Last Sunday, Mark Weir had a massive pump party at his house in Novato, CA. Reasons: 1. his one-year wedding anniversary, 2. Chevy’s birthday and 3. the pump — oh, the pump.
Weir has definitely caught Pump Track Fever. He based his initial track on mine, but since then he’s gone off the deep end. A few weeks ago he called,
“Lee, I’ve seen all these big pump tracks on your site,” he said, “and I don’t like ’em. We’re digging non-stop, and we’re building the biggest pump track in the world.”
Classic Weir. If something’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.
His original track was an oval with a few inside lines: a damn fine track. The new one ranges all over his yard to include at least three more loops with seemingly infinite options. You could put on a Camelbak and get lost out there for hours. And they’re still building on top of his old mini-moto track. By the time they’re finished, there will be something like six loops — all connected.
Weir’s track isn’t mathematically perfect. Some of the jumps are damn difficult, the rollers can be frustrating, and many of the turns are downright tricky. But once you get the hang of it, you’re rewarded with a very-high-speed adventure that mimics downhill more than it imitates BMX. One high-speed turn is actually flat, with a rut growing on the outside. You drift, drift, drift then BAM! Good stuff. Very DH.
Right now, Weir the biggest pump track in the world. He also has the most dangerous. I’m sure people are hitting the mid-20mph range, and when something goes wrong, there’s plenty of energy to reconcile. Weir has shattered a helmet and made himself dumb for a week; I cracked a helmet and rung my bell pretty good too.
Mark’s excellent wife Suzie manages a party rental place, so you know she knows how to throw a party. We had food galore, plenty of shade and a great mix of people. About 70 folks showed up throughout the day. Everyone from little kids to DH pros to a few road pros (who had about half the upper body mass of the rest of us). The neighbors even came by. Weir has a way of gathering like-minded souls and turning the stoke up to 11.
Pump Track Worlds
I’ve always loved Weir’s insanity, because I share it. My philosophy: If something’s worth doing, it’s worth timing.
We rocked the three-lap times on the new western loop. Balance on the little dirt ramp against the fence, with your pedal at 6 o’clock. NO PEDALLING ALLOWED! Pump three little rollers, fold into a right berm and hook some more rollers. Press into the hole then skim/jump over a table (while turning) into a foot-wide berm. BRAAAAP! Land that guy, pump hard, hook a roller, pump twice, rip a berm, manual a roller, rip the flat turn and do it two more times. Super fun.
The speeds were retarded. Under 30 seconds was fast; the best time was about 28. The podium went like this:
1. Ryan “Beavis” Finney
2. Jiro Nakamura
3. Mike Hadderer
4. Me, Lee McCormack
5. Mark Weir
Forrest Arakawa gets ready to give ‘er.
Rob Roskoff, the jefe at Santa Cruz Bicycles, ripped a good run. Santa Cruz Jackals were everywhere.
Jiro gets it done. This guy is SUPER smooth.
Forrest leads the Pump Train.
A million thanks to Mark and Suzie. What a great day.
WTB tires and accessories. Santa Cruz Bicycles. Specialized Bicycles. EAS Nutrition.