WINDSOR, ONT. -- Enthusiastic cyclists now have a new bike track to explore in the city’s east end.

The Little River Corridor bicycle pump track opened Tuesday featuring 131-metre custom-made circuitous bicycle race track geared to adventure cyclists of all ages and skill levels.

“I can say I had a hand in building this and I’m very proud of it. I’m just happy it’s here,” said Ben Thompson, who took the day off work to help lay the asphalt.

It is only the third such track in Ontario and the only asphalt pump track in Southwestern Ontario. It’s looped sequence of berms and rollers on a grippy asphalt surface, the track is designed to offer a unique, challenging and safe course for cyclists in a safe environment that is open rain or shine.

Thompson says this is a standard track, used around the world.

“There’s no reason why there can’t be competitions held here, and honestly that would be great for this area if we were to build it up a little more,” he says. “People could spend an entire weekend here.”

The track is part of a $350,000 parks and recreation expansion funded by council to add new off-road cycling infrastructure to Windsor’s east end, including a 700-metre natural single-track beginner’s trail that was installed along the Little River Corridor in 2019.

“This is a premium quality track, and I am proud this world-class facility is now available for residents to safely use, free of charge, here in east Windsor,” said Ward 7 Councillor Jeewen Gill.

A dirt track that was built by cycling enthusiasts was taken down in 2017 and another one earlier this year due to safety and environmental concerns.

“We’ve been in limbo,” Thompson said. “We’ve been really needing a spot.”

Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens said council recognizes the popularity of unique recreation activities including off-road cycling and pump track racing, and that they’ve grown more popular with many looking for different ways to be active outdoors.

“Based on the high demand that we’ve had since even before it was opened, and today speaks to the interest the community has in a facility like this,” Dilkens says.

Both facilities – the pump track and single-track nature trail – are free to use and open to the public during regular park operating hours.