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Portland embarks on a new era of off-road advocacy

Posted by on February 26th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

With the voting in of six new board members at their monthly meeting earlier this week, the Portland United Mountain Pedalers (PUMP) are set to embark a new era of off-road advocacy.

These new board members mark a significant turning point for PUMP, a group that some advocates for more off-road riding opportunities in Portland had all but given up on. Back in May 2008, we reported on a new advocacy group that was being formed to fill the “off-road advocacy void.” That group never really gelled into a distinct organization.

However, a small, behind-the-scenes group called the Portland Mountain Bike Alliance (PDX-MTB) has been working on local mountain bike issues since 2007. Three members of that group are part of the six new board members of PUMP, and now PDX-MTB has formally folded into PUMP.

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So, how will this new PUMP differ from the old PUMP? New board member Paul Fidrych — a founding member of PDX-MTB — says that, “By consolidating our advocacy efforts, mountain bike opportunities will be stronger on the whole.” Fidrych says they’ve hit the ground running and are already working on a white paper about singeltrack in Forest Park, the Gateway Green project, and the Burnside Bike Park/Pump Track project.

Fidrych adds that the powers-that-be in Portland (the city, Metro, etc…) should take note of all this because their goal is to “someday get on the same level as the BTA, but for off-road bicyclists.” With all the momentum for off-road biking in Portland right now, PUMP seems well on their way.

Here are the new board members of PUMP:

Paul Fidrych
Fidrych’s current advocacy projects include Gateway Green and the Portland Bike Park Master Plan. He is a 17-year veteran of the sporting goods industry and is currently a general manager at Nike.

Joe Barcott
Barcott is currently “semi-retired” and is a member of the Multnomah County Bike/Ped Trails Citizen Advisory Committee, and the Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation Dept. Bike/Ped Citizen Trails Advisory Committee. He has also offered his legal services to the club on a pro bono basis.

Tom Archer

Tom Archer
Archer has has been actively involved with facilitating the Gateway Green project, he is a participant on the city’s Forest Park ad-hoc committee and he is a member of the mountain bike working group that is part of the Portland Bicycle Master Plan update process.

Short track MTB racing
Kris Schamp

Kris Schamp
Schamp is a Belgium native that moved to Portland 10 years ago. He is the man behind Portland Racing, a company that promotes local off-road races and events (including the Short Track Series at Portland International Raceway). Schamp also works at the Bike Gallery as a marketing specialist.

Mt. Hood Classic at Mt. Tabor -15.jpg
Erik Tonkin

Erik Tonkin
Tonkin is the owner of Sellwood Cycle Repair and has been a recognizable member of Oregon’s bicycling community for 15 years. He is an elite amateur (some would say professional) mountain bike, cyclocross, and road racer.

Oregon Bike Tourism Summit
Cedar Kyes

Cedar Kyes
Kyes represents the freeride/downhill rider contingent. He has been in the bike industry for many years mostly as a retail sales rep. Kyes has been instrumental in getting the Gateway Green project off the ground and has been a tireless advocate for urban bike skills parks.

– Stay abreast of all the PUMP happenings at PUMPClub.org and stay tuned to BikePortland for more coverage as the mountain bike advocacy issues twist and turn down the trail….

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Comments
  • brian February 26, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Beautiful news for Portland.

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  • fredlf February 26, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Dang, looks like I’m gonna have to buy that White Bros. fork I’ve been putting off. Get to work guys! (And let us know how we can help…)

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  • Fred February 26, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    As a PUMP member for the last two years I welcome the new momentum in the group. PUMP has done an amazing amount of advocacy in the region including building and maintaining trails, but it was being done by too few. The expansion of the board is also bring in new members with new energy and taking some of the burden off of those that have been overworked and under appreciated. If you Mountain Bike in the region, please join PUMP and get involved in any way that you feel comfortable. Your energy will get us to the next level with a larger voice in the region.

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  • John Russell February 26, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Looks like you forgot the word ‘ground’ in Cedar Kyes’s snippet.

    But getting off of the ground is exactly what all of these things are now doing. Thankfully, theirs is not a world that has to be wrangled from the motor vehicle. In that sense, they’re already ahead.

