by Sheena Adkins + Mike Frampton, PeopleForBikes East Coast events crew
Saturday, May 10th marked the start of Philadelphia’s ?Love Your Park Week.? To kickstart this week of wonderful events, volunteers worked together to clean up the park area around the brand new Philly Pumptrack ? a project that’s been in the works for nearly four years and received a grant from us back in 2011. At long last, project organizers and other workers were down to a few last minute touches on the track before the grand opening celebration later that afternoon.
After much anticipation, serious dedication and a whole lotta hard work, the city of Philadelphia welcomed its first pump track in Fairmount Park with the Philly Pump Jam. For you newbies, a pump track is a small dirt course of bumps, jumps and berms designed for BMX and mountain bikes, which one can navigate without pedaling by using weight shifts and gravity. Pump tracks can be built on small parcels of land and they offer a super fun riding experience.
The celebration began with speeches from Mayor Michael Nutter, Deputy Mayor Michael DiBerardinis, Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. and Lucinda Hudson, a local community activist.
Mayor Nutter addressing the attendees of the Philly Pump Jam.
?We are trying to promote good healthy lifestyles, active engagement, exercise and good old fun! This is an exciting moment in Parkside, a pump track in our city!? said Mayor Nutter. ?I understand that this is the first, and often as they say, because we said it is the first, there is soon going to be a second one of these in Philadelphia.”
Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Community Resources, followed the mayor and said, ?This idea came to us from three folks who were dedicated bikers who insisted we take a good hard look at this [project] and worked with us to make this a reality, Heidi Grunwald, Kenn Rymdeko and Harlan Price.”
Following the speeches, children and adults of all ages took their first rides on the pump track. Smiles filled their faces and dirt began to fly!
Here’s what a few Philadelphians had to say about the pump track:
?This track is awesome, I can’t wait to come back!?
?I live right up the street, I?m going to be here every day this summer!?
?This is a great addition to our community, it will give children and adults the opportunity to exercise and have fun.”
Mike and Sheena with Mayor Nutter and Pat Cunnane, President of Advanced Sports International and PeopleForBikes Coalition Board Member
PeopleForBikes funding joined contributions from Specialized, Advanced Sports International/Fuji, the ShopRite Foundation and LOTS of volunteer hours to make this community facility a reality. We can’t wait to come back to Philly for the opening of the second city pump track!