[EDIT – After posting this I found out that wordpress.com only allows embedding videos from select sites. To view the first two videos in this post, you’ll have to click the link. sorry. ]
If you aren’t familiar with pump tracks, here’s a definition from www.mountainbiketales.com:
Pump track: (n) (pumb-p tra-k) is a short, off road course of smooth rollers (humps) and bermed corners; where the movement of the rider propels the bike rather than conventional pedalling.
And here’s a video that does a good job of breaking down the physics of pumping and explains why it’s a good skill to work on:
There are a lot of places where you can go to ride pump tracks. Both Ray’s indoor mountain bike park locations have them, and if you have any BMX oriented trails in your area, they usually have a nice pump section. Unfortunately for me, I live in an area that’s far from Ray’s, and has no suitable BMX trails. I’m always keeping an eye out for a good spot to build a little pump track, but nothing good has appeared. (If you know of, or have some land suitable for a pump track around Lafayette, Indiana let me know!)
I started thinking about how much of a track I could cram in my back yard. Not much, but certainly something. I started googling the idea, and it seems like a lot of people have had success with it.
Here’s a particularly small one. It doesn’t look like you can get up much speed, but you can still get your skills up on it.