Calling all bicyclists, BMXers, skateboarders, incline skaters and, well, all Denverites: Montbello Central Park is getting a pump track in spring 2022.
So, uh, what’s a pump track?
A pump track is a track made up of mini hills, or rollers, where instead of pedaling or pushing, the rider “pumps” their body up and down to generate momentum around the circuit.
The track also includes banked, or inset, turns that keep the rider flowing ’round the circuit. Typically, the tracks are made from dirt, but the one in Montbello will be made of asphalt.
“You’re not supposed to peddle,” said Deak Brown, the Bike Park Operations Supervisor for Parks and Recreation. “You can use your body, bike, momentum and the hills on the track to do continuous laps.”
Fun fact: The first pump track ever built was in Boulder by professional bicyclist Steve Wentz in 2004. There’s currently pump tracks in Ruby Hill Bike Park and Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park.
Brown said the track ties in with Montbello’s new bicycle course at the Montbello Recreation Center. The course teaches attendees how to ride their bikes and “feel comfortable using a variety of bike lanes throughout our city.”
The track is a part of Parks and Rec’s Central Park improvement plan, which was partially funded by the Elevate Denver Bond. Other improvements to the park will include a new irrigation system, picnic area, pedestrian lighting and ADA accessible ramps.
It’s also part of the department’s overarching “Game Plan for a Healthy City,” an initiative to build more parks that are accessible and equitable across Denver. Building off that plan is the Outdoor Adventure and Alternative Sports Master Plan, which focuses on bringing nontraditional recreational activities to Denver, again, in an equitable way, according to Brown.
“We’re trying to find a way to bring anything alternative to Denver and make it accessible for everybody in Denver,” Brown said. “Whether it’s rock climbing, Frisbee, golf, skateboarding, biking, all those things that aren’t your typical stick and ball sport that you find at every park. We want to make it equitable and accessible for everybody in the city.”
City Council President Stacie Gilmore, whose district includes Montbello, said the community has asked for “more unique amenities.”
Brown said the track is made for riders of all skill levels and provides another safe place for kids to ride and learn additional bike or skating skills.
He said he hopes pump tracks become as common as basketball courts, especially since they’re “easy to maintain and sustainable.”
“[The park] is going to open up a lot of windows for skateboarders, roller skaters,” Brown said. “You see a lot of roller derby girls using courses like this or scooters and bikes. It’s going to bring a whole community of alternative sports together to be able to recreate in an alternative way.”