After years of anticipation and disappointment, a pump track is finally—actually—being built in Davis.
BY: Edward Bennett for The Dirt
Construction broke ground on a 9,000-square-foot lot in Community Park last month, with plans on track for completion in October, according to the City.
Pump tracks are uniquely designed for inclusive play among bikers, allowing riders to “pump” instead of pedal their bikes down and up hills (which are referred to as rollers), over tables (called flattop jumps), and up around berms (embankments).
The Davis Pump Track is designed expertly within its constraints to accommodate three skill-tailored tracks for beginner, intermediate, and advanced riders. While features are similar among the tracks, practice and patience are required to achieve flow among more crowded terrain after the beginner track. Expert riders will see opportunity through a different lens; jumping between tracks to create new loops and challenges.
30-years ago the Davis Skate Park flatland concept survived design attrition, and is now vaguely a scooter parking lot that inconveniences little kid cardboard box traffic down the old school concrete slide. The skate park opened in ‘93 and was ensconced by a 10-foot tall locked fence with a guard on site in an administrative shack under too-short timer flood lights.
Fast forward to now: guard gone, shack gone, fences dropped to 4-foot, and the timed-buzzer buzzes no more. The Davis skate park aspired to incubate economic development and tourism. Now?
Through the month of August I’ve been dropping by the pump track construction site with cold cans of fizzy waters for Guillermo and Robert. They’re part of the construction team out in this summer heat. Thanks, everyone; you are opening hearts and hobbies in our community and beyond.
ONLINE EXTRA: Thoughts and curiosities about the new pump track.
Plans for a Davis pump track rolled around town several years before appearing in the 2014 City of Davis Beyond Platinum Bicycle Action Plan. Inside, the City envisioned a simple, bold, affordable 30+ acre project, revitalizing tourism and commerce while increasing local bike events and activities in a US Bike Capital.
The 2023 plan from the City includes some detail about the 4-foot perimeter fence that will surround the pump track
Wait, this might be a dumb question, but why do they need a fence around the track? Accidents are bound to happen, so I am curious to learn more details about padding to soften fence falls.
We’ve also seen City signage peeled away under a climate-change sun, and I wonder what padding or fence fabrics won’t disintegrate into costly annual environmental flotsam.