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Durham parks to open new trail, pump track

A local group that helps kids in Durham was part of the project to build the amenities popular with mountain bikers.

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Durham pump track
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
Durham parks department will open a new trail and pump track at Solite Park on Thursday so mountain bikers can "hit bumps."

Or at least, that's what I'm told it's called. This is all new to me. But the facility was built with kids in mind.

According to a Durham press release, a pump track is a dirt course with small hills and bermed turns that form a circuit. Riders maneuver around the tracking using momentum by "pumping" their bikes instead of pedaling. Riders can do as many consecutive laps as their fitness and skill level allows with only a few initial pedal strokes needed to get started. The Durham pump track was built for riders of all skill levels.

The half-mile gateway trail is an off-road, natural surface that's just right for bikers new to mountain biking. The trail, which forms a loop, is accessible to the American Tobacco Trail.

The project was built in partnership with several groups. Durham parks provide the space and oversight. Trips for Kids-Triangle, the local chapter of a national nonprofit, and Triangle Off-Road Cyclists received a grant from outdoor retailer REI for labor and materials. Native Trails Inc. built both features.

Trips for Kids works with Durham schools to identify and help local kids improve their educational experience. Students who make improvements are awarded with an all expense paid mountain bike outing on the Triangle's trail system.

An offiicial ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the park on 4704 Fayetteville Rd. The event will include trail and pump track riding, along with other activities.

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