Feature: The Backyard Pump Track – Construction

How To

So now that we’re curious, I got back to my buddies, Lee and Mark and asked for more insight and examples. These guys who don’t even like email sent a rapid-fire set of samples, videos and tips. It’s obvious that I’ve struck a chord as they’ve dedicated a good chunk of their lives digging and spreading the good word about pump tracks.

Lee McCormack is one of the godfathers of pump tracks and some might say that he wrote the book on it. Actually he did write one and we are digesting it right now. But here he is in action.

YouTube Preview ImageVideo: Here’s Lee test riding a pump track he just built called Kidtopia. It is in a private residence in Boulder, CO

The book Lee wrote is here, Pump Track Nation and we will dig in to in a follow-on article.

So then we contacted Mark Weir as we think of him as the ambassador of pump tracks since he’s been extolling the virtues of pump tracks for many years. And since he’s such a high profile and insanely fast rider, many have listened.

YouTube Preview ImageVideo: Johnny Mosely visits Mark Weir to get insight on the Mark Weir Nation

Mark has become an internet sensation with his pump track videos not just because of the air he gets but also because of the raucous sound his tires make when railing a pump track berm. That sound is a sign that you’re doing something right according to Mark.

Here is Ryan Finney on Mark’s track riding like a boss. Ryan used to race pro downhill and would slay the world’s best downhillers at the Sea Otter Classic events. Ryan is retired now and can be found wheelin and rc racing with Mark these days.

YouTube Preview ImageVideo: Short video displaying the power of Ryan Finney on Mark’s track

So what this all have to do with mountain biking? Riding a pump track well will absolutely make you a better mountain biker. You will learn to corner, weight and unweight a bike and become a much more active and dynamic biker. Some of the concepts are explained here.

YouTube Preview Image

And here you can see Brian Lopes get creative with space as he doesn’t have a huge chunk of land but he has a bit of unused space in corridors and in between landscaping.

YouTube Preview ImageVideo: Brian Lopes on his creative pump track

Brian Lopes Describes the Track

I think the track is unique because it covers my friends front and back yard, attaching the two by going down the side of the house. It is also unique because you go around a nice sculpture and putting green, and the entire course is landscaped. I designed most of the track and my friend Chris Schulz made it. It was a process that took a couple months to fully complete and get dialed in. It started with just the front yard, then we decided to extend it to the back.

Next week we will explore more creative landscaping ideas as we delve into the process of getting a high SAF (Spouse Acceptance Factor). Pump tracks are cool and all but we don’t want it to break up your marriage if you rip up your lawn without the necessary approvals.

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • Shannon W. says:

    Just a little ‘woot woot’ for the link to The Mountain Bike Life – way to represent, Phil :)

  • Robert T says:

    Thanks guys, one more thing on my summer project list.

  • Greg Koenig says:

    any way to make it out of cement too so you could skate AND bike on it?

  • UncleTrail says:

    A little advice for the DIY homeowners out there. Don’t bury the sod like he did.
    Rip that sod up and get rid of it. It will not decompose under the dirt and will become a wet, rotten, smelly mess in no time at all.

  • UncleTrail says:

    Also, avoid piling that dirt on top of your tree roots from the trunk to the trees dripline. Big no, no. You will suffocate them and they will become diseased and die.

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