A nice chance to enjoy some new fun in the fall is on the way for a lot of young Calgarians.
A new project has them on track for a wild ride.
Parks Foundation Calgary (PFC) is partnering with the City of Calgary to build a new pump track for riders of bicycles and scooters.
“We’ve seen a huge spike in interest in pump tracks,” PFC’s Sheila Taylor said. “We hear every day that people want there to be more, and there’s a big gap — in that there wasn’t one on the north side of Calgary.”
That new track will go in just west of the Confederation Park golf course in northwest Calgary.
One of the people involved in designing the project is Niels Bensink, a top rider in international bike competitions on pump tracks.
Bensink has been building those tracks since he was a kid growing up in Holland.
“When I started, I was five years old – we had to come up with our own track, so I was building with bricks or dirt, in the backyard or on the street with friends,” Bensink said. “I guess all that experience and expertise helps for building these now.”
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Bensink is now based in Langley, B.C., involved in creating several new tracks throughout western Canada and in Ontario.
“Every pump track is different,” Bensink said. “We always try to do a different design that’s innovative.”
That approach will lead to some cool new twists at the track in northwest Calgary.
“That one’s going to be a bit more high-speed, so maybe a couple more bigger jumps,” Bensink said.
Construction is now underway on the project, with the pump track set to open in October.
The new facility brings a reason for riders to rejoice.
“A lot of teens have been going through struggles in the last few years,” Taylor said. “This is something new for them to enjoy.”
Scooter rider Finlay Goldring, 13, is among the young Calgarians looking forward to trying the new track.
“It’s really nice,” Goldring said. “It gets people out and active, which is really important.”