PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles is getting a second race track for BMX and other bikes as a new addition to Erickson Playfield.
The Port Angeles pump track, a sequence of rollers and banked turns, is scheduled to open to bicyclists and wheelchair users this fall.
“We’re hoping to start construction mid-August to early September and finishing by early October,” said Sean Coleman, Lincoln Park BMX track operator, in a Port Angeles City Council meeting Tuesday.
Pump track riders use momentum from the rollers to propel themselves through the undulating course, Coleman said.
The idea is to slingshot through the turns and fly over the hills so you don’t have to pedal.
“It builds incredible bike skills by continually making them work,” Coleman said.
New pump tracks that have sprouted up in communities like Leavenworth and Bend, Ore., have attracted international competitions like the Velosolutions Red Bull Pump Track Series, Coleman said.
“This track would be eligible to host one of these events,” Coleman said.
The Port Angeles City Council previously awarded a $100,000 lodging tax grant for the $747,500 pump track facility.
“It’s just another reason to stop and stay in town, so I think that’s really exciting,” Mayor Kate Dexter said.
The pump track is a collaboration between the city and the Lincoln Park BMX Association, Top Left Trails Co-Op and NDub Productions/NW Cup.
The grant-funded, volunteer-driven project will be the first in the nation to have a loop for wheelchair users, Coleman said.
“There’s two different loops on the pump track,” Coleman said during a slide presentation.
“The loop to the left will be an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)-approved loop where you can use wheelchairs or electric wheelchairs, or even younger kids that aren’t ready for the larger track.”
Lincoln Park BMX track in west Port Angeles had seen a 225-percent spike in participation since the association inherited it from the city in 2017, said Corey Delikat, city parks and recreation director.
“They’ve also made $400,000 worth of improvements, and they’ve received $185,000 in grants, and they have well over 5,000 hours of volunteerism by some really dedicated individuals, including the board members,” Delikat said.
“This group, if they weren’t busy already, came to me in 2018 and said, ‘We want to put a pump track in somewhere.’ ”
The pump track will be adjacent to Erickson Skate Park and the new Dream Playground between the Port Angeles YMCA and Civic Field. Two small youth soccer fields will remain on the southwest corner of the park.
Delikat said the track will “take some pressure off the skate park,” extending the life of that facility, and require minimal maintenance.
“Much like the Dream Playground Foundation, the Lincoln Park BMX is an organization that is willing to help us maintain this area in the future, and that was really important to us,” Delikat told the council.
The pump track is funded by a $350,000 grant from the state Recreation and Conservation Office, $100,000 lodging tax grants from the city and Clallam County, business sponsorships, individual and community donations and a grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.
A fundraising campaign is ongoing at www.classy.org/fundraiser/3103246.
About 80 percent of the total project funds had been committed, Coleman told the council Tuesday.
Coleman displayed a YouTube video showing pump track riders in New Zealand.
“This is going to be a good project, I can tell,” Council Member Charlie McCaughan said after seeing the video.
“I did not see any kids 65 and older in those videos, so I’m assuming it would not be a good idea to take my Schwinn English racer down there?”
“Bring your own bike, and you’re more than welcome,” Coleman told McCaughan.
“I’m sure you’ll do better than Corey, so it’ll be just fine.”
The pump track will be open to riders of all skill levels during normal park hours. Helmets will be required.
“It should be open 12 months out of the year,” Coleman said.
“It should be rideable unless it’s under a couple feet of snow.”
Delikat said the pump track will complement recent improvements at Civic Field, Erickson Skate Park and the new Dream Playground, which is scheduled to be assembled later this year.
“It’s just going to be a great asset to this community,” Delikat said.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].