They leave early for school so they can ride the pump tack a few times before class, and after school the BMX pump track in Parton Road is swarmed, and stays busy until nightfall.
The BMX pump track has been in operation for about month and already Young Papamoa cyclists have eagerly adopted the asphalted track in the Gordon Spratt Reserve.
It was officially opened last week by Mayor Greg Brownless and ward councillor Leanne Brown. The ribbon cutting ceremony coincided with the arrival of about 30 young cyclists from the Cycle Safe programme at the nearby Papamoa Primary School and the council cycling programme Kids can ride.
“We didn’t realise it was the opening today, that was good timing,” says Anna Oglesby from the nearby Papamoa Primary School.
“We do a cycle safe course, and we take the kids ride around the streets then then they come here and have a play afterwards.”
Although in use for only a month or so, the pump track already has a history. Peter Roden and designer Paul McGarva began the process about four years back.
“We pitched it at the Hartford Ave reserve initially, one of the guys at TCC helped us with the red tape,” says Peter.
“Then we pitched it at Fashion Island. Part of their (The city council) process is a leaflet drop. We had a couple of Probus Club members in the area and they petitioned us out. Can you believe it?”
About a year later the council got in contact, suggesting the Gordon Spratt Reserve.
“One of the interesting things with it, is we have roped in all kinds of people from the community from all different walks of life. This guy here for instance he’s a real estate agent. He showed up one Saturday in his tie and shiny shoes.
On being told it was a pump track and yes he could help, Tayler Sowell returned an hour later working clothes.
“He came back every single working bee and he mobilised a whole bunch of his mates to come along,” says Peter.
Gavin Riddle from Fulton Hogan says the track really has worked out well.
“It was a great opportunity for us to be involved to see a small idea from a staff member grow. And the fact that the community is going to get some good use out of it and the kids are going to improve their cycling skilling in the process,” says Gavin.
“At the end of the day we will have happier cyclists on the road, because that is what it is all about.”
Sometimes described as ‘bumps in the ground’, pump tracks are a looped track of banked turns and features designed to be ridden by riders pumping their front wheel – creating momentum without pedalling. They can also be used by scooter riders and skateboarders.
Taupo hosted the first ever Pump Track Nationals on its track in spa Park in 2010, creating a huge rise in popularity for the track and for the pump track discipline locally.
Napier opened its custom built a concrete track in 2015.
The basic goal of a pump track, besides having fun, is for the rider to learn how to pump the terrain to maintain speed. Pump tracks are set up with a series of rollers and berms that allow the rider to gain and maintain speed along the track without pedalling.