Preston Lewis takes a corner on the cycling pump track built by the Penticton and Area Cycling Association with the City of Penticton. (Emanuel Sequeira/Western News)

Possibility of pump track for Chilliwack being investigated

Council decided to direct staff to look into the logistics and viability of building one here

A large-scale bicycle pump track could one day be built in Chilliwack.

Council asked staff to investigate the possibility after the idea came forward last month from the parks and trails advisory committee.

Julie Henderson, vice president of the Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association (FVMBA) presented the pump track idea to committee members. They decided to go for it, recommending a pump track of a minimum of 2,500-square metres for Chilliwack.

Pump tracks are “safer and more accessible” than other types of similar sporting facilities, Henderson explained. The FVMBA is a non-profit group of volunteers geared to growing the sport of mountain biking, and increasing participation. They promote trail development, but they also advocate for bike parks, in order to provide opportunities for beginners and advanced riders alike to develop their skills.

The looping pump tracks are not solely for cyclists, but for riders of all ages, and all skill levels. They can be on skateboards, scooters, roller blades and in wheelchairs, as well as on bikes.

Building an asphalt pump track could increase recreational tourism visits to the facility, and promote Chilliwack as a premier event destination, Henderson told the committee members.

What is a pump track exactly? It’s a continuously looping trail system where the rider uses momentum and propulsion while cruising on BMX bikes, dirt bikes, mountain bikes, and more. It’s called a “pump” track because of the pumping motions the rider makes with as they go through the turns, rollers and other features. They pump, rather than pedal.

It would take about one month to build a 2,000-square metre pump track.

Council agreed last week to direct staff to investigate the viability and logistics of establishing one in Chilliwack.

READ MORE: Langley has a pump track


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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An example of a rider racing on a pump track. (Black Press file)

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