How to Ride a PumpTrack

How to Ride a PumpTrack

Welcome to the thrilling world of pump tracks! Whether a seasoned cyclist or a curious novice, riding a pump track offers a unique blend of fun, fitness, and skill improvement.

This guide is designed to help you understand what a pump track is and the benefits of riding one, and provide you with essential tips and techniques on how to ride a pump track. Let's dive into the dynamic and exhilarating experience of pump track riding.

What Is a Pump Track?

A pump track is a continuous circuit of rollers, banked turns, and features designed for riders to ride completely by "pumping"—generating momentum by up-and-down body movements instead of pedaling or pushing. It's typically made from dirt or asphalt and features a series of bumps and corners that loop back on themselves for continuous riding.

This unique setup allows riders to create momentum and maintain speed through dynamic body movements.

The Benefits of Riding a Pump Track

The Benefits of Riding a Pump Track

Exploring a pump track isn't just an exciting adventure; it's also a fantastic way to boost your physical and mental abilities. Pump tracks are designed to be enjoyed by riders of all ages, making them perfect for anyone looking to improve their cycling skills while having a blast.

Below, we detail some of the top benefits that make riding a pump track a wholesome and rewarding activity:

1. Enhanced Cycling Skills

Riding a pump track improves your biking. You improve your control and balance as you weave through tight turns and rollover bumps.

Plus, it teaches you to match your moves with the track's ups and downs, boosting your coordination. This practice makes riding fun and builds your confidence whenever you hit the track.

2. Physical Health Benefits

Riding a pump track is also great for your physical health. You're working out your core, arms, and legs when you pump through the track.

This helps build muscle strength in a fun way without needing heavy weights. Plus, if you make it a habit to hit the track regularly, your stamina will improve.

This means you can ride longer and more intensely, enjoying your time on the track even more. It's a super way to get fit while having a blast!

3. Low-Impact Exercise

Riding a pump track is a low-impact exercise that's gentle on your body but still really good for you. Unlike sports that hit your joints hard, riding on a pump track is easier on your body, which means there's a smaller chance of getting hurt.

Plus, it's excellent for your heart health. When you keep riding, your heart rate stays up, making it a fun and engaging way to keep your heart strong.

So, you enjoy all the excitement without stressing your joints and simultaneously give your heart a good workout!

What You Need to Ride a Pump Track

To enjoy riding a pump track, you need a few essentials:

  • A suitable bike: BMX bike, mountain bike, or any bike with good maneuverability. These are perfect for the BMX track and similar settings where agile handling is crucial.
  • Helmet: Always wear a helmet to protect your head while mountain biking or on a BMX track.
  • Gloves and pads: These provide extra protection, which is essential when riding a BMX bike or mountain bike on a pump track.
  • Comfortable clothing: Wear clothes that won't catch on your bike, vital for safety and comfort during mountain biking or riding on a BMX track.

How to Ride a Pump Track

How to Ride a Pump Track

Riding a pump track is a thrilling and skill-enhancing activity that requires mastering several techniques. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started and progressively advance your skills:

Step 1: Start Simple

Starting simple is vital when you're new to riding a pump track. It's all about easing into the experience and gradually building your confidence.

Here's how you can kick off your pump track adventure:

  • Find the Right Section: When you start on a pump track, picking the right section to practice is a good idea. Look for parts of the track that are flatter and simpler, perfect for beginners. These areas help new riders feel more at ease as they learn the ropes. Starting on these more accessible sections means you can relax and focus on getting a feel for how things work. It's all about making your first experiences on the track as fun and stress-free as possible.
  • Build Confidence: Building your confidence on a pump track starts with taking your time. Use the beginner-friendly sections to learn about your bike and how it handles. Practice because the more you ride, the better you'll become. This is your opportunity to learn and improve at your own pace, without any pressure.

Step 2: Maintain a Neutral Position

Maintaining a neutral position is crucial when riding a pump track. This stance ensures that you are balanced, comfortable, and ready to tackle whatever comes next on the track.

Here's how to set yourself up for success:

  • Body Position: Keep your body relaxed yet engaged while riding. This means standing with a slight bend in your knees and elbows, which helps keep your weight centered over the bike. Positioning your weight is critical for maintaining control and balance as you navigate the track, allowing for effective handling of the front wheel and back wheel.
  • Readiness: Staying alert and ready to react at all times is essential. Keeping a neutral position lets you absorb bumps effectively and prepare to pump when needed. This readiness isn't just about physical preparedness; it's about being mentally prepared to adjust your movements quickly based on the track's challenges.

