Oscar Trombley is an energetic boy who likes to talk—except when he’s riding his bike.
He was silent and focused while zipping around the new asphalt pump track at Brooklyn Bike Park in Williamsburg, the park’s second iteration after moving across the street from its former location on Kent Avenue, between South Third and South Fourth streets. Oscar rode with an intensity and skill that was impressive for...a 5-year-old.
“It’s awesome,” he said while making a rare water break during the park’s Aug. 4 opening ceremonies. “The path is so fast.”
While Oscar zipped around, his dad Chris Trombley, executive director of Brooklyn Bike Park, rushed around with the same focus, getting the park ready for its public debut the next day.
“I’m bummed that I’ve barely had a chance to ride the track myself,” said Mr. Trombley, looking over the new park and admiring its unobstructed views of Manhattan over the East River. “But I just look at all of this and am amazed each time. It’s just so spectacular.”
Like the old location, the new bike park is situated on land owned by Two Trees Management Co., the development firm that took over the old Domino Sugar refinery. The firm gave park organizers a two-year lease at the new riverfront location, with the possibility of a one-year extension, according to Mr. Trombley.
David Lombino, director of special projects at Two Trees, said Velosolutions, the Swiss firm that designed the bike park, “has done an incredible job transforming an empty lot” into a “world-class, five-acre public park along the Williamsburg waterfront.”
The new track, at about 16,000 square feet, is paved, making it the first asphalt pump track in North America, according Velosolutions.
Claudio Caluori, firm founder and track designer, said each asphalt pump track he builds is unique to its location.
“At this point, I know what works and what doesn’t, so every track I design builds on a previous design,” said Mr. Caluori, who is also manager for the international racing team Gstaad-Scott.
He said experienced riders will enjoy the track’s triple berm (steep banked turns), which makes riders accelerate even more into the turn. Hand-drawn artwork by Jon Burgerman, a British artist who lives in Williamsburg, adorns the asphalt.
It took several months to come up with a design, and it was exactly one year from the original site visit to Tuesday’s opening-day ceremonies, calculated Mr. Caluori.
“And can you believe we built the actual tracks in just two weeks?” he said. “That was insane.”
Neko Mulally, a professional mountain-bike racer, said he has never seen a track like this in the U.S. “I’ve been on many tracks that Claudio built in Switzerland, but once people see this, everyone around the country is going to want one in their town,” he said.
The park has been running on a shoe-string budget since it started in 2013 in its previous location, and everyone who works there, including Mr. Trombley, is an unpaid volunteer. A GoFundMe donation drive and sales for 30-day membership passes have helped raise money to pay for insurance, but Mr. Trombley said he is looking for sponsorships and other tie-ups to help keep the park open and accessible to the community at a low cost.
Tables and chairs on the site are used in tandem by the park’s immediate neighbor, the Farm on Kent, a community farm run by North Brooklyn Farms. Mr. Trombley said he would like to build additional decks and seating for better track viewing. He has organized classes, including after-school programs that will commence shortly. The bike park can also be booked for children’s birthday parties.
Now that the dirt is gone and asphalt makes the track water-resistant, the park will be open for more days and can be used by other riders, said Alon Karpman, a former lawyer turned chief executive of Velosolutions U.S.A.
“Anyone with wheels, like skateboarders and inline skaters, can do this,” he noted.