Questions: Pump track in New England

Hey Lee,
I read the article in MBA about pump tracks and I must saw, I am very interested. I have only built drops and single jumps in my backyard, and I am looking for your opinion. I have several potential problems:

-I live in new england, specifically the granite state. The soil around here is VERY rooty and full of large rocks. Should I order some fill? I noticed most pics on your site feature tracks with ideal clay-like soil, something rare around me.

-While I have plenty of space, it is on a slight ridgeline. There are also several large Oaks in the way. I’m hoping to use the pump track blueprint “the best suburban pump track in the [known] world.” any suggestions? The aspect puzzling me is how to incorporate (or avoid) the slope.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Best Regards,

P.S. Awesome website man! it truly does go to eleven!

Hey Nick.

Fill sounds like a good idea. You get a more rideable, longer lasting track (without having to remove every root and rock), and you get to maintain your current slope, which is awesome for drainage. BTW: Don’t forget about drainage!

You can definitely work with the slope, but probably not with that design. Options:

– Dig a big bench for your track. That could be a huge project.

– Run straights along the slope. Use tight berms and rollers to pump uphill. Imagine: Rip across the hill. Pump a 45-degree uphill turn. Pump a roller. Pump another 45-degree uphill turn. Voila, you just gained elevation, and now you’re ripping the other way. Imagine a squat oval, or even a squat figure eight. … So many possibilities!

Let me know how it goes,

— Lee

3 replies
  1. Jasper Krupp says:

    Hello, Mister Lee.
    Im building a pump track of my own, and I’ve come for some good, tried and true advice. The track is being made as we speak, in the forest out back from my house. (yes, it’s my property) Digging is a bit frustrating as the ground is laced with hair like roots that holds dirt together, for the first 4 or so inches of ground, but I’m still pushing on, cutting roots big and small with all my effort. Now thats not my problem, (I wonder why I even decided to type all that) but anyways, the land is on a fairly steep uphill. Not very steep, but it looks like it will be difficult to pump up. Will it be easier with a straight line of pumps, or a curved series? there is about 25 feet of uphill, I could stretch it to 30. Since this will be bi-directional like all tracks should, I’m putting a biggish jump at the bottome of the descent, going both ways. (one jump at the bottom) So I’m gonna need speed to clear it nicely. Could I gain more speed pumping through a gentle curve of pumps, or a series of curves with pumps entering and exiting them, like the S in the center of yours? And yeah, I have to go up it too. I don’t want to cheat and pedal at all, heh. Thanks for the amazing idea, this is probably going to be my favorite type of riding. And also, how long did it take for your track to harden to bluegroove quality? A week or two I’m guessing? Thanks a bunch. Oh, and I have plenty of sand/dirt, and it packs very well after wetting and waiting. So I can use alot of dirt.

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    The uphill will be easier in a straight line, but it’ll be more fun with curves. It depends on your skill level. Maybe make one side straight, and make the other side curved, with rollers between each curve.

    ***Your track should be tricky enough that you don’t get it dialed on day one.

    It’s taken a few months for my track to really settle. Turns out it’s all about water — water it before every ride and it’ll set up quickly.

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