There's a camaraderie among the young riders at the new Pasadena pump track.
Shared stories of successful laps, landing jumps when odds predicted otherwise and re-enactments of defeats, of the times when the dirt scored one over the rider.
They congregate at the start of the series of loops, plan their next route, prepare themselves for the workout ahead.
"It's one of the funnest things I've done all year," said Nathan Applin, 12. "Nine of out of 10.… I like it a lot."
A pump track is a circuit of dirt rollers, or small hills, and banked turns. Cyclists ride through the track by "pumping," which means no pedalling or getting pushed at all. It's all about generating momentum on your bike by moving your body up and down, forcing the bike to speed up on the descent of each roller.
"You push down on your bike when you go down the little slopes," said Nathan, who says he's been riding without training wheels since he was three years old. "It's called pumping. It gives it more speed."
As riders navigate the dirt track, the banked turn — called a berm — puts the bike and rider in a horizontal position, almost parallel to the ground a few feet below them.
"It's pretty much a big wall ride made out of dirt," Nathan said. "It can be made out of wood, out of anything.… You go up around the corner and just ride on it. It's pretty steep, well, if you go more towards the top."
The Pasadena pump track opened earlier this month. It's located in a residential area near one of the town's newer subdivisions.
Mayor Gary Bishop says the green space was identified for recreation use six or seven years ago, but it was only in the past month that a pitch from the public work committee of council put the wheels in motion for the new track.
"Of course, our first question was: What is a pump track?" quipped Bishop.
Local contractor Rico Construction donated its equipment and labour, and joined the town's own staff in the design and build. Bishop said there were no other costs.
"We talked it over and said, 'Yeah, I think this would be a great concept for that area' and we went ahead and have what we have here today. We're really pleased."
There were some concerns raised to council about the location and notice given regarding the building of the track. Bishop said council is taking them into consideration and will look at ways to address them. However, the mayor said the track is going nowhere. The town prides itself on offering up something beyond the usual recreation for kids, he said, and the pump track fits that bill.
"We look at sometimes being a little bit different and finding different things for the kids to do to keep them active. And, of course, it keeps them out of trouble — that's a big thing."