Sedgefield is a utopia for adventure seekers, and the small town's fun-factor recently went up several notches with the opening of Pili Pili's 'Pumptopia', a pump track situated adjacent to the Pili Pili Beach Bar. Pump tracks are currently all the rage with two-wheeler junkies both young and old, and this latest one serves as yet another positive component to the ever-expanding culture of cycling in our region.
A pump track is, essentially, a looping trail system with a continuous succession of dirt berms and “rollers” (smooth dirt mounds for pumping). The name comes from the pumping motion used by the cyclist's body, the purpose of which is to maintain one’s speed around the track without the need for pedalling and thus allowing for gravity, combined with the fluid, sinuous nature of the specially designed track, to maintain momentum.
Pili Pili owners Neels Swanepoel and Craig Robinson are best known locally as leaders of the region's kite surfing industry and are most at home carving out waves along our dynamic coastline. This is the first land-based venture in which they have become involved, so the whole project has been quite a learning curve for them. The design plans and the precise method of construction for this particular track was purchased online from a pump track design specialist. “In order for the pump track to be effective”, said Neels, “the entire track needs to be moulded in a very precise manner. We trucked in about 60m³ of compacting gravel and it took about two weeks to sculpt the course according the design specifications.”
The course is still being tweaked and fine tuned and they have had some valuable input from Rob Dormehl, owner of the legendary Garden Route Trail Park up in Barrington near the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountain, which boasts a much larger pump track along with a series of expertly designed mountain biking trails.
Pili Pili's Pumptopia aims not only to entice cycling enthusiasts and families to Sedgefield,but also to promote the cycling industry of the Greater Knysna as a whole. By linking experiences and like-minded people together, our mission to become THE ultimate cycling destination (#trailtownsa) in South Africa is certainly becoming a reality!
Pili Pili is planning a Pump Track & Volleyball Festival on the 13th & 14th of August 2016, where all profits generated will be in aid of the NSRI's Sea Rescue Boat House at Myoli Beach. Stay tuned for more details.