HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A new bike track is coming to Harlingen. The City Commission has partnered with the Valley Off-Road Bicycling Association to build a pump track.
A pump track simulates hills and turns. Cyclists can expect to encounter an off-road track located in Arroyo Park, at the entrance to Harlingen’s mountain bike trails.
“The city is donating the land for the construction of the project. And then we’re going to help maintain it with VORBA,” said Javier Mendez, Director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Harlingen,
VORBA was awarded a grant of $150,000 from the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation for the project. Part of the agreement with the city says VORBA would transfer that grant money to Harlingen to help pay for the track.
VORBA president David Hernandez said the group wanted to have an area where kids could learn to ride their bikes in a safe environment.
“A lot of those skills can be taught on a pump track. And the best part is you’re not on a trail somewhere, where you could have a crash and be in the middle of nowhere. You’re in an enclosed environment,” Hernandez said.
Mendez said the city had already begun talks to finalize the details of the project.
“We’ve talked to VORBA, and we’ve talked to a contractor. And we’re trying to figure what size it’s going to be, based on the money we go,” he said.
Hernandez said he hoped the pump track would inspire other cities in the area to think about building one for themselves. He said off-road cycling is becoming more popular, and he wanted to introduce it to even more people.
“There’s a lot of men and middle-aged men and women that are getting into it. But, you know, we needed the youth to get into it, and we knew that a pump track was going to be a big part of what that was,” Hernandez said.
Mendez said this was another step in the city’s vision to bring more cycling opportunities to the area. He said his department would like to extend the Arroyo trail as far as possible to the east and west of Harlingen. Eventually, he said, he would like to see a series of trails that connected all the surrounding cities.
Mendez said the pump track was a tool to implement that plan.
“We built trails, we built this pump track to kind of teach the kids, the beginners, how to ride a bike. And then they would eventually, hopefully, use our trails,” he said.