Winter Digging 2012: Swiss Pumptracks

Mountain Biking Magazine



Winter Digging 2012: Swiss Pumptracks

Claudio Calouri is a busy man! When’s he’s not running the Scott 11 World Cup DH team or racing iceskates downhill he’s flat out with his Velosolutions crew building pumptracks around Switzerland.

He’s just finished building two tracks, one at Chur and another 10 minutes away at the Hotel Bestzeit in Parpan.

Here’s what Claudio told us:“The city of Chur in Switzerland now has our first tarmac pumptrack, and I can’t even explain you how excited we are about it. Only a few hours after finishing the tarmac coating, the kids took over the place, and it has been packed ever since. The kids just don’t stop riding, no matter if it raining or if it’s dark. Some just put lights on their helmet and keep riding. 90% of them ride bikes, but there are skateboards, inline skates and even scooters on it.

We were extremely lucky to be able to work with these people of Chur, who pushed us to testbuild a tarmac berm in summer. The possible lines and combinations are so much bigger than we could have expected because of the traction and the low rolling resistance.

While the kids kept riding, the city took care of the planting,so we’ll have to wait for spring to really become green. The first snow has fallen last weekend, and is gone again, but the kids kept riding. The advanced riders actually need to plan their visit of the pumptrack at certain times when the kids are having lunch at home, or when all of them are in school, because otherwise, the’s just too much traffic on the track.

The pumptrack is in the center of Chur is coated in tarmac, and is 220 meters long. A couple hours after the tarmac coating was finished people flocked to it, and it’s been packed ever since!

The day after finishing the tarmac in Chur, we started building another one, only 10 minutes away, in Parpan, for the Hotel Bestzeit. It’s located right at the finish line of the ski world cup finals of Lenzerheide.

This one though is one for the clay lovers: We used the excavated material from the construction of the Hotel, which was almost pure clay. A little side story from the excavation…when they dugg it out, they managed to hit the pipeline from the spring that feeds the regional pride, the local beer brewery.

This clay pumptrack ended up being a bigger challenge than the tarmac one in Chur, as the clay was wet and sticky, and the ground was so soft that we had to be carefull not to sink in too deep with our machines.

Knowing the winter would arrive a the following weekend, we had to finish the pumptrack in five days, which meant flat out non-stop shifts from dusk till dawn. We made it just in time, and the following day, it was all covered in white snow.

This pumptrack was built out of clay for a hotel.

This pumptrack had a deadline of five days, because of the risk of bad weather, which meant flat out days.

Tired and happy, back on the computer, and the kids keep on riding in Chur! Thanks to Graubünden to make this all happen! And thanks my staff at Velosolutions for pinning it so hard to finish everything on time!

Remember, send all your Winter Digging photos/stories/videos to Billy


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