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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.