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.
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.
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!