For mountain bikers, pump tracks are like the tutorial segment of a new video game. They're the perfect location to focus on every aspect of your trail riding skill-set. Besides amping-up your fitness, they provide the perfect dynamic to practice your form on rollers, berms & even jumps. You can look for new lines & ways to push yourself in a "perfectly maintained" environment.
A couple hours at a pump track will improve your riding skills, guaranteed. One critical ability that you should focus on is your body positioning. Practice weighting & unweighting your bike/body over the rollers. Work to gain a fast & smooth flow over the rollers. This skill will help you attain "free speed" (speed without pedaling) while on the trail.
Key tips to pump, not pedal, through the track:
When going DOWN the roller, use your hips to push down toward your feet. This uses your body weight to increase your momentum, so you won't have to pedal up the following roller.
As you push your hips down, PUSH the handle bars away and shift your weight over and slightly behind the saddle. (You must keep your saddle low if you are using your regular mountain bike, or get a Dirt Jump bike which is designed for this.)
As you go into a corner, remember to "pump" that as well. Using an aggressive stance, with your body a medium height over the handlebars, enter the turn high and exit low, all while pushing down and through the corner with your body & feet. Be sure to keep those elbows and knees bent and always LOOK in the direction you are wanting to go.
Master these skills and then you can move on to the fun stuff like jumping and manuals. When the dirt trails are full mud and water, give them a break, head to the paved pump tracks and practice technique for when you get back on the trails.
NWA pump track locations: Blowing Springs, Metfield Golf Course, Thaden School, JB Hunt Fitness Center
Deity Bars & Stems
A handlebar and stem can go a long way to dialing-in the fit of your bike. Fit is important for comfort; it can also help refine your skills and technic for your preferred riding style. This applies to dirt jumpers as well. Deity has bars ranging from 15mm rise all the way to 80mm rise (higher being preferred on DJ bikes) that can be paired with a 35mm or 50mm stem. Deity's colorways are beyond slick. You can match your bars, stem, pedals, saddles, and more all via Deity products. Our custom bikes are constantly featuring Deity products, going a long way to make our bikes excel in style and performance.
Mention this blog and from March 12-18 you can receive 10% of Deity handlebars and stems. Buy BOTH a bar and stem and receive 15% off those items.