Category ArchivePump Track

Mountain Biking &Pump Track 31 May 2007 12:55 pm

Back from WTB’s homeland (and a visit to Weir’s pump track)

What an epic week I had at WTB’s headquarters in Mill Valley, CA located under the shadow of Mt Tamalpais “where it all started.” It was huge amounts of two of my favorite bike-related things; Great singletrack & lots of cool new products unveiled (I am a confirmed parts geek with a special weakness for tires – just ask anyone who has had the experience of seeing any of my various..lets call them “storage depots.” “Garage” is really not the right descriptive term after I’ve had some time put in there.

I was very impressed with the whole new Prowler line of tires but the 2 that I’m most drawn to are the Prowler MX and the newest, the Prowler SX, which I think is going to be a very fast rolling tire that will find a home soon on the back end of my V-10. Kevlar bead & mid-weight casing…it’s still pre-production so I don’t know what the production weight will end up at but the one I’ve got is probably around 1100gm. More & more 29′er options too.

Somehow I want to convey how much everybody at WTB rides, what skilled and dedicated cyclists they are, how they ride everything from DH bikes to road bikes, and how they just love bikes…without calling them “serious riders.” They ride a lot,..they ride strong…They ride their bikes to work a lot…and they have a lot of fun & don’t take themselves too seriously.

And they pretty much rode me into the ground over the course of three days, showing me, and all the other Distributor reps that were there, the best trails in Marin county. WTB’s Tom Delacy & Dain Zaffke took turns being the rabbit & I, of course, was the good hound & kept following as close as I could. Now I understand why Mt. Tam & Marin county are the birth place of mtn biking. Lot’s of twisty flowy singletrack that makes the most of a given mountain slope. Great views too. Special thanks go out to Dain Zaffke for shifting my paradigm about the Marin trails.

I think the highlight of the whole event though was getting to ride Mark Weir’s pump track “the Peacock Pit” (which I think was originally started by Mark as an attempt to bury his inner demons. It has now evolved into something that looks like an archaeological dig to unearth a Chinese dragon). It is amazing, and if it keeps growing at this rate, by March 23rd it will officially be the 8th wonder of the world (which is visible from satellite imagery) 38 05′ 34.84″ N 122 36′ 00. 17″ W.

It started out as a reasonable size oval dubbed “Old Blue” which indeed has a blue groove (the remains of approximately 300 worn out Nanoraptors I’d guess) around most of the berms. And then the upper section under the trees got added in. And Finally still under construction, but almost done, are the G-out berms which are a series of near vertical-walled berms linked together like that snake on a cross that every medical facility has as it’s symbol somewhere – the red cross symbol.

I could never find the flow through those berms but I saw Mark pull about 3 Gee’s through them, in what looked like a “Mission Impossible,” maneuver so I know it’s not the berm’s fault. Imagine a berm so tight & high walled that when you dive into it your head literally stays in one place and your bike & body rotate around your head. I ruined myself at the peacock pit…It was awesome. There are so many possible lines there and so much flow. I saw Blind Bobby McMullen ride it better than some people who have sight, and the Peacocks will chime in every time someone else gives a shout out too. When you get too tired you can sit up on the stage & watch everybody from the lurkers’ lounge.

I’ve come back to Ashland with the dream of converting all the unused piles of dirt & space down at the jump park into a big flowing pump track! Anyone wanna help? We’ll have to wait until we get some rain again though.



Mountain Biking &Pump Track 15 May 2007 06:08 pm

Off to Navato to Ride Mark Weir’s (In)Famous Pump Track

I’m heading down to Navato, CA for a WTB event and to try out Mark Weir’s Pump Track.

Here is a description of Mark’s Pump Track:

After climbing over 1-million vertical feet in 2005, Mark Weir discovered a new passion in the comfort of his backyard, a.k.a. “The Peacock Pit.” Why is it the called the Peacock Pit? Because there are peacocks there. And what do they have to do with the pump track? Nothing, other than they’re slowly getting squeezed out like deer in the ‘burbs as this thing, “grows like a wart, blister after blister.”

Here are a couple of links to videos of the Peacock Pit:

From Fox Racing Shox

Video of Ryan Beavis riding The Peacock Pit shows speed

Peacock Pit BBQ in 2004

Want to read even more about Pump Tracks? Here is a great post on Marla Streb’s Blog about Pumping at…where else…The Peacock Pit.

Cheers, Nathan

The Peacock Pit