Mat Olson Turns Bridge Arches into a Pump Track, Asks For a Bike Park in Fort Worth
When Mat Olson rode across the 24-foot-high arches of the West Seventh Street Bridge in Fort Worth, city officials were not impressed.
“It’s funny, I heard that they were not too happy about it but it’s just something I do, I like to ride bikes,”
says the 25-year-old BMX rider, who started racing BMX when at 7 and got into freestyle riding a few years later. Now he rides with the professional BMX stunt group Lonestar Action Sports. Before the bridge was even completed Olson and his friends saw an opportunity in the making.
“Once it was completed we realized that with a little bit of support between each transition we could possibly ride over the whole thing,” Olson says. “The boards are at the bottom in between each arch–you could reach that from the ground–all we had to do was reach over the arch and measure a little bit and take into account how much force I would have and put a couple supports in the right places and it was good to go.”
After a month and a half of planning Olson and his friends went out to the bridge. A police car driving by on the otherwise quiet day signaled that it was time to go. Six arches in just under a thousand feet, Olson calls it the biggest pump track he’s ever been on.
“It was pretty wild, going up and over the arches. It was pretty scary just because it was really windy and if anything happened, like a chain broke or a tire popped, it was not going to be good. We picked a good day and a good time.”
Olson says that no one from the city has contacted him about the stunt, but he has emailed the mayor with a proposal.
“Hopefully I can get a response, in effort to be able to build a skate park in the area because there isn’t one in Fort Worth,” Olson says. “Everything is either too far away for all the kids, or it’s an expensive indoor park, or it’s a skateboard-only park and bike riders are getting kicked out or ticketed because they want to ride it.”
A city park where people could ride and skate would deter stunts like his by providing a space for riders to use. “It keeps everybody off of their businesses and off of their stairs and rails and keeps it at the skate parks and bike parks.”
About Krista Carlson
A regular contributor to the print edition of Urban Velo, Krista Carlson is a cyclist obsessed with bike polo, baking, pickles, and all things bike-y. She is a native Angeleno and is madly in love with the city and everything that makes it the beautiful, crazy place that it is.