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TRAIL HAPPENINGS October 2013

Pumpin' and Jumpin' at Anonymous Park
Article By Laurel Hunter
Photographs: Laurel Hunter and Rodney Kopish

A few minutes on a bike will make any day better. Tucked away on 500 West and Williams Way, Moab City hosts a great little bike park at Anonymous Park with a pump track and jumps that you can hit on the way to work, on your lunch hour, after dinner… whenever you have a few minutes to ride. Riding at the Moab Bike Park will improve your bike handling skills, give you a workout, make you laugh and doesn’t require that you wear Lycra. Don’t worry if you are over 15 and don’t have any skinny jeans… this is the place where everyone can go to work on their skills and watch some amazing riding.

The Original bike jumps were installed a few years ago by Moab City with the help of many volunteers. In the Fall of 2012 the park was reconfigured and the jumps were redesigned in time for the Ho-Down, with the first ever Dirt Jump Jam! Since then, a sweet pump track has been added and a Facebook group has formed (Moab Bike Park Crew) to rally the locals out for occasional weeding parties.

The idea of riding a pump track is that you are pumping the bike rather than pedaling—the rollers and berms are built to give you speed as you move around the track. Do as many laps as you can in one direction, take the central crossover, and then go the opposite direction. The track at Anonymous Park is especially fun, as it wraps around a cottonwood and you move in and out of dappled shade. Ideally you are not pedaling or braking, so you have to look ahead through the turns and really commit to the turns and rollers to keep up your speed and stay on the track. All of this is fun on its own, but watch how much it helps your riding when you are out on our mountain bike trails— you’ll find yourself using your whole body to move over obstacles and around corners. Whoo-hoo!

After you’ve warmed up on the pump track, it’s time to hit the jumps. They are labeled by difficulty, “beginner” through “expert” (though I would argue for “easy” over “beginner”… I’m not really a beginner but I love easy jumps). The jumps also get harder as you progress down a line, so the easiest jumps are at the beginning of the easy line and they get harder the farther you go. It’s a great way to build up a progression and learn to land the jumps on the down slope. The jumps here are what you might call progressive, BMX style jumps, with steep lips and big gaps on the expert lines. If you aren’t feeling gnar, just stick to the easier jumps where you can still enjoy the feeling of flying, then head on back to the pump track for another session.

Perhaps the best part of the Bike Park is the social bonus. Most of us will need to take a break after laps on the pump track, or rest for a bit between hitting the jumps. This is when you chat with the other folks up there and watch others ride. It’s a supportive environment where everyone gets respect for working at their own level. It’s truly one of the few places where experts and beginners line up together and ride at the same time.

It’s not the most popular bike venue in town (yet), and most of the time it is hardly crowded, but it is definitely the most convenient. You might have an audience of people who happen to be walking by the jumps, or someone might pull in the parking lot to release a chipmunk from a live trap. Or there might be 15 teenagers flying over the sicko jumps. Or you might have 30 minutes of solitude as you roll through the pump track in the shade of the cottonwood trees. I can pretty much guarantee that you will never regret spending time there. It’s fun! It will make you a better rider! You will see amazing and inspiring aerials! Support your local Bike Park, pull some weeds, and get your pump and jump on, y’all!

Laurel Hunter moved to Moab in February of 2013 to be the Marketing Director at Western Spirit Cycling. Laurel is also an active member of the Trail Mix Committee. She loves using a pump track so much, she had her husband build her one.Laurel Hunter moved to Moab in February of 2013 to be the Marketing Director at Western Spirit Cycling. Laurel is also an active member of the Trail Mix Committee. She loves using a pump track so much, she had her husband build her one.

 
 
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