Like many specialty activities, the world of pump tracks has its own language.
Parkitect’s Pump Track Dictionary: a guide to common terms is here to demystify and help make sense of it all. (No secret handshakes or codes required!)
Let’s start with these common terms:
A pump track is a progressive riding track made up of a circuit of rollers, banked turns and features. Pump tracks are designed to be ridden by riders who “pump” their way around the track. Made of dirt, concrete, asphalt, fibreglass or composite materials, pump tracks were originally designed for BMX and mountain bike riders. The science of building pump tracks has moved on since the early days of homemade, backyard tracks.
Suitable for beginners to more experienced users, Parkitect’s Modular Pumptracks are made for all types of wheel-based activities, including bikes, scooters and skateboards.
Pumping refers to the pushing-down and pulling-up action performed by riders as they make their way around the track. By being light on the upside of the rollers and heavy on the downside of the rollers, the rider can increase their speed without pedalling.
The berms are the banked corners of the track.
Rollers are the bumps in the track.
Riding a pump track should be easy and fun. To keep riders coming back, a good pump track should be able to challenge the rider. Usually, this means moving around the track at speed and maintaining a good, rhythmic flow.
Flow is defined as “a predictable rhythm, based on a regular pattern”. Creating the ideal flow is all part of good pump track design – and it’s become a serious science. (See this detailed explanation from the Professional Trailbuilders Association in Canada.)
When riders are going fast enough, they can launch from the front of one roller and land on the back of the next roller.
Similar to a wheelie, the rider lifts their front wheel in the air from the front of one roller and places it down on the back of the next roller. This allows the rider to extend their legs more powerfully creating more speed.
The rhythm section of a pump track has nothing to do with your favourite jazz music. But it has everything to do with creating an enjoyable ride for a pump track user.
Rhythm is defined as a strong, regular repeated pattern of movement or sound. Much like flow, the track’s design needs to use precise measurements of repeated patterns for it all to work.
In our pump track dictionary; Rhythm has another meaning. Rhythm sections, or Rhythm straights refers to a group of modules assembled in a line. Rhythm straights are a great way to join pump tracks together or they can be used on their own, where space is a problem. Schools love rhythm straights as a way to help kids learn to ride.
Terms used for pump track product design and manufacture:
A certain Swedish furniture company has made us all familiar with the joys of product assembly!
Being a modular product, Parkitect’s pump tracks also require some assembly – but we promise that the task isn’t too onerous.
As part of our free design service, we provide a clear plan and our step-by-step Modular Pumptrack Self Installation Manual. This means you can use your own contractors and landscapers to easily install your local pump track.
A certified product is officially recognised as meeting certain standards. This means buyers and users of a product have the peace of mind knowing they can rely on it to do the job it’s meant to do – reliably and safely.
Traditional track build methods like dirt are difficult to certify for health and safety, and public liability can be an issue.
Parkitect pump track modules are pre-engineered and certified for safety, product quality and reliability.
Similar if not almost the same as certification, compliance generally equals product reliability, quality and safety to meet a countries rules or standards.
Because Parkitect modules are pre-engineered and certified it means any of our track designs comply* with Australian Standards for safety and product quality and reliability – specifically, Australian and European Standard AS EN 14974:2021. (* if assembled and installed as per our instruction guide)
A composite object or material is defined as being made of different parts or components.
For example, Parkitect’s Composite Modular Pumptracks are made up of reinforced fibreglass and plywood, a proprietary non-slip riding surface and stainless steel hardware.
In general mathematical terms, geometry deals with the measurements and relationships of lines, angles, surfaces, and solids.
We talk about our Modular Pumptracks having ‘precision geometry’.
Creating the perfect pump track geometry is complicated – and easy to get wrong.
The challenge is to design the ‘optimum track’ – varying the shape, height, and combination of berms and rollers – to create a free-flowing loop or straight that all riders of all ages on bikes, scooters and skateboards can enjoy – all year round.
Not only are the modules pre-engineered but our design experts also engineer each module to fit together perfectly, enabling you to create a flexible track in any number of configurations. It also means we guarantee an optimum riding flow for users.
Inclusive play reflects the capacity of people to play throughout their life, irrespective of age, ability or cultural background. Playspace designers and park and playground managers are increasingly conscious of incorporating inclusive design principles in their work.
Parkitect recognises the importance of providing a playspace that’s suitable for people and children of all cultures, ages and abilities.
Modular Pumptracks have a cross-generational appeal, where they can easily accommodate a toddler carefully balancing on their bike while mum or dad follows on behind on their old-school BMX.
The love of riding doesn’t discriminate!
“We found out our pump track is the most remote Modular Pumptrack in the world…
It was brought on by the youth services team and council, and they all agreed it was a great opportunity for the kids to engage in outdoor activities.
Since it’s been erected the kids haven’t been off it, it’s great, they absolutely love it. It was simple to put together, we can add to it and change it whenever we want.
It’s terrific to see the kids take such interest in it and will be a great asset to the town “
Children in Laverton enjoying their brand new modular pumptrack. Picture: Jo Morgan
A modular design is composed of standardised units. Modular often equals easy construction and a flexible arrangement.
Our Modular Pumptrack system is made up of various modules – a bit like a Meccano set. This makes it easier for clients to create a track that fits any space and budget.
A modular design approach allows you to assemble a track around existing trees and infrastructure. It also means we can even change the configuration of your pump track to adapt to changing needs. If you need to make your pump track bigger or smaller, we can help you do that.
Having a modular design also means the track is portable throughout its lifetime.We’ve seen clients set up our Modular Pumptracks for town festivals, family fun days, youth weeks, charity events and product launches.
Pre-engineered is defined by many as; Manufactured or designed beforehand.
To ensure precise geometry and a safe and enjoyable track for users, our track modules are pre-engineered. That is, they’re designed, manufactured, certified and ready to assemble.
Not only does this save our clients time, it means our Modular Pumptracks are cost-effective because assembly can be done by local contractors using our easy-to-follow instructions.
When someone refers to a product being ‘proprietary’, it usually relates to the ownership of a design, product or idea.
For example, Parkitect’s Modular Pumptracks offer a proprietary high grip surface.
We’ve perfected our Modular Pumptrack system with the help of professional bike riders and through the experience of delivering more than 400 pump tracks in 40 countries around the world.
Well that’s what we’re seeing all around Australia and the world.
People having awesome fun riding their favourite set of wheels – enjoying the proven geometry of a Modular Pumptrack!
To read first hand what riders, parents and Modular Pumptrack owners are saying, simply find a pump track here and then search their social media pages.
Let’s start creating a Modular Pumptrack everyone will love.
Every project is a one of a kind. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay through the nose for it. We’ve already done all the hard work for you – and it’s free! Tell us all about your project and we’ll create the perfect pump track design – no obligation. We’ll save you time and thousands of dollars on consultant fees.
Parkitect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.