Shane Connolly, left, and Erik Lee

Shane Connolly, left, and Erik Lee shape the Blaine County Recreation District’s new pump track in Hailey.

The Blaine County Recreation District has started construction on a new and improved pump track for cyclists at the mouth of Quigley Canyon near Wood River High School. The new track will be located at the Quigley Nordic Center yurt beside the Bloom Farm.

District Executive Director Jim Keating said the $400,000 project is part of a broader $700,000 plan to pave and develop a parking lot in the area and add irrigation and utility lines. He said the entire project amounts to “phase one” of developments that in the future could include a pavilion for year-round recreation.

The pump track will replace an older one that was used for about seven years and removed during the ongoing expansion and renovation of the BCRD Aquatics Center.

 “The old pump track was a hit and really popular, but I think the kids are going to like that the new one will be paved,” said Eric Rector, BCRD director of trails, operations and facilities.

 Pump tracks have rolling jumps, banked turns and other features that are ridden using the momentum generated by moving up and down, or “pumping” on a bike, rather than pedaling.

 Rector said the new track will be about the same size as the old dirt track but hold its shape.

“They will be able to ride it a little faster,” he said.

Rector said the new track will have dirt jumps and downhill flow-riding lines above it on a hillside. The new amenity is scheduled for completion in spring 2021. Until then bikers should stay clear of the construction site.

“We want to keep people out of there for now during construction so we can work and not be looking over our shoulder at all times,” Rector said. “We will get

it done faster that way, that’s for sure.”

Rector said there is no shortage of alternative rides in the valley, including a nearby loop trail around the floor of Quigley Canyon.

“We ask that you ride elsewhere, have fun and be patient,” he said. “If riders haven’t been up to Galena Lodge to see what BCRD has done up there, they should go see it. We built 50 kilometers of trails.”

 Rector said beginning riders would enjoy the Lodge Loop and Senate Meadows trails at Galena.

“That would be a great place to start,” he said.

Keating said most of the trails at Galena, about a 45-minute drive north of Hailey, will be open this weekend, except for some of the higher trails that are still covered in snow, and others that are closed seasonally until July to avoid impacts on large-game herds.

For more information on BCRD summer trails go to  summertrailink.bcrd.org.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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