A Pump Track Easter Celebration

"The Property"
I had no idea my Vans could be some seriously comfortable minimal running shoes until I had to do an impromptu trail run through our property in search of some lost dogs. Luckily they weren't our lost dogs. And luckily they were eventually found hours later ripe of skunk. And luckily, still, it wasn't our family that had to drive home with the windows down and the stink permeating every one of our pores. Nope. We stayed put at our little place in Pine Grove, California while our poor friends had to endure about an hour and a half of foul smelling pooches in an enclosed vehicle.

Our friend's dogs happened to wander off while we were in the midst of our Easter/Spring celebration at our property in the local foothills. This home, which used to be my grandmother's, is now host to tree climbing, dirt digging, egg hunting, dog searching, summer pump track parties. When we come up here its all about the bikes, though. If you don't know what a pump track is let me expand your sport vocabulary. Technically, its a continuous loop track that can be ridden without pedaling. Originally, pump tracks were developed for professional mountain bike racers to hone their skills and race times. Ours consists of different lines (tracks), mini woops (rollers) and several berms (banks) and some serious jumps with a line right down the middle of the hill so that the guys can show off. 

Chillin' around the pump track.

Our humble track, however, sorely lacks in the "pump" department as you really can't ride all of it without pedaling at some point because its built into the side of the hill. Downhill is fun, up hill... not so much. It's become a hobby of my husband's. We knew it would be a kind of "if you build it, they will come" or maybe more like a "if they come, they will build it" sort of thing amongst our little MTB community since our MTB pals are always adding lines, extensions and jumps whenever they visit.  And this past weekend was no exception. Even the kids got out their shovels and wheelbarrows.

Pump Track Building
So we enjoyed a weekend of ridin' and buildn'. And yes. Even my uncoordinated self partook. (Yup. I'm bike cam at the end of the video) But, I'm limited to only a few "easy" lines which don't have the bigger jumps and steep hill berms. My seven year old can pretty much ride the entire track and he does it with flow and style. The kid is a serious natural. Go figure.

So, although riding our pump track is a lot of fun, I'll stick with running as my sport of choice. At least with that I know I won't be flipping head first over my handlebars when I make the mistake of breaking with my front break. Or taking a near header when I inadvertently huck a three foot boulder. Yeah. I amazingly landed that one. But, those experiences weren't a great introduction to mountain biking. At least I've learned since then, but still... running requires much less coordination and thought. Or does it?


  1. I'm a total chicken on a mountain bike! Good for you! And it's fun to watch our kids do something really well. They inherited some good genes!


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