Pump Track Build- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Pump Track Build

    Part of my job working with Mark Schmidt of IMBA Canada in Burns Lake, B.C., Canada, was to help design and start building a 165 acre mountain bike park including singletrack, DH runs like Whistler's A and B Lines, and a skills park. The first thing we built in the skills park was a pump track.

    We found an excellent location right near the entrance to the land. This field has some aspens growing in it and averaged a 17% slope. The mountain bike club with which we were working hired a local and quite skilled excavator operator to help with this project. He started by clearing the organic cover and most of the mineral soil to attain a 5% slope. He also left a few high spots that enabled us to shape rollers from the earth and not build them up and compact them afterward.

    I brought a print out of Lee Mc Cormack's pump track design to use. With some direction from us, the machine operator made quick work of the track. We rode it many times to get a feel for it and tweak the lines. We tweaked them A LOT!

    In this first picture, the land is sloping from Keri in the pink shirt to Rich in the coveralls at 5% now. A sculpted berm is behind Keri, and Dave is shaping the first two rollers. The machine is where the first berm will be. BTW, the sloping of the land allows for proper drainage. A week or so after the track was built, we had a decent rain, and the drainages worked great.



    Here is what that looks like completed with the first berm in place. On the right are the uncarved final two rollers with the organic material removed.



    In this final picture, the first berm is on the left, and we see the next four rollers and the second berm. If you watch the video linked below, you'll see that we almost doubled the size of the berm after riding the track a few times.



    The village of Burns Lake has some VERY skilled riders from 7 and 8 years old up to adults. Here's a video of one of the younger kids working the pump track.

    I'll post more about the other aspects of the project later.

    D

  2. #2
    featherweight clydesdale
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    Looks nice! What do you think the min and max slope can be for a pump track?

  3. #3
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    Hey thanx for sharing those pix. I bought the e-book from Lee on pump track construction and we will be building about three pump tracks at various locations near our existing trails.

    I'm pretty sure it will take many hours to get the track's flow dialed in.

  4. #4
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    Small world

    I know those people. I know Richard and his brother Bill. They founded Sustainable Trails after I took Bill to a hand build in the Don Valley. Keri I know because she was instrumental in getting IMBA into the Don and fixing problems. It's nice to see them working on this. Maybe when Rich gets back to TO he can get some pump track work out here. I know people would l just love it.
    Jason Murray
    Rep for Ontario, IMBA Canada
    Visit the IMBA Canada site to keep current on all things IMBA in Canada.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fattirewilly
    Looks nice! What do you think the min and max slope can be for a pump track?
    My opinion is that you should try for a minimum of 5% and a maximum of 8%. Any less than 5% can cause pooling. More than 7 or 8% will cause water to run more quickly across the track and erode the surface.

    It was great to meet RIch and Keri and work with both of them. We were having to adapt to changes by the hour, and those two were always ready to keep progressing.

    D

  6. #6
    Dex
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    Cool, I'm sure using the machinery helped a great deal!
    Last edited by Dex; 12-02-2006 at 07:23 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dex
    Cool, I'm sure using the machinery helped a great deal!
    Thanks.

    Yes, b/c of the inital slope of the land, the excavator helped tremendously. If we had found a small piece of land that was sloped only 5%, the machine would have been idle more often than not. A great pump track can be built using wheel barrows and tamping tools, too.

    Dewayne

  8. #8
    Out there
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    Fantastic! I have Lee's e-book too, a piece of land, and a tractor. Starting work in the spring...
    All problems in mountain biking can be solved by going faster, except the ones that are caused by going too fast.

  9. #9
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    Hey, jmurray, maybe I should get Bill in to help...
    All problems in mountain biking can be solved by going faster, except the ones that are caused by going too fast.

  10. #10

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    getting lots of use

    Hey Dewayne! Good on ya for posting the pump track build!
    It held up really well, we rode it lots right up until the 5 foot snowstorm hit Burns Lake and buried everything.
    A couple of things I think would be better to have done differently...
    Dave the machine operator insisted on leaving original ground where bumps were going to be, saving machine time. Only moving the dirt once rather than clearing then putting dirt back where it was needed.
    Mark and Dewayne both wanted to clear first, then built. Which would have been better in the long run. Both ways have merrit.
    But for example, the turn behind Keri in the first photo, that turn was carved into original ground. It took a lot of pick work to shape it. If it was built with fresh dirt it would have been much easier.
    But the pump track is awsome, very popular. We're planning on some cat and mouse races during our Mt Bike Festival for late summer.

  11. #11
    giddy up
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    Oh thats just not fair. I spent 6 days straight with no help wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow moving dirt. That was in July and I'm still tweaking it, shaping it.

    That is a saaweeet looking track. Nice work
    Rub n Tiz'zug

  12. #12
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    Thanks for dredging this up.

    I want to revise my answer about max slope. Minimum slope should still be 5% or more to allow for adequate drainage.

    I've seen maximum slopes of up to 15 - 17%. The uphills are definitely challenging but no unpossible. A bigger berm at what would be the bottom of the hill and progressively smaller rollers up the hill will help maintain momentum.

    D

  13. #13
    giddy up
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    I just fixed this problem on my track. As you come out of the berm and start to head up the slope (and over the exit roller) I dug down deep essentially changing the grade and/or creating an upside down roller so to speak. So you gain speed coming over and down the exit roller and then pump up out of the hole. This brings you into the next berm with goods speed and then you hit the next exit roller and off you go. I struggled with this for a while but it works pretty well.
    Rub n Tiz'zug

  14. #14
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    Did you find the tilt head on the bucket very useful to shape things? I was told they're usually easy to break and lack some raw power.
    I build trails for moose & beaver
    PTBA member

  15. #15
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    That operator swore by the wrist twist, and now Jay Hoots does, too. I look for them any time I want a machine, though they're hard to come by.

    D

  16. #16
    Just roll it......
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    DBurratti, are you still working on the Burns Lake project? I ask because I know Gravity Logic is also involved up there and wondering you were partnering with them on this now?

    Cheers,
    EB

  17. #17
    Builder of Trails
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebxtreme
    DBurratti, are you still working on the Burns Lake project? I ask because I know Gravity Logic is also involved up there and wondering you were partnering with them on this now?

    Cheers,
    EB
    No, I am not involved. I wish I were! Kevin Derksen has been keeping me up to date (occasionally) on the status. I saw a ride video lately that was super cool! The trail is 6K long and ends at the Kager Lake parking lot.

    D

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