A pump track is a fun and healthy way to build skills and exercise, as well as being a technical learning amenity for all different disciplines.
A beginner rider will initially push or pedal around the loop, and generate their own speed as their skill level increases, by ‘pumping’ the rollers and corners.
Progression comes as riders manual and jump between features limited only by their creativity and ability.
The following section outline the different movements around the Pump track.
How to ride a pump track:
Tip 1. Start slowly and build up speed. Always ride within your own abilities.
Tip 2. Look up at where you want to go, do not stare at your front wheel or the ground right in front of you.
Tip 3. Lowering your seat helps you control your bike, as does covering your brakes.
By weighting and unweighting your bike, over a roller you generate speed. This is called pumping.
By 'pumping' the track, you are able to ride without pedalling or pushing. By practising the timing and intensity of the pumping movements, your ability to maintain speed and accelerate will improve.
Power and speed
You generate most of your power and speed from your legs.
Bend your legs on the front side of the rollers and push down hard as you crest the backside of the rollers to generate speed. Pulling the handlebars towards you on the front side of a roller and pushing them down and away as you crest onto the backside of the rollers also generates speed.
Corners can be used to generate speed. A corner is similar to a dip between two rollers, turned onto its side.
Push into the first part of the turn with your arms and legs, driving your legs forward. Unweight into the exit of the turn by pulling up with your arms and then your legs, returning to a natural position on your bike for the next feature.
Manualing between rollers allows more speed to be carried by the rider. This skill can be practised on flat ground before trying it on the pump track.
As your front wheel approaches the crest of a roller pull on your handlebars, move your weight backwards and push down and forwards with your legs. Maintain your balance point by using your legs, arms and rear break if necessary, counter balance. Allow your front wheel to transition smoothly onto the backside of the next roller.
When your skill level allows, it can be quicker to jump between rollers.
Approach the roller with your legs compressed, like a spring. As your wheel travels up the front side of the roller, push down and extend your legs, while pulling up on the handlebars. Pull the bike up under your body whilst you are in the air. Spot the landing; use your arms to match the angle of your bike and the backside of the second roller. Absorb the landing with your arms and legs.