Dirt bikes damage pump track

Volunteers restore track; open for business again

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  • Volunteers - including Mike Moskiwitz, Ethan Huggins, Quinton Johnson and Titus and Clay Nicholson - were out in force on Monday to repair the damage done to the pump track by dirt bike riders.

  • The ruts are visible and dangerous to bike riders.

  • Photos by Linda Smith Hancharick The rules and regulations are posted at the entrance of the pump track. It doesn't state that motorized vehicles are prohibited.

  • Photo provided by Jay Huggins Volunteers - including Mike Moskiwitz, Ethan Huggins, Quinton Johnson and Titus and Clay Nicholson - were out in force on Monday to repair the damage done to the pump track by dirt bike riders.

Jay Huggins received a text late Sunday afternoon. Seems a few dirt bike riders were "tearing up the pump track," according to the message. Huggins, the pump track coordinator, immediately called the West Milford police and headed over to the track, which is located at the very end of Lycosky Drive, just past all of the soccer fields at Farrell Field.

By the time he arrived less than 20 minutes after getting the text, the dirt bike riders were gone but the damage was evident to him. There were ruts throughout the track of up to one and a half inches from the motorized dirt bikes, which are not allowed on the track at all.

"Anything over 3/8 of an inch can be dangerous to a bicycle rider," said Huggins.

So he gathered volunteers - which is how the track was built in the first place - and started to remedy the situation. At first, he thought the amount of work was much more than it actually was. He estimated 100 hours of work to restore the track by smoothing out the ruts and clearing any rocks that were brought to the surface by displacement of the soil. The police who responded suggested he let nature help out with the fix, since it was going to rain later in the evening and on Monday. So they waited. And on Monday, he and five volunteers spent two and a half hours at the track working to smooth it out and fill the ruts. The rain certainly had helped. By Monday evening, Huggins said they were half done.

"It's like Mother Nature wants the pump track there," Huggins said.

So what about the dirt bike riders? Huggins said he doesn't believe their intent was to tear up the track. If they did want to vandalize the track, he said, they probably would have done specific things, like donuts, or knock over the trash and recycle cans. Instead, he thinks they were just looking for a place to ride.

There is no posting at the site prohibiting motorized vehicles, although they are not allowed according to township code. This track is only for bicycles.

The volunteers finished the work on Tuesday and the track was open again for Wednesday.

"The support I receive is truly outstanding and very much appreciated," said Huggins.

Volunteers built the pump track in 2012; it opened in the fall of that year.

The pump track is a continuous loop of dirt berms and “rollers” (smooth dirt mounds) that can be ridden without pedaling. The term “pump track” derives from the motion employed by the rider’s upper and lower body while circling the track. The idea of a pump track is to use this pumping motion to maintain speed around the track without pedaling. The Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association (JORBA) raised money for the construction of the track, as well as supplied volunteers. The dirt was donated by the township PAL.

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