For the uninitiated, a pump track is a circuit of dirt berms and mounds designed to help cyclists around the track without pedaling. Jim Steffen (owner) and David Evans of The Bikesmith have been planning the 4,500 square foot track all winter and are excited to introduce Memphis to the concept.
“Pump tracks are really fun. They’re great for riders of all levels,” Steffen says. “I’ve seen kids on balance bikes have a blast on them, and I’ve seen seasoned mountain bikers burn them up refining their handling skills. Pump tracks aren’t nearly as intimidating as a BMX tracks can be for riders, but they’re just as much fun, if not more so.”
The pump track is part of The Bikesmith’s recent expansion. It’s opened an extended patio that leads out to the new track in the Broad Avenue Arts District. The Bikesmith is all about being unconventional. It’s located in a converted automotive garage. While a mechanic works on your bike, you’re invite you watch, ask questions, and taste some of the local craft beer it sells.
Steffen says, “We’re a bike shop for people who love bikes, people who love the craftsmanship, people who know the difference a great mechanic makes, and for people who just know that bike riding is a blast.”
Other cities have used pump tracks as a way to spark interest in mountain biking and to encourage people to the sport. Steffen hopes that will happen in Memphis and that more pump tracks pop up. But mostly his goal for the pump track is the same as when he opened the shop, “Get more people riding and having a great time, because bikes are awesome.”
The Bikesmith is holding a grand opening for the new extended patio and pump track on May 14 from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. at 509 N Hollywood. Look for a food truck and a Wiseacre tent on the patio serving draft beer. There will be door prizes and Steffen promises lots of high fives.
Visit The Bikesmith online at www.bikesmithtruck.com