After three years in partnership with the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition, the City of Bellingham is moving forward with plans for a bike pump track and permanent restroom in Birchwood Park. The park’s parking lot was closed Feb. 9 to allow a mobile crane and contractor support vehicles to install the restroom’s foundation. The lot reopened later that day. The bike pump track’s construction is set to conclude in June 2023.
“Neighborhood pump tracks allow users to ride their bikes outside without need[ing] to transport their bikes,” Ellie Price, a spokesperson for the WMBC, wrote in an email. “Pump tracks also accommodate a lot of different types of bikes, like BMX bikes that can be much cheaper and easier to store and maintain than standard mountain bikes.”
A pump track is a series of man-made bumps or hills called rollers that are typically installed on flat ground. Rollers allow bikers to catch air and work on landing, speed and tight turns. Bikers gain enough momentum to increase their speed by using the rollers without needing to pedal. They can be made of dirt, asphalt or fiberglass. In Birchwood Park, bikers can expect a pump track similar in size and design to the Whatcom Falls Pump Track, at 16,500 square feet with overlapping loops and figure eights, Price said.
The Bellingham community helped fund the pump track, and WMBC fundraising was a big factor in making the pump track a reality.
“The community response has been very positive,” Price said.
Details about the Birchwood Park pump track can be found in the City of Bellingham’s revised master plan.
Imogene Eagan (she/her) is a city news reporter for The Front this winter quarter. She is a third-year visual journalism pre-major. She loves spending time at the Wade King Student Recreation Center, whether it be working at the front desk or weight lifting. She likes to spend her time outside of school by taking photos of Western’s athletic teams, collecting house plants and exploring the city with friends.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.