Utilizing space beneath freeways for a bike park is a brilliant use of unused public lands. Being covered not only keeps it in the shade, but keeps the elements out allowing use in the wet season. Salt Lake City activated a blighted public space underneath the I-15 overpass 2014, working with the community to construct a small pump track. A few years later the project was expanded to incorporate jump lines creating the 9 Line Bike Park.
Sagebrush Trails and Services, a team out of Park City contracted to construct the jump lines and revamp the pump track. Building up a starting mound, a number of jump line options begin, offering features for riders of a wide range of skill levels.
Although the park was undergoing improvements during our stop through town, I managed to get through one of the intermediate lines in order to get a sense of how the park flows. (it’s pretty great)
Of course, riding a closed park is a bit of a no-no. I promise I won’t ride the park again for say, at least a year or two. And log a ton of additional volunteer trail building hours locally to make up for it.
The best part of the jump line though is the return pump/jump path. So many jump lines just end randomly and you’re either walking back or pedaling on route that just isn’t fun on a freestyle bike.
The view of the mountains in the background isn’t shabby either.
9 Line Pump Track
At first glance the pump track at 9 Line is basic. A long oval, it has two cross-over lines which add variety to the layout, but also add quite a bit of new options. The best part of the pump track is the implementation of the features. The flow of this track is spot on, unlike many public pump tracks we’ve ridden. The roller spacing works, and while novice riders can easily negotiate the track, riders carrying speed can easily double up the rollers, riding more like a BMX track rhythm section.
Although it seems like a very basic pump track, so many public tracks simply don’t work as well as this one. It’s way more fun that so many tracks that seem to serve as pumping practice.
I found myself jumping half of the apparent lines on my first lap though. If this was my home track I have no doubt we’d be experimenting with all the various options for transfers as well as gaps that open up when you’re really able to rail.
Also of note, is the strider track, which is most notable for not taking up a lot of the valuable real estate. Kid pump lines are best served as routes for migrating traffic from popular sections of the park where smaller riders might not be seen. It’s just a small oval that’s just off the main pump track, which can easily be ridden by riders of all ages – which means kids. So many parks don’t get this simple fact – kids progress in their riding ability at a far greater rate than adults and actually require far more challenge.
The park was easy to find while passing through town, so if you have a dirt jump bike or BMX bike with you, it’s a must do stop. If you only have your trail bike though, we recommend going straight to I-Street. (post coming)
9 Line Bike Park
700W 900 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84104