Regional: Eagle-Vail opens pump track
EAGLE-VAIL — What was once a small, forgotten dirt lot that was home to some storage sheds and equipment is now a three-track bike park bustling with riders of all ages.
Eagle-Vail and cycling nonprofit The Cycle Effect, along with a number of supporting businesses from the community, officially unveiled the Eagle-Vail Pump Track June 11. The park is small, only 40 by 80 feet, but currently includes three loops — a kids Strider course, an intermediate loop and bigger pro loop — designed with berms and rollers so that a rider can coast and jump through the course without pedaling.
As many as 10 or 12 riders were already rolling around the course on Thursday as organizers cut the ribbon on the new project. Nadine Davis of the women’s cycling club Vail Valley Vixens was also on hand to present Cycle Effect with a $500 check to go toward the organization’s gear needs for the season.
A place to ride
The idea for the pump track took shape a few months ago when Cycle Effect founder Brett Donelson approached the community of Eagle-Vail about the project. Donelson and Gore Range Landscaping owner Kevin Douglas had been discussing the need for a community bike park, and they were looking for a place to build it. Eagle-Vail quickly offered up the small patch of land located behind the Eagle-Vail Pavilion.
“It’s a spot out of the way, and when we were approached by Brett, it all really played into the whole scheme of what we’re doing in Eagle-Vail,” said director of parks and golf course maintenance Steve Barber. “In our master park planning project, we wanted more fitness amenities.”
In a matter of three to four months, Donelson was able to raise funds from partners that include Venture Sports and Uvex, a Fort Collins designer drew up plans for the project and Douglas’ company built the track with donated time.
“I think it’s going to be a huge success and help us get more (things like this) on the valley floor for both kids and adults to enjoy,” said Douglas, whose company has built a number of other private trails in the area. “It’s a place a family can go and everyone can get some exercise and hang out. Before, I felt like there was no place for kids to ride — it was either the parking lot or the skate park.”
However, Donelson emphasizes that the track isn’t just for kids.
“Parts of it are certainly an advanced pump track – you won’t be bored of it in 20 minutes. It gains in elevation and has little hills and contours. It’s something that people are really going to spend some time on,” he said. “We’re really happy with the product and psyched with how it came out.”
The Cycle Effect takes over
As part of The Cycle Effect’s commitment to the project, girls from the program will volunteer their time weekly to maintain and care for the pump track.
“We’ll come for a few hours a week and water it and do some repairs,” said The Cycle Effect participant Abigail Elizalde.
The pump track is an outlet for the girls in the program to fulfill their community volunteer hours for the season, as well as an opportunity to learn about trail maintenance.
“We’ll do some clinics for some of the kids in town to teach about trail and track maintenance. It costs less to maintain than grass and just needs a little watering and regular repairs,” said Donelson, adding that he’d like to see more pump track projects replicated around the valley. “I think every little town of ours should have one of these. It’s such a central thing for the kids to go do. It’s just like a playground, and there will be people from 65 to 4 on it.”
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Grace Wesseling is an animal lover, a cheerleader of seven years and another soon-to-be graduate of Bridges High School, class of 2021.