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Valley Meadows Park

Cumberland Youth Cycling Development wants to build a pump track for mountain biking and other cycling enthusiasts at Valley Meadow Park in Carlisle.

Cumberland Youth Cycling Development wants to add a pump track to Valley Meadows Park in Carlisle.

The organization presented its proposal to the Carlisle Parks and Recreation Board March 7.

Andrea Crouse, the borough’s director of parks and recreation, said the issue will be on the agenda for the board’s meeting at 7 p.m. April 4 at the Stuart Community Center. If it is accepted by the board, it will then go to the borough council for consideration.

A flyer about the project was sent to households in the Valley Meadows neighborhood prior to the March meeting, and the presentation was announced via social media, Crouse said.

“The Parks and Recreation Board wanted to make the Valley Meadows neighbors aware of the proposal to give them a chance to voice comments or concerns they may have with the proposed pump track at the park,” she said.

A pump track is a self-contained bicycle circuit with features like hills and curves that can be ridden without pedaling by riders of all skill levels.

Using the track improves rider balance and the ability of the rider to carry momentum through the trail’s features, said Jonathan Cox of Cumberland Youth Cycling Development.

“The idea is once you get your speed up, you maintain your momentum through curves and rollers so you can learn how to ride your bike efficiently,” Cox said.

The track can be built to different skill levels, but Cox said the organization wants to start out on the beginner or intermediate side.

Cumberland Youth Cycling Development sponsors Carlisle Area Composite Racing with riders from Carlisle, South Middleton and Big Spring school districts. The team started with 12 riders and is now up to about 35, Cox said.

There are a lot of talented kids on the team who are following in the footsteps of some great coaches and riders, Cox said.

“Carlisle has a lot of very dedicated cyclists that have worked on the borough’s pedestrian and bike trail network,” he said.

The organization considered locating the track at Cave Hill or Seven Gables Park, but settled on Valley Meadows as the best option because of its proximity to other trails, including Forbes Trail and Dickinson Trail, Cox said. It’s also the location at which the team holds its practices in the fall.

The trail is proposed for a two-acre plot of underused land in the northeast corner of the park, and would leave as many mature trees as possible intact. The site has already been scouted by track builder DirtSculpt.

Due to the location, the organization believes the track will not have an effect on neighbors in the Valley Meadows development.

The organization estimates the construction cost, with contingency funds, to be $200,000. They anticipate another $30,000 for design, permitting and construction management and another $20,000 for maintenance and working capital reserve.

Cox said the organization will seek approval from the borough before proceeding with fundraising. The organization plans to apply for grant funding, contract for the design and construction work and maintain the pump track.

“We’re optimistic that they’ll recommend the project for further consideration by the borough council. At this point, we’re just looking for support,” Cox said.

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Carlisle Reporter

Carlisle Reporter for The Sentinel.