Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Construction Starts on Philadelphia's First Pumptrack

A panoramic shot of the future site of the pumptrack
Quietly behind the scenes, a small group of dedicated mountain bikers have been working to bring Philadelphia its first pumptrack. For the unfamiliar, a pumptrack is a small dirt course of bumps, jumps and berms, designed for BMX and mountain bikes, which one can navigate without pedaling by using weight shifts and gravity. The new track will be located in Fairmount Park near the Mann Center.

The organizers hope to create a safe space for both kids and adult to ride bikes and learn handling skills in an urban setting. The project was conceived by Harlan Price, Kenn Rymdeko and Heidi Grunwald in 2010. After three years of fundraising, site selection, permitting and review, the City of Philadelphia gave the green light last week to start construction. Almost immediately, construction has begun.

The track will be built inside a 15,000 square foot boundary. The lot dedicate for the track is inactive Park and Recreation land adjacent to the tennis courts at the Parkside-Evans RecreationCenter. A "Friends of PhillyPumptrack at Parkside Evans" has been formed and 160 people are on the listserv.

Using the Bicycle Coalition as a fiscal agent, Philly Pumptrack raised funds from Bikes Belong, Specialized, Bucks County Cycling Club, Shoprite Foundation, City of Philadelphia Activities Grant, Skidmutro Design Group, Bilenky Cycle Works, and Wolf Cycles. Fuji Cycles and Specialized Bicycles have donated bikes. Holt Logistics at the Navy Yard donated a 40’ container to store bikes and Diamond Tools donated tools. 

If volunteering to help build a cool new park feature is your thing, the organizers are looking for people to help clear the concrete, debris, and stone from the build site. Those interested in pitching a hand can show up at the site during the workday and check in with Jim Dellavalle or Jason Mifflin. You can also send an email to
Construction of the pumptrack should be finished by November 30th. Depending on weather, landscaping may or may not get done this fall. The track is expected to be fully open in Spring 2014. A Spring 2014 PumpJam opening is being planned.

Congratulations to all involved for exhibiting the patience and diligence needed to see this project to completion! And thank you to Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., Lucinda Hudson, the Parkside-Evans community, Ed Fagan, and others at the Parks and Recreation Department, Capital Projects and Law Department for helping make this project possible.

Below are schematics for the pumptrack: