Track Cycling

The Scoop with Amy Doyle: Greenville needs another pump track – Greenville Journal

Two local moms who met through their professional cycling husbands want to build a public pump track in Greenville and are looking for the right spot.

Who is the group?  Moms 4 Motion is a new nonprofit created by Dixie Dulin and Nicole Johnson who have lived in the cycling world and been to plenty of cities with cycling features. While recently visiting Owens Field in Columbia, they were energized by the possibility of creating such a park amenity.

Why now? Plenty of cities are bringing to life unused underpasses, parking lots and dead park space to create this element for little kids and big kids alike. Columbia built Owens Field Skate Park about 3 miles from the center of downtown Columbia.  The pump track is a 15,000 square-foot park with street plaza, stairs, metal plated rails, and “pool” bowls ranging in depth from 4-to-12 feet. The skate park is free and open to skateboards, in-line skates and bicycles.

Pump Tracks can come in different shapes and styles. They can be BMX-certified, indoor, or outdoor. The are built with earthen material or heartier asphalt. Downtown Travelers Rest hosts a natural surface pump track. Town Creek Bike Park  in downtown Pickens has “wooden rollers, apex over-under bridges, earthen bowls.”  Not sure about these tech terms but the photos of kids riding bikes of all ages looks super-fun. 

Private pump tracks are also a new amenity. Piney Mountain Bike Lounge is a bike shop and tap room with a pump track at the base of Paris Mountain. The new Flying Rabbit course on Laurens Road in Greenville has a pump track for $15 per hour use.   

Who can build such a pump track? The Moms 4 Motion gals have contacted Velo Solutons from Bentonville, Arkansas. This company originated in 2004 in Zurich, Switzerland. Over the past two decades the company has built offices on several continents. They have created pump tracks with as little as 10,000 square feet.  They have a plug-and-play option with an estimated $400k build for 10,000 square feet ($250k for the track and $150k estimated for land preparation and landscaping).  The up-front cost for an asphalt track is more costly but the maintenance is minimal.

Amy Doyle. Photo by Bonfire Visuals

Where is one place this could be built? One opportunity may be at Hampton Station in historic CityView. Rob Howell, owner of Hampton Station, welcomes such a feature. The mixed-use development in the “Water Tower District” neighborhood already has tenants such as a brewery, restaurants, axe throwing entertainment, coffee, gym, dog hotel and art studios. Hampton Station sits on a Swamp Rabbit Trail spur which Howell believes makes it a great opportunity for neighborhood kids.

The big question is when?  The Moms 4 Motion duo is planning on launching their capital campaign first quarter 2022 and has several large sponsors who have shared initial support.  They are encouraged by the bike community’s initial response.  More to come from this mom duo.

Amy Ryberg Doyle served for 12 years on Greenville City Council. She is married and has four children. An outdoors enthusiast, she likes to bike, swim and run, but not all in that order. She power-naps daily.