Local cycling enthusiasts are launching a fundraising drive to bring a pump track to downtown Corvallis.
Resembling miniature roller coasters, pump tracks have banked curves and rolling straightaways that allow riders to propel themselves without pedaling by using a pumping, up-and-down motion of their bodies. In addition to cyclists, the tracks can be used by skateboarders, rollerskaters and scooter users.
“You can use the downward momentum of one bump to go up the next one,” said Scott Carroll of Team Dirt, the local chapter of the International Mountain Biking Association. “If you’re working your body and using the physics of the track to your advantage, you can ride the track without even pedaling.”
Team Dirt, which has been pursuing plans for a local pump track for about two years now, has just launched a new page on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo (see box with this story for details). The group hopes to raise at least $35,000 to purchase and install a prefabricated, modular pump track near the downtown skate park and has already collected about $10,000 toward its goal.
“Thirty-five thousand is basically your entry-level store-bought track, and prices go up from there,” Carroll said.
“If we make more money, of course, we’ll buy a larger track.”
The Indiegogo campaign is scheduled to run through May 21 and culminate with the Corvallis Spring Roll, an annual cycling event for kids.
While Oregon already has a few earthen pump tracks, Carroll added, this would be the first prefabricated track in the state. It has a modular design that would allow it to be set up in different configurations or added onto over time. It could even be disassembled and relocated if need be.
Jackie Rochefort, a parks planner with the Corvallis Parks and Recreation Department, said the department’s advisory board has tentatively approved plans to place the track near the Eric Scott McKinley Skate Park, located under the Highway 20/34 Bypass at Southwest Second Street and B Avenue.
However, she added, the Oregon Department of Transportation still needs to sign off on the idea because the area is within a highway easement. Once ODOT greenlights the project, it would have to go back to the parks board for formal approval.
At one point, Parks & Rec was considering Village Green Park on Northeast Conifer Boulevard for the pump track, but neighbors voiced opposition and potential users favored a site near the skate park.
“I think we all agree downtown is a great location,” Rochefort said.
Assuming the fund drive is successful, Carroll said he hopes to have approvals taken care of in time to install the track before the end of this summer.
Carroll said a temporary pump track has been a big hit at the Spring Roll, and he’s convinced that a permanent track in downtown Corvallis would get plenty of use, both from locals and out-of-town visitors.
“It would provide another recreational opportunity for young and old alike in the downtown area,” he said. “I think it would make the riverfront a better, cooler place to go.”