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New, larger pump track coming to Gateway Green

Posted by on October 2nd, 2020 at 12:01 pm

Portland is getting a pump track similar to this one in Hood River.
(Photo: Hood River Parks & Rec)

With buzz already strong due to the $5.75 million in major upgrades being built at Gateway Green right now, we’ve just heard more good news: A source tells us the Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) bureau has signed a contract with Velosolutions to build a much larger pump track.

The deal is still working its way through city government but it expected to be official early next week.

I haven’t confirmed details of the design or timeline for the project, but if it’s anything close to what Velosolutions typically builds, it will be the best pump track in Portland by far and cement Gateway Green as a cycling destination for the region.

Last year I visited a Velosolutions pump track at Golden Eagle Park in Hood River and was so impressed I reported back that it’s exactly what we should aspire to and it’s extremely exciting to know we have one of these coming to Portland!

According to Hood River cycling advocates, their pump track cost just under $200,000 to plan and build. Check out the video below to get a better sense of what might be coming to Gateway Green:

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A Velosolutions pump track in Germany.
(Photo: Velosolutions)

Velosolutions is a leading builder of pump tracks and has completed projects all over the world. They specialize in asphalt tracks that are super smooth and fun.

For the uninitiated, pump tracks are sort of a mix between a skatepark and a BMX track where the idea is to ride without pedaling — and use the smooth whoops of the track to gain speed. You keep your momentum by pumping your arms and legs, hence the name pump track. They’re a fantastic, full-body workout and can satisfy a wide range of ages and skill levels.

When Gateway Green opened in summer 2017 it had a very small, concrete pump track. That facility is gone and will be replaced with the new one. According to park plans, the pump track will be located near the new main entrance which will also have paved picnic areas, a drinking fountain, a restroom and other amenities when it opens later this fall.

PP&R built their first pump track at Ventura Park in 2012.

Gateway Green has been closed for construction all summer. There’s a volunteer work day slated for Saturday (10/3) as crews put the finishing touches on several major new trails and other riding features.

I look forward to sharing more about the pump track. Stay tuned!

Don’t miss this exciting update on the Phase 2 build-out from Bermstyle.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Chasing Backon
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Chasing Backon

That pump track in Hood River is so good for both kids and adults. It would be fabulous to have one of those at Gateway Green.

EP
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EP

Oh, wow that would be great. It really is what the spot has needed all along. Plus it’s a good use of the flat area down there. I’m tired of lapping that tiny concrete loop and getting dizzy!

Please, please, please, please, PLEEEEAAAASSSSEEE!

Matt
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Matt

Yes! This is precisely what I was dreaming of, including Velosolutions being the builder. The original GG pump track was a joke.

Brian
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Brian

Having something fun to ride even when it’s wet is going to be great. Thanks to all involved.

SERider
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SERider

I’m not sure this will be THAT much better when wet. Wet pavement is not ideal, even for knobby tires.

Still this looks like a BIG upgrade. (watching the Nove Mesto MTB world cup last week (free on redbulltv.com), and they use a track like this on the XC course and my daughter kept saying “I want to ride THAT!”)

Dan Sloan
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Dan Sloan

Does anyone know when Gateway will be open to the public?

Alan
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Alan

I’ve heard in November, but haven’t seen an official opening date yet.

Jim Labbe
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Jim Labbe

I hope the plan is to still revegetate the spaces between the trails to incorporate the habitat enhancements that were suppose to be part of making Gateway Green a model for integrating habitat and off-road cycling. The large open meadow habitat at Gateway Green is particularly rare on the urban landscape and the goal was to make a net positive from displacing some of it and enhancing the rest. A number of years back I led a birding trip to Gateway Green with Linda Robinson and we spotted a relatively rare Latzui Bunting and Savannah Sparrow on the site. It would be so wonderful if the habitat for these open meadow species is expanded and not diminished at Gateway Green.

Jim Labbe
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Jim Labbe

It would also prove the point that off-road cycling and habitat enhancements can go hand-in-hand.