Santa Cruz, we’re getting tired of how bad you’re making the rest of the Bay Area look. While we’re stuck doing cutties and tearing up bark dust landscaping at the local park, you’re up to something like five pump tracks and bike parks. Is that right? And that doesn’t even count the wood or bike friendly concrete parks.
After a trail ride at USCS this weekend, we planned to do a pump track tour, and brought our dirt jump bike. Stop number one: the West Side Pump Track. Although it’s a basic loop and doesn’t offer a lot in alternative line choices, it’s well laid out and has decent flow.
We have been seeing a lot of new pump track video clips popping up in our social media feed. While that in itself is pretty sweet, it has been a bit of a bummer to see how boring a lot of them appear. This could be in part to the lousy clips, but so many of them consist of stacks of rollers linking up a few tight 180º turns, and no options for creative expression. We had assumed the same of the West Side Track.
Although we’ve driven by it several times, it didn’t look very big, and word on the street was it wasn’t as fun as the other tracks in the area. Based on that, we had actually planned to skip it to ride the Chanticleer Pump Track and maybe the one in Aptos. I’m happy to say I was wrong.
Although the layout is basic, the rollers are spaced well, and the bermed turns were fun and fast. There aren’t a ton of alternative lines, but it flows well enough to run until your legs are feeling burnt, and we’d be more than stoked to have a spot like this in riding distance of home. And alternative lines have a way of presenting themselves…
There’s actually a secondary loop that can be connected as well as a weird small push bike loop. I’m always confused by those, but then again, we don’t currently have a small one on a push bike to push around there.
The pump track is usually filled when we have driven by in the past. We lucked out though and had it to ourselves for a bit before we packed up to head to the next track.
We had actually came across the pump track on our way to check out the new location of Santa Cruz Bicycles. They were closed but it was hard to resist a quick shot in front of it. The pump track isn’t even a block away from here— must be nice!
Directions/ How to get there
The West Side Pump Track is located at 100 Western Drive.
City On a Hill Press: Bicycle Pump Track Rolls into Westside
Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz: Bike Parks and Pump Tracks, current/ in development