Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pump up the jam!

No, not the 80's classic by Technotronic.  Thankfully.  No, it's the pump track that we added at the ranch!  This isn't a great video, but Kevin shot it with my iPhone while I rode a little over a lap. 

So, what's a pump track, you say?  Well, it's a small BMX-like track where the object is to ride laps continually without pedaling.  That's right, you can't pedal.  You make the bike go by getting a small start with the pedals (or ride in from outside with just a little bit of speed) and then you use your entire body to pump down the back side of each little hill.  So you're simply moving your body up and down with your legs and arms in rhythm with the small rollers (or hills) so that you are putting energy into the downhill side to generate forward speed.

It's very cool.  And useful, too.  When biking on the trail, you sometimes need to be able to pump in places to generate extra speed, especially in places where the terrain may not allow for much pedaling.  Or sometimes in a race there are places where you can gain some "free" speed on folks who aren't pumping.  I wasn't really cornering with great technique here, but the bowls on the ends of the track are very good for working on better cornering technique, too. 

And ultimately, you can start actually jumping the front side of the rollers and pump as you land down the back side.  All with no pedaling.  So cool, fun, and good for mountain bike skills work!

We've got plenty of dirt stockpiled to add on a little more length, and the plan is to add some other skills features around the pump track in the form of wooden decks, jumps, platforms, etc.  Fun stuff.  Oh, and it works great for racing remote controlled off-road cars.  I'll try to get some video of that soon, too.  And some first person biking video.

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