Get Pumped

SNC Students Stoked for New Bike Park


Photo credit: Kyly Clark

A cyclist catches air on a jump at the new Incline Bike Park

Caroline Coughlin, Editor

The Incline Bike Park, located next to the IVGID Recreation Center, opened Oct. 28. offers pump track courses, features and jumps for all ages and skill levels.

“A pump track is a bike track with rollers and features for riders to learn how to control their bike,” said Incline Bike Project creator Aaron “Elko” James. “There are berms – elevated turns – to teach you how to have balance without having to pedal or brake.” 

Riders either sit or stand on small bikes, which can “teach you the exact feeling of learning to control and balance your bicycle in differing terrain,” James said.

The cycling community in Lake Tahoe is huge. As a draw for tourists, cycling rivals skiing and snowboarding. Since Incline Village didn’t have its own bike park, local residents used to have to drive to South Lake or Truckee to use world-class pump tracks there. 

James says the need for Incline Village’s own community park was strong, so he began planning four years ago. Along the way, Incline Bike Project became a non-profit and partnered with Incline Tahoe Foundation, the organization that sets up the recreational opportunities for IVGID. After a few fundraisers with Alibi Ale Works, the Nugget Casino in Reno and very generous donations from fellow community members, the Incline Bike Project came to fruition. 

“We worked for a month straight with only one day to knock it out and opened on the 28th,” James said.

SNC’s student community is excited for this local riding opportunity. 

“Having the pump track added to the town and so close to campus has been a great addition,” sophomore Jonas Patten said. “Before moving to Tahoe I was not that into mountain biking, but I knew there would be an opportunity to get better here. All the people I’ve met at the pump track are so happy to have it. We can’t wait until next year when they will add another line to the park.”

SNC senior Chase Rudy visited the park during the opening week.

“They have three different runs that get progressively harder,” he said. “I mountain bike for fun, but some of the stuff they have there, I can’t do. Although the park is huge, my friends and I can’t wait for it all to be finished.”

Currently, there is only one jump considered advanced at the park but managers will begin creating an advanced line “with jumps and everything,” next spring, James said. Also, for students looking for a seasonal job, next summer, IVGID will be hiring a full time employee position to maintain the park.

This park could not have opened without the help of many community members. 

“Hats off to Incline Tahoe Foundation, IVGID engineering and TRPA. They’ve been on our sides the whole entire way and have been really supportive,” James said. “Also, huge thanks to the Holmans, whose generosity is what really made this dream a reality.”

The Incline Bike Park is open from dusk until dawn for cyclists only. No skateboards or scooters are permitted due to the clay surface of the track.