Sea Otter Adventure 2010: Day 11

Pro pump track finals!

It’s late and I have a lot of stuff to do, so I need to make this quick for now.

The track was dialed. The crowd was big. The riders were excited.

Each run started on a platform next to the track. Athletes got called onto the box with great fanfare, then they rolled in. They rolled one lap to gain speed, then they ripped two timed laps — with Kyle Ebbett on the mike and money on the line. After everyone did their first run, they did another run. Fastest run counts.

Since Brendan Fairclough blew his first run, he rode first in round 2. Wow. Right onto the hot seat he went with a blistering run around 15.75. Everyone else gave ‘er, that’s for sure. Lots of mistakes were made, but nobody will go home thinking they didn’t pin it hard enough.

Local 20 riders and pump track diggers Jason Carrol and Alex Fowler rode well but made fatal errors. AA BMX pro Barry Nobles looked superfast and powerful, but he caught some edges. All it took to make a great run so-so was the tiniest bobble, which amplified once you got out of phase.

Yeah, a small mistake on one end of the track often became a major issue at the other end of the track. Such is life when the entire track is one continuous working edge.

Young Monster ripper Troy Brosnan had a great first run, within a few hundredths of Faircough, but blew his second run. Bummer! He was on the pipe.

Mich Ropelato slayed it. His first run was enough to win, but he pinned his second one even better — jumping off the camel into the 90-degree left — and took another 1/4 second off his time. His final time was something like 15.15. The podium went Ropelato, Fairclough, Brosnan.

Perhaps more importantly: The crowd was stoked with the action, the riders were stoked with the track, and lots of industry people and normal people were stoked on Pump Track Nation. A lot of people came to me saying they built backyard tracks using Welcome to Pump Track Nation. Lots of kids, lots of adults, lots of dads.

And: This morning I gave a pump clinic to NICA Director Matt Fritzinger. As the skills guru for the growing high school mountain bike league, I will develop a curriculum for teaching high school students how to ride safely and well. Matt’s a traditional road/XC guy and has been reluctant to teach pump to high school kids. Well, he picked up the pump very quickly today, and he’s pumped! I think I heard him mutter something about every high school with a MTB program having a pump track.

It’s on my friends. It’s on in a big way.

Photos here:

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