The sweetest trails and riding spots

Cyclocross Skills to Get the Edge

Place: Valmont Bike Park
Day: Aug. 1 and 6
Time: 5 to 8 p.m.
Cost: $125

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Find free time on the course where others struggle

Cyclocross season is coming. You’ve worked hard to get fit, but are your skills slowing you down?

‘Cross courses favor riders who can balance speed in long stretches, finesse through obstacles and carry speed out of turns – and they punish those who can’t. Learn with professional cycling coach Lee McCormack how to turn the ‘cross course into your new bestie.

In this 3-hour intensive course, you’ll learn bike handling skills that will put you ahead of the competition.

Cornering safer and faster

What if you could save .5-1 second in every CX course turn? In a typical cross’ race with 20 turns per lap and nine laps per race, you’re looking at dropping 1-3 minutes just with improved cornering alone. How many places is that worth?

Plus, you’ll be using less energy coming out of every turn so you can save that power for your last lap punch. And now that you’re corning faster and safer, let’s not forget how much time you save when you don’t crash. (Win-win!)

Working the terrain

See opportunities where others see obstacles. Learn how to spy the fastest lines, pump the terrain for increased speed and find flow on the course. Work the course instead of getting worked by it. It’s not only faster and requires less energy – it makes racing that much more fun.

These skills will help you carry more, easier speed all around the course. If we have time, we’ll also look at dismount/remounts and hops. 

Class will meet at Valmont Bike Park so you can dial in the terrain that you’ll race in local and national Pro CX events.

Bonus: All attendees get 10% off the Boulder Bicycle Works Speed Treatment — the drivetrain treatment that keeps your bike running smoothly despite gnarly conditions — which is key for CX racing!

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Here’s a sweet Sweet Little Track pump track

Hi Lee,

Just wanted to circle back with you (finally) as we built the Sweet Little Track back in late June. It turned out great and your plans and overall instructions were very helpful to this end. It’s a blast to ride and as you note it really freaks you out when you first experience the speed of pumping! Such a workout too, reminds me so much of steep fall line skiing.

Here are some pics after we first built it. Since then we have seeded the backside of the berms with grass for erosion protection.

There’s a few flat spots between the interior berms. OK for now as keeps the speed in check. The gap between the 110 berms is our entry point. Might do a bit of shaping with the rollers here a some point but fine for now. I ride it with a 20″ BMX bike and its great!

Hope you have a great Christmas season with your family and all best in the New Year!

Dean

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BMX or plus hardtail on a pump track?

Hey Lee – quick question. I am on a 27+ hardtail. This is the little pump track I use. Almost the whole track is in the frame. The bumps and corners come up so fast and it is sometimes hard to not run off the edge. When I put my 4 year old on it his tiny balance bike seems to fit so much better on the track than my bike. It makes me wonder – would i be having more fun or learning faster if I used a bmx bike instead?  I am very beginner – only my 4th time on a pumptrack.

Zach

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Slower than I once was, faster than I’ll be?

I turned on Strava for today’s trail ride because 1) marketing, 2) practicing the release of outcomes, 3) to smash the downhill KOM. I owned it at one point, years ago, and now I’m in the top 1 percent. Read more

Kris Fox is my favorite BMX park rider

He’s a former racer. He’s in the book Pro BMX Skills (he was gracious about being shot at the Olympic Training Center track). He has an incredible mix of power, speed and creativity.

Vision is kind of important

Yesterday I was working with a new LLB coach, Kristie Van Voorst, on the upper pump track at Valmont Bike Park.

I was riding laps, making common mistakes, and helping her identify and correct them.

At one point I wanted to ride perfectly at normal speed, but only make the mistake of staring right in front of my wheel (instead of scanning to the next corner).

As soon as I locked my eyes on the ground, I slowed way down, and my body simply wouldn’t execute proper pumping technique. The more I committed to looking down, the slower and more awkward it got.

Crazy: No matter how dialed your skills are, if you don’t give yourself good data, you can’t execute.

This is great vision. In one turn but already looking into the next one:

Let’s build a badass pump track on a tennis court

Elsewhere in the Pump Track Nation, some cool people are doing cool things. We talk design options and how to build on a hard surface:

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Remote coaching: BMX success story

I just got a cool note from Roger in Finland. I’ve been helping his daughter with her BMX skills for a few years, and she’s now on the Finnish National BMX Team!

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Tips for building the Sea Otter 2010 pro pump track


Hi,

I bought your plans for the Sea Otter 2010 pro pump trackto build it at my new home which is currently under construction.

A few questions:
I have a 5-7 degree slope where I plan to put the pump track. Are there any considerations for elevation? Should I make it as flat as possible?
Living in Northwest PA our winters are tough. Any build/maintenance advice for keeping things in good condition?
My dirt contains a lot of shale. Is this manageable to build with or should I think of supplementing with top soil?
Thanks! I look forward to breaking ground soon.

Brian B

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Love your work, but I’m a roadie


Hi Lee

Listened to your interview on the TrainerRoad podcast (How to become a faster mountain biker) – it was amazing and made me rethink what I thought I knew about riding bikes.

I’d really like to read more of your work but I’m a roadie and was wondering what you have for roadies in the way of books etc.

Cheers

James
(From Australia)

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Pump tracks: Minimum radius for a 260-degree turn?


Hi, pumptrack question…

In your last book you mention, that 6X9m land is needed for a minimal pump track. I have long but narrow land in my backyard, so in one part there is space only for one line that will be ridden in both directions. But the problem is almost 270 degree turn that slould be made in one end… What you think is minimal radius for a 260° turn?

Janez

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PUMP HOP SMASH BRAAAP!!!


Last weekend I was in NorCal teaching and doing a RipRow™ demo at Trail Head Cyclery. Thursday Lars Thomsen and I talked business, assembled the machines then went for a ride. It was getting late.

We drove to Santa Teresa and parked at the “Lover’s Lane” lot near IBM. The sun was setting. I told Lars:

“I don’t want to be afraid.”

Over the past several years, as my shoulders have deteriorated, rocks have become painful, and I’ve become very afraid. But I’ve been doing the REVO physical therapy and RipRow work. My shoulders are stronger. My Specialized Enduro Öhlins Coil is the most capable trail bike in the world. I want to ride aggressively and not worry about the details.

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