What is a Pump Track?

Once upon a time, I had no knowledge of pump tracks. Now, I hear about them in connection to two parks, Quarry Park in El Granada and Flood Park in Menlo Park, on a regular basis. Planning efforts have been underway at both parks and as part of those community engagement processes, residents spoke up in favor of a pump track (or two) in San Mateo County Parks.

BMX inspired the first pump tracks and so BMX-style bikes are usually what people ride on a pump track. Wikipedia defines a pump track as “a circuit of rollers, banked turns and features designed to be ridden completely by riders “pumping” — generating momentum by up and down body movements — instead of pedaling or pushing.”

Pump tracks are often made out of dirt, but concrete or asphalt tracks are starting to pop up and these can also be used by skateboarders and in-line skaters. San Mateo County has several nearby examples of pump tracks. Marin County Parks manages the Stafford Lake Bike Park (pictured) and there are a number of pump tracks in and around Santa Cruz.

Stafford Lake Bike Park in Marin County

Stafford Lake Bike Park in Marin County

Photo courtesy of the Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau

A pump track is a great way to get kids away from the internet and outside engaging in some fun outdoor play. Stay tuned as we follow the progression of pump tracks in San Mateo County Parks.

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