Mountain biking give us plenty of opportunities to face fears. Perhaps the most stark form of mountain biking is dirt jumping. The jump face looms ahead, all tall and steep and imposing. You’re either going for it or you’re not.
The sweetest trails and riding spots
I purchased your excellent book Welcome to Pump Track Nation v2 (hardcover) because my son and I are building a pump track in our backyard. I was wondering if I could ask you a question. I’ve gotten a dirt sample from a friend who’s got an excavator and can deliver it to me. I did your ball jar dirt test, and while I clearly see the clay (62.5%) it’s above another layer (37.5%), which is undifferentiated. I can’t figure out, by looking at your photo in the book, whether that bottom layer sand or silt. Or could it be both? If you could check out this photo and let me know what you think, I would be super grateful! (I wish I lived in Boulder so I could take one of your lessons – I may head out that way next summer anyways, so I might be able to squeeze one in). Also, I live in VT, is 62.5% clay too much for an environment where it can rain a fair amount?
I’m building a pump track in the PNW where the soil is essentially always wet. What do you think an ideal soil mix would be? Would 60% sand / 40% clay be a good balance? Could I go with even more sand?
If you’ve been reading this site, you’ve heard me talking about rowing and anti-rowing and how, when you do a good job, your handlebars follow an elliptical path.
Basically, the taller the shape and the more leg action there is, the taller the ellipse. The flatter the shape and the less leg action there is, the flatter the ellipse.
Check this out:
Our friend Liam made some cool tools to help him make his pump track parfect.
Check ’em out …
I thought I would get in touch and I hope you are doing ok in these difficult times.
I have been dreaming of a backyard pumptrack for a few years and with the coronavirus lockdown here in the UK I am trying to find the silver lining and so am planning a build!
I bought your great book Welcome to Pump Track Nation v2 and have taken to design package inkscape to try to plan out a track. I have a long but relatively narrow space which is on flat land and currently simple turf. I plan to bring in a mini digger but don’t have access to bring dirt in easily so will dig down to get the dirt and then put in drainage from the low points.
The design is attached and includes a simple oval with an s-bend berm in the middle and a mixture of simple rollers and a couple of bigger ones to try to give the chance for jumps – including in and out of the s-berm. The track will be used by myself (38 and a bmx/mtb rider since a teenager) and my two kids (11 and 5 yr olds).
It would be amazing to get any thoughts you have.
I bought the v2 of the pump track nation book. Gotta say super well written. I’m planning on building one in the back yard to keep my kids busy. They are 3 1/2 (good at strider) and almost 6 (he’s got a nice 20” bike and can ride mellow mtb trails)
My space in the yard is 35 feet wide and 32 feet deep but the SW corner has a shed so need to keep entrance clear so will likely do a trapezoid shape. That includes room for the back of berms.
My main question has to do with the 10 foot peak to peak number you mention as ideal for rollers. How tight can I make rollers. I assume since the kids are on small bikes they can handle tighter spacing. What’s a smaller spacing that would still be manageable for me. I’m advanced rider on a dj bike. I can pump my way around a pump track without pedaling but by no means an expert. Though I’d like to practice now that I have time. We are working from home for the next foreseeable future and we have the kids home too. All schools and daycares are shut down here for the next 2 months at least. Our local pump track will also be shut down for the foreseeable future.
I’ve found your “Welcome to Pump Track Nation v2” e-book to be a great resource. The pictures and steps regarding interchanges listed on page 49-50 have been helpful but I am not fully confident with the exact design of my interchanges. My main question is, is it okay that the interchange berm has a different radius than the adjacent berm? I have drawn out a plan that I hope will work well. Is there anything that stands out that needs changing?
In the ebook it mentions 12″ high rollers with 10′ from peak to peak for the rollers. However, in the plans it shows 18″ for what looks like 10′ peak to peak on rollers? Is there a reason for this? Will it be faster or slower?
I just got back from riding in Miami, FL and Myrtle Beach, SC. Impressions:
Place: Valmont Bike Park
Day: Aug. 1 and 6
Time: 5 to 8 p.m.
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!
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!