A new asphalt pump track is being proposed for the region by the North Coast Mountain Biking Association (NCMBA) with Prince Rupert City Council providing a letter of endorsement so the club’s project can proceed.
Charles Tree, president of the NCMBA and Craig Rimmer director of the club presented an in-depth introduction to the project explaining at the Council of the Whole meeting on May 31, that a pump track is a continuous loop of berms and ‘rollers’ that are ridden around without pedalling,
The track will benefit the community as a whole because it is not just limited to mountain bike usage. Bicycles, scooters, skateboards, strollers, and wheelchairs enable all abilities, skills levels, and ages to utilize the functions of the track, Rimmer said.
Several pump tracks have been installed in numerous municipalities across the province with a new one in Victoria just two weeks ago. A recently constructed track in Terrace draws riders from Prince Rupert on a weekly basis, Rimmer said.
The local NCMBA club which incorporated in 2019 has a current membership of 180, which Rimmer said he thinks is ‘pretty good.’
“Our main goal is to construct and maintain a mountain bike trail network in this area, in Prince Rupert and on Kaien Island. Right now we’re standing at 180 members large, which is pretty good, I think,” Rimmer said.
President of the club Charles Tree, said pump tracks by nature are extremely safe and forgiving.
“It’s no different than someone biking down the road to go get the groceries or go pick up the kids from school, ” Tree said. “Except that you have a controlled environment with rules and regulations, you wear a helmet and gloves and encouraging wearing knee pads, elbow pads, that sort of thing.”
The club is currently past its 50 per cent fundraising mark, and is applying for grants to assist in covering the estimated $200,000 project. With various locations being considered wth the assistance of city staff, a final site has yet to be determined. Ideally, a central site would be the best for the 2,000 to 3,000 sq. metre track Tree said, however, the club is very open to different selections.
“It would be nice to look for a place where we can have future expansion for jumps, with a different skills park to go into it, maybe have a little track for smaller children to learn on, as well parking would be very good,” Tree said.
He said ultimately this will project will assist the city with the trail building and development of outdoor recreation activities.
“That’s one of the reasons we really like it, is because it will make that trail riding safer just by giving kids and people a place to build their skills before they go out into the wild and ride the trails,” he said.
The idea behind the track is all about having fun and building skills as it is an all-inclusive track facility that can be used in all weather ‘rain or shine’, the duo team told city council.
“I think every town can benefit from the promotion of healthy outdoor activity, rain or shine,” he said, “It enhances outdoor recreational culture, huge potential and hosting community events.”
The track would also be a tourist draw and have economic benefits helping the small business in town.
“The pump track is the first step in a multi-year plan for us to push forward to just continuously build and maintain trails to encourage people to come here and enjoy our area,” Tree said.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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