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.
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.
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.
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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.