of the volunteers were older and they were excited about bringing kids and grandkids down to the track.  This project got everyone excited because they saw it as a fun venue for all ages, a place where young kids could get a feel for mountain biking by pedaling over rollers and experienced racers could build up speed and just fly over the rollers and into the next turn.

Jay and other volunteers building pump track

This project was particularly fun because it offered a chance to learn new things and problem solve.  When we showed up on Tuesday morning there were only three other volunteers.  We started on the first berm and realized that the dirt was so dry that it would just slough off and couldn’t be compacted.  We had water, but our only delivery method was to transfer the water from the truck into buckets and then use a bucket with holes in the bottom to sprinkle the water over the dirt.  It was a strenuous and messy process.  The project leaders quickly started brainstorming and calling around to get the right tools and pretty soon we had a hose and a pump and could spray down the track.  None of us had ever built a pump track before, but together we figured it out and learned a great deal along the way.  I hope I get an opportunity to build another track and put those new skills to use!

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4 responses to “Building a Pump Track with COPMOBA in Montrose

  1. It was a real pleasure having Sharon and Jay show up for our pump track construction. I’m one of those “old coots” who showed up to help build the track – Sharon was nice enough not to call us old coots. I’m a Boomer and proud of it, and am pleased to see more young folks doing what Sharon and Jay are doing. Giving back has far more rewards than
    negatives. I’ve been on a mountain bike since 1985, and it has made a huge difference in my life. The contrivance that set me free as a boy
    has done the same thing for me as an adult. Love the bike and beer
    connection – a natural!!

    • Thanks Bill! I love how you talk about the mountain bike setting you free as both a boy and as an adult. I don’t know if you have ever met Jay’s dad, but I’m sure he would say the same thing.

  2. Dr. Rusty Wouters

    Thanks to Sharon and Jay our dream of a Montrose community pump track is alive and well. The Montrose Mountain Bike Park Committee is proud to have Cascade Bikes, COPMOBA and MABA involved in our project. Thanks Lynn Whipple from Major Mortgage, Laurie Brandt with Buckhorn Geotech, and Ralph and Judyann Files. Donnie and I designed the track from scratch and to scale several months ago in hopes that we would see it come to fruition. Sharon and Jay showed up and worked harder than anyone else! Thanks!

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