The rumors have been swirling for some time now, but its finally happened— an all-season, asphalt pumptrack has been constructed at Portland’s Gateway Green Bike Park.
Portland Parks contracted with American Ramp Company to construct the asphalt pump track. Located in the center of the new park, it’s the crown of the Phase II improvements to the bike park that was initially established as the Dirt Lab project.
The Phase II improvements are slated to be completed with the park reopening Thanksgiving Day.
If you’ve ever wondered been curious of the process in building asphalt tracks, we’ve been stopping by a few times each week to document updates of the construction of the new pump track.
Based on the specs provided, it’ll be smaller than the Velosolutions pump track in Redmond, but bigger than the pump track in Hood River. We’re psyched on the layout, which looks more like the layout of the track in Leavenworth. It also minimizes the 180º berms that make up so much of the Hood River track.
Those 180º berms come up fast when you get comfortable with the flow of that track — it’s possible to get whiplash on your neck if you don’t warm up properly there, or get dizzy, which could result in a spectacular and painful impact with pavement.
The layout of the PDX track on the other hand, is looking great in terms of flow; the wide-open outside line means riders will be able to achieve some wicked fast momentum to hit the two wood wall ride features.
A paved track in Portland is huge. As residents of the PNW already know, we often experience some long wet winters, and even during respites from precipitation, our trails are often too wet to responsibly ride. With the new improvements to the Gateway Green Bike Park slated to wrap up in November for the official re-opening, it’s highly likely we won’t be able to actually ride any of the new jump lines and features due to it being too wet.
American Ramp Company (?)
I know what you’re thinking here, as we were thinking it too — what the heck is American Ramp Company? Aren’t they skatepark builders? We were hoping for a Velosolution track like the other sweet tracks in Redmond, Hood River, and Leavenworth?!
Well, Velosolutions is actually a company based in Switzerland. American Ramp Company partners with Velosolutions here in the US, and are indeed the builders of many of the paved pump tracks of note.
Building an asphalt pump track
It’s been neat to drop in every few days to observe the progress of the pump track build. The prep work performed to keep the track water-free is great to see, as the pumptrack will be the only feature that is usable year-round. (thought the single track in the park also holds up well as it has been winterized)
Finally, a use for DJ bikes
On a side note, if you’ve ridden a paved pump track, you already know to maximize fun by riding a dirt jump bike. If you don’t have one, better try to find one quick – the bike shortage doesn’t appear it’s going to stop any time soon, and finding 26″ bikes, wheels, tires is even harder.
For more on Gateway Green, visit PortlandParks.gov