Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Morris Prokop

ALL PUMPED UP – Colby Knowler, left, and a crowd of kids pose for a photo at the new $240,000 paved pump track at Winze Park in Copper Ridge at the official opening Wednesday afternoon in Whitehorse.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

CLEAR THE TRACK – Mayor Laura Cabott takes a turn on the pump track.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

ON-TRACK – Kids try out the brand new paved pump track at Winze Park in Copper Ridge. The rollers in the front of this photo help the riders move along the track.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

WITH BELLS ON – Marilynn Asselin, a bylaw constable with the city, attaches a bell to Freya Murchison’s (second from left) bike. Asselin was also handing out sunglasses and bike reflectors.

Inaugural paved Whitehorse pump track officially opens

The first paved pump track in the city of Whitehorse is now officially open.

By Morris Prokop on September 18, 2023

The first paved pump track in the city of Whitehorse is now officially open.

The city held an official opening Wednesday at Winze Park, located at the intersection of Winze Lane and Stope Way, in Copper Ridge.

According to Wikipedia, a pump track is designed with rollers, banked turns and other features for riders to use their own momentum to roll along, as opposed to pedalling or pushing under their own power.

Colby Knowler, trails and projects coordinator for the Whitehorse Parks department, coordinated the project.

“The city contracted this out to Canadian Ramp Company and their sub-contractor Velosolutions Canada, who specialize in building these all over the country.”

Knowler said the entire funding for the $240,000 project was secured about two years ago through the federal Canadian Community Building Fund.

“The benefit is how popular it is and how many user groups we’re serving here. Beyond the bikes, you can see a couple scooters and I know a couple people have come on their skateboards.

“It’s really cool to have a pump track that has this surface that’s rideable for different types of users as well.

“It’s so much less maintenance than it would be if it was dirt. There was an existing dirt track here and it didn’t really stand the test of time.”

Colby said the only maintenance would involve cutting the grass and sweeping debris off the track.

The project was started in early June, when Velosolutions constructed the track. Adorna Landscaping completed their part in the project in July.

The project is essentially complete except for some work on fencing for the entranceway to the park.

Knowler said the pump track was created due to the rising popularity of pump tracks throughout Canada.

Colby added, “It’s awesome to see this many people out here using the track … people are going to be able to enjoy it for years to come.”

Territorial opposition leader and Copperbelt North MLA Currie Dixon, on hand for the opening, said, “This area is right in the heart of Copper Ridge. There’s houses all around here and there’s dozens and dozens of kids that use this facility and to have this pump track here now is just a wonderful addition to this community. As you see from the kids that are here now, it’s going to be well-used and it’s a huge opportunity for recreational infrastructure in this neighbourhood, which is definitely needed.”

Marilynn Asselin, a bylaw constable with the city, was on hand attaching complimentary bells to children’s bikes.

“We heard about the grand opening and wanted to come try our e-bike on the track, along with Mayor Cabott.”

Asselin said the track is “beautiful. It’s intimidating, I’m not gonna lie. Those kids are very, very talented and skilled.”

Asselin added, “We’re talking a little bit about bike safety here, how to properly wear helmets and everybody should be equipped with a little bell, so kids are getting some of those. We’re also handing out sunglasses and little reflectors for the bikes.”

Freya Murchison, accompanied by her mom Adrian, tried out the track and received a bell.

“It’s fun,” said Freya, who was planning on trying out the track again.

“We live just across the street, so they have been here every day, all day,” said mom Adrian. “It’s been a welcome part of the park. It has been full with kids every day, as soon as the fence came down and everyone’s very respectful of each other and sharing and taking turns, and we’re very pleased.”

Adrian added, “It would be great to have in other neighbourhoods around the city.”

Whitehorse Mayor Laura Cabott also took a turn on the asphalt track.

“I wanted to come out and give it a shot and meet some of the kids that are thoroughly enjoying it.”

Asked what she thought the new facility meant to the neighbourhoo, Cabott repiled, “Just by seeing the variety of kids and bikes and scooters and the enthusiasm, I think it’s quite popular. I think it’ll attract more kids here. It’s something else we can offer for kids … this pump track is just another one of the great facilities that we’re adding here at the City of Whitehorse for everyone to enjoy.”

As for whether more pump tracks will be built in the city, Cabott said, “I would love to be building more, maybe slightly bigger, we’ll see how this one goes. Our population is growing and I bet you there are some other neighbourhoods that would love to experience this.

“If it’s a winner … maybe we’ll find some more funding and build another one.”

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