The North Coast Mountain Bike Association (NCMBA) is one step closer to its dream of a pump track in Prince Rupert after securing space in McClymont Park.
Last year, the grassroots organization approached the P.R. city council in search of somewhere to build a pump track, a continuous loop of small rolling hills and curved berms that can be ridden without having to pedal.
After months of discussion and research into options, the City of Prince Rupert gave NCMBA a licence to occupy a 2000-square-metre-lot in McClymont Park.
The licence is valid for five years, Craig Rimmer, director at NCMBA said.
“Council authorized the city to enter into a licence to occupy for their proposed pump track location in June of 2022, with the public notification and feedback period and completion of all of the necessary paperwork over the summer,” Veronika Stewart said.
“We’re happy to have active community groups like the North Coast Mountain Bike Association working to build new recreation assets for our community and encourage residents to check out their proposal for the area on their website,” Stewart said.
With the skate park and other recreational opportunities close by, it’s a good spot for the pump track, he said. Despite its centrality is set back from the road and surrounded by trees, which makes it private still.
The lot is susceptible to flooding from an adjacent creek and this has been an issue in the past, so NCMBA has a plan in place with McElhanney to engineer the site preparation and mitigate flooding potential, Rimmer said.
The group also contacted Oceans and Fisheries Canada (DFO) to be part of the construction phase, he added.
Overall, the NCMBA expects that the project will cost $324,000. To date, they have raised more than $163,000 through community donations, grants and membership fees.
Having a confirmed space will improve their chances when they are applying for grants and will help them fundraise, Rimmer said.
“We are ambitious to break ground (in) 2023,” he added.
“This is a vital step in moving the project forward with the intent to construct a safe, multi-use, asphalt pump track for all ages and skill levels,” the NCMBA board of directors wrote in a statement about the secured space. Bicycles, scooters skateboards and even wheelchairs can be used on a pump track, their website states.
Formed in the winter of 2019, the pump track is just the start for NCMBA, they aspire to one day create a whole network of bike trails, lanes and parks throughout the region, their website states.
Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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