PHILADELPHIA, PA - If you're looking for something fun to do with the kids this summer, look no further than the Philly Pumptrack in Fairmount Park. The free course was built in 2014 and is the only course of its kind in the region.
There are two tracks, an oval beginner track, and the larger track with multiple line choices.
All riders must sign a waiver before entering the course, but once they do, kids are equipped with a helmet and a bike, and then they're taught the basics. The Philly Pumptrack is situated on land owned by the city of Philadelphia and managed by the Friends of Philly Pumptrack at Parkside Evans in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. The park's director, Heidi Grunwald, says they maintain a donated fleet of high-end SE BMX bikes and Bern helmets that are freely available to visitors. Simply show up, sign a waiver, grab a bike and a helmet or bring your own and jump on the track!
In fall 2010, Grunwald, Kenn Rymdeko and Harlan Price met with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Director of Strategic Initiatives, Ed Fagan. The trio proposed a pumptrack in Philadelphia, a small, dirt course designed for bicycling without pedaling. The proposed track would include a trail system of raised banks, smooth mounds for pumping, and crater-like bowls.
Grunwald and her partners raised over $41,000 and overcame numerous obstacles to create what is now the Philly Pumptrack. The Fairmount Park Conservancy, Philly’s non-profit park champion, contributed $6,000 through two grants for programming and physical improvements to help the Pumptrack get started.