What’s the Point of Pumptrack? 5 Reasons for the Popularity

If you’re into mountain biking, BMX, or just like riding bikes in general, then you’ve probably heard of a pumptrack. But what exactly is a pumptrack, and why is it such a big deal? In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of pumptracks, including what they are, how they work, and why they’re so much fun to ride.

So, what’s the point of a pumptrack? In short, pumptracks are a fun, accessible, and community-driven way to build skills, challenge yourself, and enjoy the thrill of riding. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete beginner, there’s a pumptrack out there for you. So grab your bike, find a track, and start pumping and flowing your way to a new level of riding!

The essence of pumptrack is to reduce bike riding to the most essential skills: cornering, weight distribution, jumping and carrying speed. Only pedaling is not part of it. It’s done by a particular track design that rewards clean, technically proficient riding but is safe at the same time.

Why Pumptrack is so much fun

Why bother with all this pumping and flowing when you could just pedal your way around a regular track? Well, there are several reasons why pumptracks are so popular among riders of all skill levels.

1. It Builds Skills

Riding a pumptrack requires a high degree of skill and control. By learning to pump and flow through the track, riders develop their balance, coordination, and bike-handling skills, which can translate to improved performance on other types of terrain. Pumptracks are also a great way to practice new tricks and techniques in a safe, controlled environment.

2. It’s Accessible

Unlike some other types of mountain bike or BMX tracks, pumptracks are designed to be accessible to riders of all ages and skill levels. Because they don’t require pedaling, they’re less physically demanding than other types of riding, making them a great option for kids, beginners, and anyone who wants to ride without getting too worn out.

3. It’s Social

Pumptracks are often community-driven projects, built and maintained by local riders and volunteers. This creates a sense of community and camaraderie among riders, who often gather to ride, practice, and hang out together. Pumptracks are also a great way to meet other riders and make new friends who share your love of biking.

“[Pumptracks] bring all kinds of people together. They are facilities where everyone can have fun, where people can meet and really let off steam. If they are asphalted, then you don’t have to maintain them and everything that rolls can ride: The little ones with wheels, skaters, any cyclists as well as the professional biker. You can really train on pump tracks and at the same time they are fun playgrounds.”

Claudio Caluori, Founder of Velosolutions (Source)

4. It’s a bad weather alternative

As mountain bikers, we’re highly dependant on the weather situation. Rain, wind, and cold temperatures are often show-stoppers. Even rain from the day before still making the soil muddy! All these have limited effects on asphalt pumptracks. That makes pumptrack riding a great alternative for those dog days. Due to the high-intensity interval nature if pumptrack, you’re getting pretty hot pretty fast too. All of which is ideal cross-training during the cold months, when other bikes stay stored away.

5. It’s super Fun!

Perhaps most importantly, pumptracks are just plain fun to ride! The combination of speed, flow, and technical challenges make for an exciting and exhilarating experience that’s hard to replicate on any other type of terrain. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time rider, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of flowing through a well-designed pumptrack.

What is a Pumptrack?

At its core, a pumptrack is a looping track made up of a series of rollers, berms, and other obstacles designed to be ridden without pedaling. Instead, riders use a pumping motion to generate speed, allowing them to maintain momentum and flow through the track without having to rely on brute force. Pumptracks can be made out of a variety of materials, including dirt, concrete, or asphalt, and can be built indoors or outdoors, depending on the climate and available space.

How Pumptrack Works

The key to riding a pumptrack is to use a pumping motion to generate speed. This involves using your body weight to compress the bike as you enter a roller or berm, and then extending your arms and legs as you exit, using the rebound to propel yourself forward. By timing your movements just right, you can generate enough speed to maintain momentum through the entire track, allowing you to ride without pedaling and maintain a smooth, flowing line.

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