A new pump track is being built in Chilliwack for less-experienced riders.
The novice track is currently under construction right beside the existing pump track which opened in 2021.
It will have two beginner track loops, intended to help introduce riders to the features of a pump track on a smaller scale. One loop will support kick bikes, striders, tricycles and wheeled mobility apparatus. The other loop will feature more undulation to introduce the “pump” technique involved in riding pump tracks.
Together, the length of the tracks will be 122 metres (400 feet), and it will be constructed entirely of asphalt.
“The first pump track facility was installed in 2020, bringing the sport to Chilliwack, thanks to the hard work of the members of the Chilliwack Parks and Trails Advisory Committee,” said Mayor Ken Popove. “The overwhelming popularity of the pump track demonstrated the community’s need for a beginner track, and we are pleased to be able to work with the Mt. Cheam Rotary Club to offer this to Chilliwack.”
City officials recently met with members of the Mt. Cheam Rotary Club to receive a $75,000 cheque in support of the facility.
The club’s goal was to raise substantial funds to contribute to a large, youth-oriented, community project. Over their three terms, president Peter Duhault, past president Paul Donaldson and president-elect Gillian Villeneuve raised $25,000 per year towards this pump track project (2020-2022).
“Service to youth is a primary focus of our Rotary Club. This exciting, accessible, mini-pump track represents three years of fundraising efforts by the Mt. Cheam Rotary Club towards a community service project that will improve the quality of life for youth in our community. We are very proud to partner with this City on this world-class facility,” Duhault said.
The new beginner pump track may also come as a relief to some families with young kids. Just months after the current pump track opened in February 2021, some parents were complaining about bad behaviour.
“I have been appalled and disappointed in the actions I have seen… smoking vape pens, severe littering, loud awful language and bullying,” Claire Walker told The Progress in April 2021.
One six-year-old was even shoved down on the pump track and then laughed and pointed at by several older kids.
The city has dedicated a time slot for younger kids on the beginner section of the current track, called the ‘blue track.’ From 8 a.m. to noon, Monday to Friday, only kids under the age of 10 can use it.
The current pump track has two sections – one for advanced riders and the ‘blue track’ for less-experienced riders. All ages are allowed on any part of the track as long as they can use the correct pumping motion. The use of the track is more dependant on skills than age.
A pump track is a paved circuit of looping trails where riders use momentum and propulsion on BMX bikes, mountain bikes, as well as scooters, wheelchairs, and skateboards too. It’s called a “pump” track because of the pumping motions made as they ride. The rollers along the track allow riders to build and carry momentum – users shouldn’t pedal or push or use any other means of movement.
A budget of $225,000 was allocated for the new novice pump track project, which included relocating the existing playground where the pump track will be built.
The expected completion date is end of July 2022.
Once complete, the novice pump track will be named the ‘Chilliwack Mt. Cheam Rotary Club Mini Pump Track’ in recognition of Rotary’s support for the project, and youth in the community.