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NW Trail Alliance moves forward on jump park, pump track

Posted by on April 6th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Proposed plan for new pump track at Ventura Park in Southeast Portland.

Local off-road cycling group the Northwest Trail Alliance is close to opening two dirt track riding areas; one in Beaverton (a renovation) and one in Southeast Portland.

A tour of the West Side-18

Existing conditions at Eichler.
(Photo © J. Maus)

In Beaverton, the NWTA has signed an agreement with Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District (THPRD) to renovate and manage the Eichler Jump Park, an old BMX jump park just south of SW Farmington Road (map) that has been abandoned for many years. According to NWTA volunteer staffer Raul Atencio, they plan to begin a full-scale remodel of the existing facility on three Build Days: April 30th, May 14th, and June 4th.

At Eichler, the NWTA will build three different “lines” that will appeal to beginner, intermediate and advanced riders. “This way,” Autencio says, “riders can development their skills in a more safe and controlled environment.” The park will be made for 20-inch wheeled BMX bikes or 26-inch hardtail mountain bikes. The layout and design of the new park was done by Jason Van Horn. Check it out below…

In Portland, the NWTA is working with Portland Parks and Recreation on a pump track (a small, dirt riding course with berms and bumps suitable for all skill levels) at Ventura Park in Southeast Portland.

Pump tracks are great for all ages and skill levels.

Last Fall, the NWTA proposed a pump track site at Mill Park in East Portland, but opposition from the neighborhood association shelved those plans.

Now, the NWTA and the Portland Parks Bureau have a new location in mind and it looks like this time around things will go better for pump track supporters. This weekend, the NWTA and Parks will host a pump track demonstration and open house at Ventura Park. The NWTA will set up their bike skills course (you might have seen it at Sunday Parkways) and Parks will ask attendees what they think and whether or not they feel a pump track would be a good fit for Ventura Park.

Portland Parks flyer.

In a flyer for the event, Portland Parks says the proposed park could be, “a fun way to build both bike handling skills and fitness levels for kids and adults in an organized and safe setting.”

Assuming this pump track goes forward (and sources say it’s highly likely), the NWTA would draft an agreement with Parks to design, build, and maintain the pump track (similar to their agreement with THPRD at Eichler).

It’s great to see movement on these two projects. Jump parks and pump tracks are excellent, cost-effective ways to provide a healthy activity and get more out of our parks — not to mention that they give people a place to ride off-road in a region where urban off-road trails are sorely lacking.

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  • 9watts April 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    “What is a pump track?
    A pump track is a continuous loop that can be ridden on a bike without pedalling. Tracks consist of a series of rolling bumps (rollers) and banked corners (berms) that allow the rider to gain momentum and reach speeds of up to 20mph! Basic pump tracks are an oval shape with a berm at each end and rollers in between to make the straights. More advanced pump tracks will be irregular shapes with lots of different lines and sections with several berms in a row or even rollers that can be jumped over.”

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  • 9watts April 6, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I don’t know how html works, but it took out part of my message above, I guess because I used carret symbols. My point was that I had not heard these terms jump park and pump track and thought it worth explaining.

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  • PDX Nature Nut April 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Awesome – I hope the Ventura Park course comes to fruition!

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  • Gabriel Amadeus April 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Sweet! Even though it’s nearly in Gresham, the blue line runs blocks from it. Could even hit it enroute to Powell Butte on the MAX.

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  • jordan April 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Gabriel Amadeus
    Sweet! Even though it’s nearly in Gresham, the blue line runs blocks from it. Could even hit it enroute to Powell Butte on the MAX.

    Please note that Ventura Park is not near Gresham. We are a proud part of Portland over 6 miles from Gresham.

    But yes, the blue line does run right past Ventura Park and school. As a neighbor of the park and a member of NWTA, I am excited about this project. Although I wouldn’t liked to see more outreach on the part of NWTA. The neighbors of the park received letters from the Parks Dept. last week explaining the project, but I hadn’t heard anything prior to that from NWTA. I also wonder a little on the location in the park that is shown above right next to a nice rose garden. Maybe nearer the playground equuipment might be better.

    I plan to be out there on Sunday.

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    • Matt April 6, 2011 at 5:08 pm

      I think they chose that site because it’s almost not visible from the street and its not too near the houses.

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  • Hack April 6, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    what about 24″ bikes?

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    • Matt April 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      Nope, no way… then we’d have to include 650b’ers and 29ers…

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  • Tim Davis April 6, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    This is GREAT news! We’ve been waiting for recreational opportunities like this within city limits for decades!

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    • dmc April 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm

      Hell yeah!

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  • Brian Johnson April 7, 2011 at 10:17 am

    This is great– especially Eichler Park. I had heard about that last year and then forgot about it.

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  • dmc April 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    As kids, we would make small scales of these tracks in open areas around the neighborhood.

    We would spend all summer working on a track, someone would get hurt, the city would come in and bulldoze the whole area. :*(

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  • Loren April 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    This is great! Yes, I totally agree, Portland NEEDS places for kids to ride their bikes in the dirt! I’m a thirty year old kid.

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  • Alex May 6, 2011 at 8:28 am

    This place is not abandoned. It’s still being used :\

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