Student Enginers Pump Track

14 Sep 09 / Posted By DBS

Student project for BMX Club a great success
When 1st year Civil Engineering student Matt Humphrey was tasked to complete a project during his summer recess, he decided to do something with an engineering slant which would be a benefit to others. After running his idea past the committee of Cornwall BMX Club and gaining their approval, he drew up his plans for a ‘pump track’ on a wasteland corner of their facility at Blackwater. A ‘pump track’ is a small circuit of jumps and turns designed to give riders the opportunity to improve their riding skills without pedalling, ie. pumping their way around using upper body movement; an essential skill in BMX racing. Armed with a small mini-digger (kindly loaned by liquid waste haulier and disposal contractor Clear-flow Ltd of Bissoe) for the first four days, Matt and a group of the Club’s young volunteers set about clearing the land which involved breaking large sections of spoil from an old railway embankment on which part of the current BMX track complex is built. After ten days of continuous attendance on site and much manual labour, digging and barrowing spoil to form the jumps and berms, the top surface was finally laid and the fruits of their labour were able to be appreciated.
The facility will be used as part of the Club’s training programme for riders and the two main circuits will be ridden by riders of all abilities. The pump track has been opened for a week and feedback has been very positive indeed. Riders are striving to achieve full rotation of the circuit without pedalling and as their expertise builds they are attempting multiple circuits and jumping some of the bumps as well. Armed with a portfolio of images to put into his project report, Matt returns to Exeter University in October where he recommences his studies towards a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering and hopes that he will be adopted and sponsored by one of the major engineering companies to defray some of his loan and accommodation fees. Details of Cornwall BMX Club’s opening times can be found on their website at
Alan Humphrey