Bikes are pumping at the new Kachemak City Park pump track, located on East End Road.
The new recreation area was designed and built by Gabriel Lavigueur, a Nikiski construction worker who has built four other pump tracks in Soldotna, Nikiski and Anchorage. A Homer local who knew of Lavigueur’s work reached out to him this summer about installing a pump track where her son could ride. After researching areas to build the track, Lavigueur heard of the Kachemak City Park construction and took the idea before its city council.
Construction of the track began Aug. 10, two months after pitching the idea and receiving a bid. Lavigueur said the design was based on his experiences riding and designing pump tracks. The pump track has three dirt jump lines for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders, and is open for use for anyone with a bike or non-motorized vehicle, such as a mountain board, as long as the track is dry. All Terrain Vehicles, or ATVs, and motorbikes are prohibited from the track.
“I thought this design was going to be the most friendly and fun to use for multiple people being on it at one time,” Lavigueur said.
According to Lavigueur, tracks such as the one built at the park typically cost $25,000-$50,000. But when the community couldn’t afford to pay that much, Lavigueur took it upon himself to build the track on a $5,000 budget provided by the City of Kachemak Council. The gravel for the track and lodging for workers were donated by community members.
“I gave (the council) a bid, and it was out of budget for something to go in. So I said ‘It doesn’t matter. We need something like this. If you have $5,000 available, we will make that work.’”
Lavigueur said the city will be responsible for maintenance, but as long as riders are respectful of the track, it shouldn’t need too much upkeep. Lavigueur said it is best used for bicycles, but anyone can use it unless using dirt bikes and four-wheelers.
“It is going to be up to the community members to keep and eye on it and make sure no one is riding ATVs or motorcycles on there and staying off of it if it is completely saturated. Other than that, everyone should be out there having fun every day,” he said.
Since the installation, Lavigueur said he’s received reports of people riding bikes on the track every day that it’s open.
“Within the two weeks of being down there, daily people were stopping in and just fully enthusiastic about something going in for the community at that park. Somewhere for their children and the youth to go and expend energy in a healthy and safe place to go,” Lavigueur said.
“It makes me happy to know that it is going to be used as long as everyone can take care of it.”
The track is located at 59906 Bear Creek Dr. behind the Kachemak Community Center and is part of renovations to the community park.
For more information, visit the Kachemak City Bike Park Facebook page.