Pump Track Fun
7 August 2020
The Best UK Child Friendly Pump Tracks
A pump track is a small, looping trail that you can ride continuously without even pedalling! Eventually, your ability to gain momentum by simply ‘pumping’ out of any bumps or corners is what will deliver your speed on the track and negate the need to pedal. The origins of the pump track lie within the BMX bike trails of the 70s and 80s, but thanks to the fact they are simple to use, cheap to construct and can cater to a variety of skill levels they can now be found in back gardens and town recreational areas all over the world.
Over recent years more and more pump tracks have been appearing in our towns and cities and are great fun to ride. In addition to the smaller tracks found in local neighbourhoods, there are also bigger options, both indoors and outdoors with many offering technique lessons and cafes to make a visit to the track a family day out.
If you do not have a smaller track locally or just fancy trying one of the larger options we’ve compiled a list of family-friendly pump tracks all over the UK. There’s never been a better time to join in the fun, grab your bike and get pumping!
What are the Benefits of a Pump Track?
To Promote a Healthy Lifestyle
It's really important to have facilities in local communities that are actually fun for youngsters to use, after all, the more they enjoy something the more they are likely to do it! The pumping motion really is a great all-body workout, and once you master it, the speed you can generate is surprising! These simple little tracks are also a gateway to developing a lifelong interest in a sport – not only cycling but also other wheeled sports like skateboarding, scooters and roller skating, which will all help to keep your child active and healthy as they grow up.
They're Socially Inclusive
Pump Tracks are fun and beneficial for people of all ages and abilities. A good pump track or skills park is designed so that anyone can use it, the only thing you need is the basic ability to ride a bike, or maybe even a scooter, skateboard or roller skates. The process of generating speed and momentum through “pumping” means that you control the risk involved. Although it is scary to watch your little one fly around the track the first few times, just remember a high level of skill is required to get up to those high speeds.
Pump tracks have a similar appeal to skate parks in that they are small areas and promote fellow track riders to interact with each other, but are often less intimidating. They can be amazingly inspiring places, where it’s not unusual to find professional riders riding alongside a four-year-old on their balance bike. Everyone is having fun on the same track, and most importantly the facility is safe for everyone to use.
They're a Great Place to Develop Skills
Anyone and everyone can use a pump track. But the real benefit of a good pump track design is that it continues to engage riders as their skills develop. What you learn doesn't stop here either, it can translate to mountain bike trails, dirt jumps and increase your general cycling skills. A pump track is a place where people can turn a spark of enthusiasm into a lifelong passion for all things cycling.
Riding at the pump track can help older children to concentrate and focus. This type of riding has a steep learning curve, it might be easy to ride the track at first, but it's harder to master and ride fast. Once the pumping action has clicked, riding a pump track becomes almost addictive, it’s hard to stop going until you reach your limits! With each lap your speed increases but eventually you do reach a limit, to progress further you might need to learn to wheelie, or maybe even jump from one roller to another. It’s this continuous challenge and development that really engages and focuses kids (and adults).
Family Friendly Pump Tracks in the UK and Ireland
The map below shows just some of the pump tracks around the country that are suitable for children to ride and enjoy. However, we want to look at this as a work in progress! We regularly see your fantastic pictures taken at pump tracks and posted on social media, if you have a recommendation that we can add to our map for other families to visit then please do let us know. Add your favourite track to the comments on our Facebook post here and we'll add them to the map. Let's work together to make it a fantastic, collective resource for parents all over the country!