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Chambersburg Borough Council OKs pumptrack plan for Rail-Trail

May 20, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A "pumptrack" got early approval from the Chambersburg Borough Council on Monday.

"Virtually everyone in our group looked at (Larry Camp) and asked, 'What's a pumptrack?' ... In this part of the United States, they're a relatively new thing," said Herb Dolaway, recreation superintendent.

Pumptracks require a bicyclist to use his or her upper body to navigate a dirt track with various berms and bumps.

"The key words are that it's something you ride without pedaling," said Camp, a representative of the Mountain Bikers of Michaux.

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The borough council, on a 9-0 vote with Councilwoman Sharon Bigler absent, agreed to work with the mountain bikers group in establishing a pumptrack along the Chambersburg Rail-Trail near the intersection of Hood Street and Center Street. Proponents of the plan praised the location's available parking and proximity to the new Benjamin Chambers Elementary School.

Mark Shoap said he will be teaching physical education at the school.

"I think it's a real good opportunity for me to talk about maintenance and bike safety," he said.

"It's a family-oriented activity. Considering some of the other possible recreation endeavors, it's a relatively safe activity," Dolaway said.

Camp presented information about available grants and a company that makes pumptracks for approximately $5,000.

"We lose a lot of mountain bikers when they turn 16 and get a car. ... This is a way to keep riders. It's fun," Camp said, saying that riders often don't break a sweat traveling around a pumptrack.

"I think it's an ingenious idea for this area," Councilwoman Elaine Swartz said.

"I would much rather have them out on bikes on the dirt than sitting in front of a video game all summer," Councilman William McLaughlin said.

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