Step 3: Focus Ahead

Focusing ahead is a critical skill when riding a pump track, allowing you to anticipate and react to the track's features effectively. Here's how you can sharpen this essential riding skill:

  • Look Forward: Always keep your eyes up and focus ahead on the track. This isn't just about seeing where you're going; it's about planning your next move. Whether you need to pump, turn, or prepare for an obstacle, looking ahead helps you make these decisions smoothly and efficiently.
  • Plan Your Route: Thinking a few moves ahead is vital to maintaining a good flow and keeping your momentum on track. This proactive planning helps you avoid sudden, last-minute reactions that could disrupt your balance and throw you off your rhythm. It's like playing chess, where anticipating moves in advance can lead to success.

Step 4: Pump the Bike

Pumping the bike is a fundamental aspect of navigating a pump track. Maintaining momentum without pedaling is essential in trail riding and pump track cycling. Here's how you can effectively master this technique:

  • Downward Push: As you approach the bump's upslope, prepare to engage your whole body. Push down forcefully with both your arms and legs. This action isn't just about power; it's about timing your force to match the rise of the bump, which helps propel you forward efficiently. This is especially important when using BMX bikes or a full-suspension bike.
  • Lift on the Crest: When you reach the top of the bump, it's time to adjust your approach slightly. Lighten the pressure on your bike and lift with your legs. This technique helps you maintain your speed as you move over the crest, allowing you to glide without losing momentum or needing to pedal.

Step 5: Rail the Berms

Mastering the berms is crucial for maintaining speed and smoothness on a pump track. Berms are banked turns that help you navigate corners quickly without losing momentum.

Here's how you can effectively rail the berms:

  • Approaching the Turn: Keep your speed up as you approach a berm. It's essential to enter the turn with enough momentum to carry you through. Slow down too much, and you'll find it harder to maintain a smooth flow.
  • Lean and Balance: When you hit the turn, lean into it with your bike, not just your body. This helps ensure that both you and your bike are aligned with the curve of the berm. Keep your inside pedal raised to avoid it scraping the ground. Simultaneously, shift your body weight to help stabilize the bike and maintain speed through the turn. This balance between your body and the bike is critical to a successful berm maneuver, allowing for a seamless transition back to flat ground without losing speed.

Step 6: Advanced Skills

As you become more comfortable and proficient on a pump track, you can begin to explore advanced riding techniques that add excitement and challenge to your sessions. Here's how to approach developing these advanced pump track skills:

  • Experiment with Techniques: Once you feel confident with the basics, experiment with more complex maneuvers like manually through rollers or executing jumps. These advanced skills are not just about thrill-seeking; they help maximize your momentum and control during the ride.
  • Practice Regularly: Consistent and focused practice is the key to mastering these advanced techniques. Each session on the track is an opportunity to learn something new or refine your skills. Pay attention to what works and what doesn't, and use each ride as a chance to improve.

Key Tips

When riding a pump track, remember these essential strategies to enhance both performance and safety:

  • Relax your muscles to absorb impacts better and maintain control of your bike.
  • Increase ride complexity cautiously as your skills improve, avoiding unnecessary risks.
  • Always ensure your bike is in top condition before riding, checking brakes, tires, and components.
  • Pay special attention to the rear brake, as it's crucial for managing speed and making quick stops.
  • Protect yourself by wearing a helmet and other gear like knee and elbow pads.
  • Start each session with stretches and a few easy laps to prevent injuries and boost performance.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your focus and energy up, especially on hot days or during long rides.
  • Observe and seek advice from experienced riders to learn new techniques and improve faster.

Pump Track Etiquette

Respect other riders and follow the track rules:

  • Ride in the designated direction.
  • Wait your turn and give space to others.
  • Be mindful of riders of different skill levels.

Get Active and Have Fun with a Park N Play Design Pump Track!

Riding a pump track is a fun way to boost your biking skills and get fit. It's also great for bringing people together, encouraging everyone to get outside and stay active.

If you're considering setting up a pump track in your area, check out Park N Play Design. They specialize in designing custom pump tracks that are perfect for any community and offer fun and challenges.

Installing a pump track can transform a simple space into a lively hub of activity where folks of all ages can improve their cycling skills and enjoy time with others. It's a significant step towards building a healthier, more connected community.


How do I get better at the pump track?

To improve at the pump track:

  1. Practice consistently.
  2. Focus on mastering the art of pumping and try to ride smoothly without pedaling.
  3. As your skills improve, challenge yourself with more complex tracks and advanced maneuvers.

What can you ride on a pump track?

Pump tracks are versatile. Riders can ride various bikes, including BMX bikes, mountain bikes, and dirt jump bikes. Skateboards and scooters can also be used on many pump tracks. Whether riding a dirt jump bike on a BMX track or cruising with a BMX bike, the options for enjoyment and skill development are extensive.

How do you ride a pump track on a skateboard?

Riding a pump track on a skateboard involves similar pumping motions as on a bike. Bend your knees and use your legs to pump on the rollers and around the berms to maintain momentum without pushing off the ground.

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