Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pumpapalooza: The NW Pump Track Championships

I am throwing the NW Pump Track Championships in my backyard on June 12th, 2010.
1417 NW 103rd Circle, The Couv', 98685

Beer from New Belgium, Food and fun, Alleycat races, and neighborhood time trials.
Probable foot down, and possible Bike Polo.

And of course it all ends up with the NW Pump Track Championships......

Party starts at 2PM or when you get there. Track open for practice and fun all day, with the pump racing starting in the
late afternoon.

A group ride to the venue, led by yours truly, will leave Paul Bunyan at N. Denver and N. Interstate, at 1PM.
This meeting point will also have an optional Alleycat Race, which ends at the venue.

Also, some may choose to drive in order to bring a fun bike to ride on the Pump Track.
If you do drive, please park outside of the cul-de-sac, to leave room for random fun.....

In case some of you do not know what a pump track is all about, here is a video of my track being ridden.
The loop was not complete when this video was shot, so it will be a whole other level of fun by the time you get to ride it.
(For some reason the video doesn't look like it is here, but trust me and push the play button. It will work.)

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Complete Pump-able Loop!

There is a moment of pride when you come to realize the dream.

I stared at and thought about my yard(too much). I looked at the slight elevation gain along one side, and knew keeping momentum was going to be tough. Then a glance down the long fence line opened my mind up a little.

A 11 foot piece of string confirmed my beliefs.

And then I just started digging at the base of the Fir tree.

While still lacking dirt, I worked up enough of a berm to complete the Super Loop, or Mini Loop, of my pump track.

It is only a little more than a third of the length of the track, but very fun to ride as is. At 14 seconds a lap so far, 3 laps is what I can pull off right now. It is not really shaped yet, so those 14 seconds should be narrowed down to 12 eventually.

I laid it out to be pump-able, then dug it out to be a puzzle. This means that it takes some work, which is how it should be.
Some of the bumps have had dirt added to the sides, making a bigger pump possible. I can now gain more speed than I can carry through the berms.

That means that when I make the berms twice as tall as they are now, it is going to be a slingshot. The kind of berms that the bike whizzes through, making that noise that Mark Weir makes when riding berms.
And when it is a slingshot, I can start adding jumps inline. I think I have made the right decision to wait to build it more jumpy when it is fully pump-able.

This week I am bringing in the dirt for the final berm. Ken in Salmon Creek has many piles of dirt and a tractor. Oh, and a dump truck.... this is good times. I will be able to add double the dirt to every berm.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Like a footprint on Tundra....

And the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down, and Piglet started bailing..

So, just to make this totally clear.

Pump tracks and rain do not go together.

The rain does help in smoothing and hardening out the pump bumps and berms, but when you are still working on shaping it, all work tends to halt.

The huge Douglas fir that is the centerpiece of my pump track does leave quite a large "dry' area (as in drier) to work in, even during a down pour.

But more damage than good will be done when working in conditions as we have today.

So I am going to start on a new blogject (Yes,I just made up that word), "Pump The Planet".

I hope it will turn out to be a broad view of Pump Tracks and Momentum as I see it, and as others see it.

Tomorrow however leaves some promise for bringing in the dirt for the berms.
And the yard seem to be able to recover from the rain fairly quickly so far.

I do however have a back up plan to deal with drainage if and when needed.
Let's just hope I never have to explain it, which will mean I have to implement it...

Monday, March 08, 2010

Pump Track Update: Second week of digging

I have continued work on my backyard pump track, even through the rain. The work paid off though, as the sun stayed around, and I got to dial in some sections.
 For starters I added about 6 more pumps along the fence. This brings the total number of pump bumps along the fence line to 14.

 At the end of all these bumps is going to be one big sweeper berm around a Cherry tree.

 When done, it will be a twelve bump run to a slingshot berm, with a 16 or 17 pump run back  to another big berm.  This berm flows around another Cherry tree, and will roll slightly downhill. then back up hill over two pump bumps.

 The berms are 22 foot radius, and should be more than hip high when done. I know they are going to be damn fast.

 I have started doing runs at speed on the bumps, and have ended up smashing into the fence where the berm will whip you around. This tells me most of the spacing is right, and that I need to build the berm tall to keep the rider inside of it.  

