Epicenter Cycling - Santa Cruz Bike Shops

Santa Cruz Locals Making a Difference

1730 Mission St, Santa Cruz 831.423.9000 - 8035 Soquel Dr, Aptos 831.662.8100

Juan Williamson catching some air. Photo by Grant Smith.

Juan Williamson catching some air. Photo by Grant Smith.

Native grasses planted to stabilize slopes

Native grasses planted to stabilize slopes

Pumptracks Rise Across Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz County is now home to six pumptracks, the most recent being at Harvey West Park. What was once an unused space behind the swimming pool is now a large pumptrack open to all, complete with multiple jump lines, berms, and rollers. This pumptrack stands out for it’s shaded hillside location beneath towering bay trees and redwoods.

Local shredder, Juan Williamson, got to test ride the new track earlier this week with his friends and gave us a preview “The pump track is really great, and you can really trust the berms and all the features to get comfortable on.”

Trail manager Matt De Young throwin' some dirt

Trail manager Matt De Young throwin' some dirt

Epicenter mechanic Juan Williamson slaying his lunch break

Epicenter mechanic Juan Williamson slaying his lunch break

The design and building of the track took a mere few months thanks to the many volunteers and staff members at Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz and the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation department. The city brought on Brian Barnhart and John Tillman, renowned local builders, as independent contractors to assist MBoSC staff with shaping. The Santa Cruz high school trail crew was instrumental for timely completion. Drew Perkins, a key player in the design, stayed at my house for the three weeks he was in town to build, before heading off to Alaska to design trails. It was a few weeks full of Its-Its and 8pm quiet hours. Watching Matt and Drew return each day looking like coal miners was an eye opener for sure, as I didn’t really have a gauge beforehand on the intensity of their work.

Many more hands were involved to create such a sustainable and aesthetically pleasing pumptrack. I had the pleasure of heading over before work one morning to help Ben Cooke plant native plants donated by Central Home Supply. Ben, a gentle soul, carefully lays each plant for optimum renaturalization. The plants help stabilize the drains for rainfall and backsides of the berms. Tom Wilson of Geo H. Wilson helped install large redwood log benches.

I’m proud to live in a city that puts effort and resources towards community. Williamson adds, “It’s really great to have high fives thrown around in a good sesh and to see lots of little shredders get stoked and have good times! Can’t wait to have many more in the future.” The pumptracks we have seen arise all over town are taking up empty spaces and encouraging the masses to get out there and ride!

Big thanks to sponsors The City of Santa Cruz, Las Animas Concrete, Plantronics, Day One Solar, Geo. H. Wilson, Rob Donato, Mark Aubin, Kirby School, A Tool Shed, and Central Home Supply for making this dream a reality.