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Rainier resident Ken Adams shows off an image of a pump track that could look similar to the one he’s proposed to the city council. For the past two years, Adams and his son have competed in BMX racing all around the Pacific Northwest and are looking to bring their passion to their hometown.

A Rainier resident is working on bringing a little more fun to the small Thurston County town.  

Ken Adams, 42, has been working recently with the Rainier City Council to install a paved pump track near Wilkowski Park behind Rainier Chapel. Adams and a few volunteers are hoping to break ground on the project within the next week. 

A pump track is a uniform circuit of banks that BMX riders use to race and develop pumping techniques. Adams said the structure helps kids develop skills, no matter what kind of bike they ride, and that the facility would be a first for the Nisqually area. 

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Ken Adams displays a rough blueprint of his proposed pump track at Wilkowski Park in Rainier. If built, this public facilitiy would be a first of its kind for area.

“Ultimately, if we can get this built, it’ll be a positive thing for our kids and the city,” said Adams, who also said he’s hoping to complete the project solely with volunteers and donations, save for a water fountain and lighting structure he’s hoping the city can help pay for. 

The proposed structure would be around 20,000 square feet with two 10-foot-wide tracks starting from opposite ends, then meeting in the middle. Adams estimates the banks will be about a meter tall. 

The idea came to Adams earlier this year, he said. Throughout the last two years, Adams and his 10-year-old son, Kadden, have been traveling around the Pacific Northwest competing in BMX races. 

Adams said he began wondering why no one had taken up the initiative to build a quality public pump track facility in the area. 

“We’re just pushing dirt around,” he said. 

In September, as his kids were getting settled back in school, Adams began work on the track. He started by getting on the Rainier City Council’s agenda, where he made a proposal to construct the project on the city’s property without taxpayer funds. 

“They were excited. All of them were for it,” he said. 

They told Adams to come back with a design plan. In his spare time, he began sketching the blueprints of the project with a sharpie and ruler. 

“Mind you, I’m not artistic. But I can draw a straight line,” he said. 

Adams said the next thing he needs to do is mark up the exact location of the track and provide the council with a crosscut section of the track. He said he also plans on applying for a grant to provide funds for the paving of the structure. 

Overall, Adams said the community is very much on board with building a track. He said multiple people have reached out to offer a helping hand, or offer to let him use their tractor. 

“I think it’s desperately needed. I mean, when I was a kid growing up around here, all we did was ride bikes,” said Benjamin Reed, 34, a friend of Adams who has helped facilitate conversation with the We Love Rainier WA group. “Something like this to let kids develop skills. It might help one of them go pro someday.”

Adams said installing a pump track would help locals get into the sport of BMX racing and would help those already interested stay in the area. The closest pump track for Rainier residents is in Sumner, he said. 

Adams is currently accepting donations in the form of money and soil. He can be contacted at highspeedkenny@gmail.com. 

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