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Peterborough breaks ground on bike park 

  • Construction began on a bike park pump track at Adams Playground in Peterborough last week. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton—

  • Construction began on a bike park pump track at Adams Playground in Peterborough last week. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/30/2019 2:46:24 PM
Modified: 10/30/2019 2:46:13 PM

Construction of a bike park is underway at Adams Playground in Peterborough.

The project is expected to cost about $15,000 and is a collaboration between the town, the Recreation Committee and the Friends of Peterborough Bike Park, a newly founded community organization.

The bike park is being built behind the tennis courts and is to feature a pump track, which is a circuit of banked turns and rolling features designed for BMX or mountain bikers to ride by “pumping,” or generating momentum by moving up and down rather than pedaling.

Riding a pump track helps with developing balance and technique as riders get into more advanced skills, said Tim Selby, a facilitator and founding member of Friends of the Peterborough Bike Park.

Selby said he hopes to have a preliminary track in place before winter, with final design and maintenance plans to come in the spring after a dedicated volunteer recruitment and fundraising campaign.

The project is being funded in part by the town with $5,000 from the town’s Isabelle Miller Fund this fall. Recreation Coordinator Lisa Koziell-Betz said the funds awarded to the project are intended to cover the asphalt removal and dirt delivery for the park. The community organization is paying for the final design of the track and its maintenance. The Isabelle Miller Fund is intended for new recreation department programs.

Selby said based on his knowledge of similar bike parks, such as one owned by the town of Amherst, the pump track should be inexpensive to build and maintain. With an additional $10,000, the group can create a well-designed course and cover future costs of materials, maintenance, and possibly trails through the wooded area adjacent to the park, or a shed for community-owned bikes that could be used for tutorials, Selby said. The Friends of Peterborough Bike Park group is currently fundraising through a PayPal Money Pool, linked on the Peterborough Bike Park Facebook page. 

Selby and two of his three children are avid mountain bikers. At a Recreation Committee meeting in June, he said, there are at least 30 kids in the families he regularly rides with.

“We wanted this to be as community involved as possible. Anybody and everybody who rides bikes,” he said last week.

Selby said he hopes to engage users and volunteers from the middle and high school students on the Contoocook Valley Chain Gang team, and the Greenfield Trails Association, as well as other active mountain bikers of any age. Selby wants to involve the group he leads at the Mountain Shadows School in the spring as well.

Selby said the track will be shaped from heavy clay loam, with maintenance “practically nonexistent if the track has been installed well with a well packed surface and proper water drainage.” Selby said he wants the initial track design to be completed by an expert, and that he’s been speaking to members of the maintenance crew at the Highland Mountain Bike Park in Northfield, as well as local volunteers with extensive trail building experience.

Last week, excavators from the Mathewson Company removed the asphalt from the roughly 50 by 100 foot space, which functioned previously as an outdoor ice rink and a skate park. This week, the company added 300 yards of a clay loam and smoothed out the area.

“Our region’s really growing with mountain biking,” Selby said, with well-known public trails in places like the Sargent Center and Casalis State Forest.

He said the installation of a pump track could serve as an attraction that unites existing pockets of trails, and potentially makes the area into more of a mountain biking destination.


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