 Some pump tracks, Ok, I will call it most, have small berms for many reasons. 
Lack of dirt is one, but I feel the real culprit is the lack of speed.

 If you don't have the proper flow, the berm will not be ridden high anyway. 

 I was also messing around with my trusty 11 foot length of twine, and found a way to make a mini loop. It seems when the whole track is laid out right, as in measured out, it just fits.

 I now have put in a three way interchange, which may be only doable two ways each direction. Also there are a few random spots where you can make a directional change, or switch to another line in the same direction.

I have also been saving a line for when I get the track complete. If the speed works out like I think it will, I will have two different jump lines by the big Fir tree.

Variety is the spice of life, isn't it?

 Also the new mini loop. A 5 foot gap between pump bumps fell within the constant radius of the berm near it. I filled this space with a berm section taller than the pump bumps on either side of it. Then I backfilled along the fence to make like a low dirt wall ride/ berm? over a pump bump.


Before I started committing to the berm and fence reality, it didn't seem like it was going to work out. Once I got my head past that, it became a faster, ridable line. 
I got it pretty much right the first try. The fact that there are pumps there changes the line a little, as there are two  small gaps in the berm where the pump lines run through. 

 The line is to jump sideways  into the berm, then turn it fast and hold it steady. You whip around a bush that brushes your knuckles, then against the fence, then over the pump. 

 I have made the mini loop happen, though it was wet and not flowy yet.

 The following are random pics of the yard. So far I am the only one to ride it.

 Sure that won't last long.....

Friday, March 05, 2010

Pump Track Update

Video #1 of the back yard pump track. 

 Due to the elevation gain, and the ground not being entirely dry yet, I am riding it in the first video the wrong way. once speed its able to be built up, riding it in the right directional will be a go.

 This shows it run the right direction. The big berm that runs into this is not built yet, so I am riding in from the top. The track certainly has some flow to it already, and it is not even really shaped yet.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pump Track Update...

I have now successfully marked out the whole yard with dirt for the Pump Track.

While I have actually dug out more than half of the features, I still have 8 pump bumps and 2 full radius berms to build.

I am going to bring in some dirt for the berms I am certain, which is going to slow down the whole shaping process by weeks. Unless I get lucky and find someone to drop off dirt.

I am sitting here listening to "The Good Life".

Well it is Pandora, so I am sometimes listening to the Good Life.

the sun is out on a supposed to be rainy Wed., so I am going back out to the yard to dig.

Hoping to ride it on Saturday, if anyone wants to come out...

Fresh pics after lunch...

This is a 3 way split pump bump. There is an inside line with a little jump right next to the tree that runs out through a berm. A line down the middle which will have a double jump or tabletop, and a line to the right which will be fast and flowy, but rolling out right next to the fence.
The below few show the next section, with another three way possibility. the main line is over the top to the right, which will throw you around a downhill full sweeper berm. there is also a line down the middle that will jump you into a fast and furious short berm, and straight into a little booter right next to the fruit tree. There is also a change over to run the berm backwards here.

This next section is right after the big sweeper berm. this is going to pump you up a little rise and back inot the three way change over.

This looks like it could turn into a fun but dangerous section, as you flow the berm up against the tree, but at the end of it there is a pump that kicks you from one axis to another, then right into a pump bump.

Here the trail flows together with a jump into the next pump from the little downhill.

8 Pump bumps flow along this 125 foot section of fenceline, ending in another full sweeper berm bringing you right back around to the swingset again.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The day after.....

It is Tuesday morning, and here I sit, not only watching 9 month old Charlie, but a constant drizzle outside as well.

Charlie is fussy, I am fussy, and so it appears is mother earth.

Yesterday I went out and dug a couple of more pump bumps along the fence. There are now a total of 8 bumps installed. if Charlie takes a long nap this afternoon I may be able to put in a few more due to the shade of the big Fir.

Just went outside and checked it out. The Douglas Fir really keeps a huge chunk of the track dry in the lighter rain.
I consider this a good sign for the future of the track. Or at least when it comes to waiting for the track to dry to ride it.

She just fell asleep, so I am going out to dig.

More pics later.

The day after.....