Blazing Trails

The first city-approved pumptrack has been welcomed by many. | Photo by ThomCarrollPhoto.com / PhillyPedals.com

Cyclists of all ages and skill levels now have a new destination for fun and fitness. The Philadelphia Pumptrack in West Philadelphia officially opened May 10, and has been a popular spot for those looking to take on the rolling mounds and raised banks—called berms—of a beginner and advanced dirt track. The first city-approved pumptrack has been welcomed by many.

Heidi Grunwald, one of three cyclists who helped create the track, says that on a typical weekend day, about 100 to 150 people are riding. Grunwald, along with fellow bikers Harlan Price and Kenn Rymdeko, worked with the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Department, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Advanced Sports Inc., Neighborhood Bike Works and local bike shops to help make the track a reality.

“All of these people came together and they saw the vision, and they saw the importance of it,” Price says. Riders can bring their own track-approved bikes or use the 13 BMX or single-gear mountain bikes for free. “Cities don’t traditionally build this kind of stuff. If kids wanted to ride their bikes on dirt or jump or ride in the woods, they had to build their own stuff,” Price says.