Local resident initiates plan to build a pump track in Sioux Lookout, seeks community support
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
If the Municipality signals a green light later this month, execution of the plan to build a pump track in Sioux Lookout will soon be underway.
Sioux Lookout resident and Cedar Bay Trail Co. Fat Bike Club member Paul Hoftyzer initiated the idea of building a pump track in town, brought to him by a friend. He said, “It’s always great to have more activities to do with your children. This pump track, I think, is going to be a great fit for riders of any age. It’s going to help you to develop your skill and your coordination and you are going to do that while you are having a little bit of fun.”
Parks Canada describes a pump track as a circuit of rollers, banked turns and features designed to be ridden completely by riders “pumping”—generating momentum by up and down body movements, instead of pedaling or pushing. Hoftyzer added that the track could also be of interest to people with roller skates, skateboards, scooters and more.
“In a small town we are not always able to have all the amenities of a big city. But, this is a project that I think Sioux Lookout is able to do. I think that the maintenance and the risk that’s involved with this project is very low, and I think that this is something that we can do as a community. So, I am pretty excited about it,” said Hoftyzer.
Hoftyzer is encouraging interested community members to help show their support for this project by emailing him at [email protected], as part of a presentation to Sioux Lookout Municipal Council which he hopes to conduct on May 19. He said that community input would help build momentum for this project.
“There seems to be a lot of community support. It’s encouraging, so far. I think that we are well on our way,” said Hoftyzer.
He added that he has been joined by some potential stakeholders, reaching out to help with construction materials, equipment operations, involvement with local youth programming, and to share expert advice for track building.
If the project is approved by Sioux Lookout Municipal Council, Hoftyzer shared that they hope to build on some empty space beside the baseball diamonds on Third Avenue. He said about 100 feet by 200 feet would be a perfect size. He hopes for work to start soon on this project, with the best-case scenario of having it ready this summer.
Hoftyzer said that as COVID-19 restrictions loosen this activity seems viable, allowing for safe distancing. “I think that this activity lends itself well to the early stages of opening up during COVID, because naturally as a cyclist on a track like this, you would be well separated much more than six feet and I think it would be easy to fit this in as a family to go there and enjoy this activity, and easily maintain social distancing,” he concluded.