NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — The Watkins Pump Track is a project almost four years in the making. It officially opened to the public in February 2021.
Oasis Bike Workshop and SORBA Mid-TN presented Metro Parks with an opportunity for youth and community members to join together to create a safe space to ride their bikes in a North Nashville public park.
Through the Oasis Bike Workshop, kids participate in workshops for six-to-eight weeks to build their own custom bikes from the frame up.
"We want it to be as inclusive as possible. Cycling is not the most inclusive sport. It's pretty cost-prohibitive. It's an expensive sport, but we just wanted to build something that was kinda for everybody," said Daniel Furbish, director of the Oasis Bike Workshop.
The Watkins Pump Track has become Nashville’s first bike park in the urban core of the city.
Many of the youth participants build mountain or BMX bikes but do not have access to trails or a park to build their skills.
"We also wanted to make sure it was for kind of everybody so even if you don't have a bike it's good for skateboarders and scooters, and inline skate," Furbish said.
Furbish says the Watkins Park pump track could have been built anywhere in Nashville but he wanted it here.
"We wanted a place where young people from this neighborhood could come and ride their bike safely and you know, build their skills and whether they're on a BMX bike or mountain bike or a skateboard or inline skates," he said.
If a child shows up without a bike and wants to participate, the community center has that covered.
"That's this shipping container here behind us is filled with BMX, like bikes filled with skateboards so they can come and meet with Shatika who's the manager here and runs the community center and they can check out a bike and a helmet and come use the park," Furbish said.
Furbish says he just wants to give the children in this neighborhood an opportunity to aim high.