BRISTOL -- Bristol Department of Parks, Recreation, Youth and Community Services welcomed area residents to the New Rockwell Park Bike Pump Track, Tuesday, with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The track is adjacent to the Jacobs Street Stone House. City officials said that all ages are welcomed to the track and are asked to bring their bikes and helmets.
The ribbon cutting ceremony also had demonstrating rides and gave residents the opportunity to meet with public officials.
Superintendent of Parks, Recreation, Youth and Community Services, Dr. Joshua Medeiros said the ribbon cutting marks the end of a series bike attraction projects created in Bristol since 2019. He said a group of residents had originally approached the department board with the interest of making a “biking Bristol.”
“They first wanted to do a bike trail system through Rockwell Park in the woods,” said Medeiros. “We worked with this volunteer group and created a five-mile bike trail that’s now there today. The last project, they wanted to create what’s called a pump track which is like a training site where you can go if you’re new to mountain biking and want to learn or be a seasoned professional who wants to do some tricks or whatever. They needed a spot to do that.”
The track was brought into being via the efforts of the Bike Bristol Initiative and the city’s biking community. Brian Archibald heads up the Bristol Bike Initiative and has supported the pump track project since its beginnings in 2019.
A pump track consists of berms and rollers meant to assist bicyclists in pushing themselves through a track by means of shifted body weight along the track’s curves, otherwise recognized as “pumping.” Because of this form of movement, pedaling is not nearly as important as regular biking and this provides residents a new means of exercise, said city officials. Such tracks are utilized to develop kills and as recreational gathering points.
Along with resident and local community support, the pump track also came into being due to funding from the National Recreation and Parks Association, Connecting Communities to Outdoor Play, the Walt Disney Company and Target Corporation. Supporters said that the investment of the track will allow for more equitable access for youth sports, play and encourage families to visit parks for improved health. This is one out of 12 tracks that was able to get funding in the country.
Medeiros noted no taxpayer money went into the track and that around $66,000 had been invested in its creation via grants.
City officials say that pump track guidelines ask that visitors be safe and follow standard park etiquette. Do not ride the track if it is in soft or wet conditions. Riders must wear helmets at all times. Track riders have the right of way and spectators are asked to remain clear of the track as it’s being utilized. All riders are asked to move in the same direction.
Bikes should be checked for suitability to be used on the track. Road bikes with narrow tires are discouraged. Rides are encouraged to know their limits and ride within their abilities to promote safety for themselves and others.
There are to be no modifications done to the track. No walking, running or climbing of the berms and rollers and motorized vehicles, rollerblades, animals, scooters and skateboards are also prohibited.
Permits will need to be requested from Bristol’s Parks, Recreation, Youth and Community Services Department for commercial and special events.