Intergalactic Pump Track Championships

Last weekend’s SolVista Mountain States Cup had cross country, downhill and dual slalom, but Saturday afternoon was all about the pump track.

The track: Right off the restaurant patio is a triangular pump track with a crossover line. The turns and rollers aren’t mathematically perfect, but — heck — it’s a pump track at the base of a ski resort. Pump Track Nation!

The turnout: A random assortment of characters turned up for the pump track title: lots of kids, gravity riders, endurance riders and a few big names including Mike Kreger, Chris Boice, Shawn Neer, Bobbi Watt, Jon Watt and Brian Lopes. Lopes was in town for Crankworx, and he came to check out the MSC scene.

Qualifying: You got one lap to gain speed (pedaling allowed), then two timed pump laps. During the timed laps, every crank cost you a one-second penalty. Lopes killed the track, and even with a pedaling penalty (old habit!) he out qualified everyone by almost a second.

Seeding: Everyone was split into an A and a B group. Bobbi “Snap!” Watt made the As — yes, she is faster than most dudes. Chances are she’s faster than you.

Racing: What an awesome low pressure, high fun scene. Riders of all ages, levels and styles rocked the track while parents and friends watched. Lopes and I watched with our wives under a cafe umbrella. The girls had their food and drink; we had our pump. Everybody wins.

The As got one start-up lap then three timed pump laps. 30 seconds was a quick time. During that third lap, some physiological changes start to happen, and fitness becomes a factor. Add a slippery surface and imperfectly built turns, and you see who brought the kung fu.

Some excellent riders made small mistakes and lost their speed. Jon Watt ripped. Lopes ripped2. I rode decently and had a blast. As I manualed past the start/finish, I heard announcer Mike McCormack say, “Lee … a master of the fundamentals …” Funny: Is that like saying your girlfriend has a great personality?

What fun. The A results went 1) Lopes, 2) Watt, 3) me. I wish I had a photo of that podium, but at the Intergalactic Pump Track Championships there is no podium.

I suppose that’s part of the fun.

Video was shot. I’ll post it when it arrives.

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