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  • John Russell February 26, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Also, congrats on this being the 3,800th post on the front page. We’re almost to 4,000!

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  • Harth Huffman February 27, 2009 at 7:22 am

    I just joined the Forest Park Conservancy but have not been a PUMP member for years. I read the PUMP listserve daily and have been trying to figure out what changes are going on but haven’t been able to do so yet. With all this energy, it may be time to renew my PUMP membership, too, and help keep the momentum going.

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  • One Ghost Industries February 27, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Will someone please send an e-mail to us here at info@oneghost.com and let us know when the next PUMP meeting is. We want to send someone to sit in and listen and try to help the MTB advocacy here in Portland.
    Thanks!
    One Ghost Industries, LLC
    Portland’s ONLY DH frame company

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  • One Ghost Industries February 27, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Thanks for the e-mail responses. Last Tues. of the month, got it on the calendar!

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  • Darkness February 27, 2009 at 9:31 am

    All-star line up!

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  • toowacky February 27, 2009 at 11:24 am

    You missed one of the new board members on PUMP.

    Joe Barcott- Along w/ Tom Archer and Paul Fidrych, was part of the Portland Mountain Bike Alliance (PDX-MTB). Joe is a “semi-retired” lawyer who was raised in the Seattle area. He’s been involved w/ MTB associations in Colorado before moving to Portland and becoming involved with a couple of bike/ped trails advisory committees in the metro area.

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  • Matt F February 27, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Awesome!

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  • Blue Healer February 27, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Folks out there. If your only off road adventure is a road bike ride on Lief E. in Forest Park, I urge you to join this new club. We bike riders are some of the most energetic and positive people this earth has produced. Lets work together to move human powered vehicles to the forefront of getting around, both on and off road in Portland and the entire NW. See ya out there riding and at events where we can make a difference and have fun at the same time.
    ron

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  • Anonymous February 27, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Dude! A big pump track in the middle of town? Who is not excited about this? Hell yeah!

    Matty K

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  • redhippie February 27, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    I do find it interesting that after 2 years of PUMP membership and fair number of rides and work parties, that I don’t know any of these folks. Probably it is my fault for not paying more attension to the listserve, but did Pump just get hijacked? Is this what is meant to happen with the friends of forest park also?

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  • dan February 27, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I’m going to have to check out PUMP again now… a few years ago I tried getting involved with them a few times, but there was a dude named Roger who was a complete ass and totally turned me off to the group. Looking at the site I don’t see his name listed as an officer now. There’s some really respectable names in the new group, too!

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  • Chris B February 28, 2009 at 10:38 am

    This is a positive development that bodes well for all interested in sticking fat tires onto Portland dirt. I think the previous PUMP board deserves a ton of credit for making this bold step possible.

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  • john steg February 28, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Kudos to all the Board Members for their generosity in supporting this effort!

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  • DaHoos March 1, 2009 at 8:25 am

    One of my first rides after moving here was with a good group of PUMP members. The ride was great and most of the people were a pleasure to ride with. The more I looked into joinging I was slightly turned off however. But that was a number of years ago and I’m excited by the changes occurring, especially more representation for the variety of riding styles. And the F.P. access is amazing. I plan on joining in hopes that we can really make PDX a “bike-friendly” city in every sense of that term.

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  • [...] Mountain Bike Advocacy Heats Up in Portland In Bicycle advocacy on March 1, 2009 at 8:46 am From BikePortland.org: [...]

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  • realistbiker May 29, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Wow, good call, we did just witness a “hijacking” of a group, it’s got a new focus now…hope it works. Likely it’s a good thing though, PUMP needed a house cleaning, previous board members just about got that group eliminated. Good luck to you all, it really doesn’t make any difference, you have city people to deal with, I advise for a city near PDX and I can tell you how things work and how long it takes. Patience is not a virtue it’s a requirement. Besides, no offense to the riders in town but there’s nothing worthy to ride. when I ride off road I go to a real trail. One trail in FP within the next 10 years is not good enough. It has to start somewhere, momentum is good, I’ll check back when some real progress has been made. Good fortunes to you all, ride safe, aware, and respectable.

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