Pump track facility like the one above in this supplied photo would be a good regional draw, Morinville resident says
by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville resident Derek Brush has been pondering the idea of creating a pump track, a looped facility for bike riders consisting of banked turns, berms and rollers designed to make the most of a rider’s momentum.
Brush recently presented the concept to the Rotary Club of Morinville and Sturgeon County.
“Pump Tracks are both playgrounds and training facilities for wheeled sports equipment. These tracks are for people of any age and for all skill levels,” Brush told Morinville Online in an interview. “Riders will enjoy practicing the skills of carrying momentum, improving balance and building speed by using their arms and legs to pump their bike, board, scooter or rollerblades around the track.”
Brush explained that the PUMP in the pump track refers to the pushing-down and pulling-up action performed by the riders respecting the contour of the rollers.
“This pumping action provides the main source of propulsion by pushing down on the backside of the rollers and pulling up on the faces of them,” he explained. “It’s thrilling because riders experience a feeling of weightlessness and can generate speed around the track without the need to pedal.”
Brush said he first heard about pump tracks from a friend in central Alberta who had posted pictures of him and his son on vacation visiting various pump tracks. The Morinville man was surprised to learn Yellowhead County had six pump tracks alone.
“My interest in building a track in Morinville comes from Morinville’s central location in Sturgeon County,” Brush said, noting there are no asphalt pump tracks in or near Edmonton. “Evansburg is the closest, and it is 120 [kilometres] away. These tracks appeal to all ages, especially the 10 to 15 age group. I feel Morinville and Sturgeon County are lacking activities for this age group if they’re not interested in soccer or are enrolled in an organized sports league.”
Brush’s six-year-old son Reid has started racing BMX. After spending a weekend riding pump tracks he won his next race, his first win.
Brush said pump tracks, with their rollers and berms, can fit any size or shaped area, with the tracks in Yellowhead County occupying an area of 800 to 1000 square metres.
“As riders improve their skills, the tracks are designed to provide the option for more challenges without needing to change the construction,” he said. “A feature that my 2-year-old rolls through can be used as a gap jump by a teenager or an adult. Some of the tracks built in Calgary are painted to designate beginner and advanced sections. The only limiting factors to a pump track are land size and budget. From what I have seen, there is no limit to the track builder’s imagination.”
With no other asphalt pump tracks in or around the Edmonton area, Brush sees a local pump track as a regional draw, one he feels would draw people from all over Sturgeon and the neighbouring counties.
“My family and I have a campsite booked in Niton Junction for May long weekend. Why Niton Junction? Because there is a pump track next to the campground and Niton Junction [and it] is central to the other Yellowhead tracks, we plan to ride them all weekend,” he said. “I see a track in Morinville to have a similar draw. People coming to camp at Morinville Campground by Heritage Lake. Visiting the pump track, skate park, splash pad and shopping in town while they are here.”
Brush has started a Facebook page for updates or more information.
“I would also like to ask that if anyone is interested in getting involved in this project to please get in touch with me through the page,” Brush said.
Below are some links to videos on various pump tracks.
Yellowhead Video #1 https://youtu.be/zcD0dYCUr6g
Yellowhead Video #2 https://youtu.be/_F2_4xDlcLo
Inverness Track Opening https://youtu.be/oShSn7MYNbk
Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships https://youtu.be/bxWVtOr3osQ
Colorado Track Skateboarding https://youtu.be/WvyGEROOqws