A new pump track aimed at both experienced and beginner riders is now under construction in West Confederation Park, officials announced Thursday.
The pump track, on the southeast side of West Confederation Park in the Triwood neighborhood, will feature two separate courses — one for new riders, the other for more experienced ones.
Sheila Taylor, the CEO of Parks Foundation Calgary says the design is based on feedback from previous tracks created by the organization.
“This project really grows off the design popularity of the Inglewood bicycle pump track which we built last year,” says Taylor. “Over the last few years the popularity of cycling has really spiked, and with it, so has the interest in pump tracks.”
Pump tracks are a special kind of circuit designed to be used without the rider needing to push or pedal. Cyclists gain momentum by shifting their body weight along with the inclines of the track, providing them with a boost of speed.
This new track, expected to cost approximately $750,000, will be the first asphalt pump track located north of the Bow River. The tracks in Livingston and Silver Springs are both made of dirt, while Inglewood, South Glenmore and Fairview have asphalt ones.
The project — a partnership between the Parks Foundation and City of Calgary — has been funded by the Government of Canada.
“Pump tracks bring out people of all ages and all abilities to be together and grow their cycling skills,” says Taylor. “We want it to be exciting and interesting, but we want the parks to be as inclusive as possible.”
Avid cyclist Danika White says the people who come to the pump tracks are what make them so special.
“How many friends and people I’ve been friends with I’ve met through riding any type of two wheels? So it’s been the community for sure,” says White, who works for Fox Racing — a clothing brand geared towards extreme sports.
White says that pump tracks typically offer the opportunity to practice for both beginner and experienced riders.
“You can be a top level rider and push the limits of the track, but you can also be a very amateur rider and learn.”
Fellow Fox Racing employee Cameron Redshaw says that these pump tracks are the cream of the crop, and the best that you can find for any type of rider.
“It looks like it’s just another cool feature in the park, but it’s actually transferable to other aspects of cycling,” says Redshaw. “I’m on my mountain bike here today because it’s great practice to take these skills that you learn as you’re working the terrain through here and take those into the actual trails.”
Construction on the new track is expected to be completed this fall.