Cyclists may have a new place to ride their bikes if a plan to build a recreational pump track in Scotts Valley comes to fruition.
The Scotts Valley Parks and Recreation Commission voted 3-0 on June 6 to send a proposal to the Scotts Valley City Council to build a temporary bicycle pump track on a small parcel of land just behind the dog park at Skypark.
A pump track is a series of dirt burms and rollers that allow cyclists to propel themselves through a closed-loop track without peddling. Cyclists use momentum to complete the course.
The proposal will likely come before the city council in July or August, said Director of Public Works Ken Anderson, who oversees the commission.
Mark Davidson, the president of Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz and a Scotts Valley resident is preparing the proposal for the city council.
“I would like to see it by the dog park,” Davidson said. “There is space, the grading is great, there is access to restrooms and parking and the area is highly visible.”
Davidson said the project will cost less than $10,000 and that he has secured sponsors including Easton-Bell and Fox Racing to purchase the materials, mostly dirt, fencing, signage and access to water, to build the track. He is also working with Alex Fowler, a local pump track designer to come up with a strong design.
Two tracks would likely be built — the first a 20-by-40 foot track for beginners and kids 5-and-under — and the second an 80-by-150 foot track for all others.
According to Davidson and Anderson, the original proposal had a permanent pump track being built near the tennis courts at Skypark. A number of vocal residents spoke at the June 6 parks meeting with concerns related to parking, erosion and noise near the tennis courts, while others spoke in favor of the track wherever it would be located.
The commission eventually settled on the parcel behind the dog park as a temporary location until the Town Center is built — at which time, a new location would need to be located.
“If we call this an educational or demonstration pump track, every mountain biker understands that temporary means temporary,” Davidson said. He also noted that the mountain biking community does not bring an unsavory element like some other alternative sports.
“I can assure you we’re pretty straightedge folks,” he said. “Everybody wears helmets — and we’re not into graffiti. Mountain biking is not really like that. Culturally it’s completely different.”
Anderson said the cost to the city would be very low, as mountain biking community has committed to raising the funds itself to maintain the track.
Scotts Valley Cyclesport owner Andrew Cavaletto is all for building a pump track in Scotts Valley.
“The skate park is for skateboarding,” he said. “We need a place to have kids ride their bikes. I think it would be a lot of fun for everyone. I hope it goes through.”
“Kids, they just want to ride bikes. They are just so hungry for a pump track.”