Pump track opening Sunday

| 18 Oct 2012 | 01:21

    — The public is invited to join in the fun at the Grand Opening of the West Milford Family Pump Track on Sunday, Oct. 21. Festivities will kick off at noon.

    Local dignitaries, including Mayor Bettina Bieri and members of the township council and Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, state Senator Joseph Pennacchio and Assembly members BettyLou DeCroce and Jay Webber have been invited.

    You don’t need to compete in the Fastest Lap or Most Laps contests to enjoy the track, according to Norm Albrecht, executive director of Jersey Off-Road Bicycle Association. The track, located behind the township Recycling Center at 30 Lycosky Dr., was built by JORBA volunteers, and is open to riders of all ages and skill levels.

    Just about any bicycle can be used on a pump track ‐ BMX bikes, mountain bikes, kids bikes, even “scooter” bikes, said Albrecht. All that is necessary is a bicycle with knobby tires and a helmet. Helmets are mandatory.

    The track is part of the Farrell Field complex behind the township Recycling Center, and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

    “You don’t need to be a super cyclist to ride at a pump track ‐ they can be ridden by anyone," said Dave Van Wart, one of the pump track coordinators. "It’s a great way to increase bike-handling skills for younger riders, and for the whole family to enjoy cycling fun in a safe, traffic-free environment.”

    Jay Huggins, another track coordinator, said a 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,

    “It’s a great workout and lots of fun,” said Huggins.

    Jeff Mergler, past JORBA director, said more than 500 hours of labor by 70 volunteers, valued at more than $11,000, was required to construct the track, while Trek and Giant bicycle companies donated bicycles, and JORBA raised additional monies: $1,776 from a raffle, $1,000 from the International Mountain Bike Association, more than $1,000 in individual cash donations, and $6,000 worth of in-kind donations of machine usage. The massive quantities of dirt required to build the track were donated by the township PAL.

    The project has been supported by the township Economic Development Committee, according to its chairman, Bob Nicholson.

    “It’s a real achievement that public and private entities can partner and work together successfully for the benefit of families in West Milford and the surrounding area, at no cost to the taxpayers,” said Nicholson.

    Mergler said JORBA has continuing needs at the track, and monetary donations are welcome. They can be made at http://jorba.org/WestMilfordFamilyPumpTrack using the ChipIn button.

    The West Milford Economic Development Committee works to foster a better business climate, revitalize economic development and encourage a wide range of tourism adventures throughout the township.