Pump it up: Fundraiser aims to kick off final steps for Truckee recreation project

Nicholas Miley
Special to the Sun
Provided to the SunThis sketch shows what a pump track looks like; the proposed Truckee project would follow a similar model.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Despite the changing weather, some Truckee residents are already planning for an even better summer next year. The local bike community has once again come together to push the Truckee/Tahoe area forward as a premier biking destination with the proposed addition of a pump track at the Riverview Sports Park.

Some of you might be thinking: and#8220;now, what in Sam hill is a pump track?and#8221; Not a bad question. Itand#8217;s simply a compact skills building course designed to teach rhythm and the use of momentum when riding. The intended track links together berms (banked turns), whoops (evenly spaced bumps) and jumps in a circuit of continuous movement.

Imagine a skate park built into a course in which the rider can propel his or herself forward using the built-in features. Serpentine by design, pump tracks pack a lot of fun into a relatively small space.

In an effort to get this project rolling, a passionate group of riders and residents have come together under the auspice of the Truckee Pump Track Project.

This movement has been spearheaded by locals Mark Featherstone and Brooks McMullin. On trail and off, these two leaders in the community have built-up energy, networked and collected donations of goods and services.

With a larger support base and community momentum, these two have taken their plan to the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District and gained approval for their proposal.

In many ways a pump track is an easy sell: Who doesnand#8217;t want more riding in the area? Moreover, what parent doesnand#8217;t want a free place to go with the kids where they can watch them ride while enjoying an afternoon in the park? As a result, local businesses in Truckee and Tahoe City have stepped up to the monetary plate to set a foundation for the proposed bike park.

This type of development provides many understated benefits to the community. Dan Oand#8217;Goreman, the TDRPD recreation superintendent who has been working with the Truckee Pump Track Project, said the department is into and#8220;getting Truckee on the map as a biking community.and#8221; And why not? Better to keep bikers (and their dollars) here in town than to send them down the road.

The real problem is funding. Although the plan is approved, it isnand#8217;t fully paid for at this time. The acquisition of funds is in essence the real approval process. Oand#8217;Goreman admits that the district doesnand#8217;t have a lot to offer in terms of dollars and#8212; for now, that is the responsibility of the supporters of the project. However, he and#8220;thinks it would be a good addition.and#8221;

This is where the community comes in: itand#8217;s an exciting, though challenging, situation to be offered a place to develop a new aspect of a city park if the funds to do so can be raised privately. Essentially, the community must vote to approve the new track with their wallets. After reading that last line, you might be thinking, and#8220;okay, so what do we need to do?and#8221;

Only two, oh all right, three steps stand between Truckee having a public pump track. First, TDRPD must get permission from the parkand#8217;s land owner: Truckee Sanitation District. Not a huge obstacle, but nonetheless a necessary formality. Let the Sanitation District know that you support the project with a polite phone call or an email. However, that is not as important as the following two steps.

Numero Dos, go to Truckee Pump Track Project on Facebook and and#8220;likeand#8221; them. Be it fundraiser party planning or scheduling the next dig day, this is the best way to stay current on the happenings. Moreover, the likes and unique page views give helpful insight into the popularity of the project.

Finally, head to Cottonwood Restaurant at 10142 Rue Hilltop Road in Truckee on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. for live music, beer and prizes. Local band Forget the Roses will play, while beer, raffle ticket and T-shirt sales will help to fund the pump track project.

Cottonwood will be serving up food at happy hour prices until 10 p.m. This last step is the most crucial. The project needs money and donations of labor and materials. This fundraiser is just the start and itand#8217;s the easiest way to get involved. With the communityand#8217;s help, volunteers will be shoveling dirt in the summer sun before you know it.

and#8212; Nicholas Miley is a freelance writer living in South Lake Tahoe and regular contributor to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He spends his free time exploring the Sierra Nevada and writing about his experiences. He can be reached at Read more at

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