On Monday, this reporter made his first trip to Redmond’s Homestead Pump Track, a looping asphalt course visible from Highway 97 as you roll past Redmond (hint: look west).
Pump tracks are paved paths with rolling jumps and banked turns, and they are proliferating around the country. They’re not as fun as a skatepark, but for a leg and aerobic workout, practicing carves and sating a need for speed, they do quite well.
I knew of several skateboarders who had ridden at Homestead, one of whom mentioned sharing the track with scooters. Still, prior to heading to Redmond, I Googled whether skateboards are permitted. I found a Homestead write-up at pumptrack.com, a site created by Velosolutions, maker of Redmond’s pump track and others.
The entry reads, “With a few long straightaways this track is a blast to ride with whatever wheels you have handy.” Elsewhere the site says, “a pump track is designed for all things on wheels. From mountain bikes to bmx’s (sic) and skateboards a pump track is a playground for all wheels.”
Knowing Homestead tends to get crowded later in the day, I arrived as the track opened at 7 a.m., and immediately saw the park rules, the first of which said, “Bicycle use only.”
I made the decision to ride my board anyway. I started verrrry slow. As I got familiar with the track’s pump bumps and turns, I began circling it faster. I liked the artificial grass lining the pavement — no need to panic if a wheel strayed off-course.
I was pumped, but after maybe 30 minutes, my legs and lungs were done. Riding alone that whole time, I didn’t feel too bad about my decision to skate. Bikes are not allowed at nearby Redmond Skatepark, so I get the need for restrictions — if and when I go back, I’ll bring a bike along, too.
But Velosolutions is right: Pump tracks are fun for all wheels.
Getting there: Homestead Pump Track is located at 767 NW Canal Blvd., Redmond.