April 8, 2017 Teal Stetson-Lee

Backyard Pump Track

I pride myself on being an adult kid and I vow to stay this way forever.

When I lived in Durango, CO last, my awesome neighbors built “Durango’s Best Pump Track” in our shared backyard. It was a draw for the college cycling community and gave us all something to look forward to when we came home. Ever since I moved, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to recreate the same backyard paradise.
 
This past weekend, I had the honor of finally hosting a backyard pump track building party in my own yard. It was a blast. We had a BBQ, a keg and several cases of beer, provided by a local Reno brewery, Brewer’s Cabinet/ Tahoe Beer, and the weather was a perfect 68 degree day with no wind and hero dirt, after receiving a spring rainstorm two days prior.
 
Lot’s of good people showed up who had never met each other before and became instantly bonded over digging, drinking beer and getting to ride the fruits of our labors at the end of the day.
 
The pump track plan had been slowly coming together since we bought our house a year and a half ago. In fact, one of our motivators for purchasing a house was having the liberty to build our own backyard pump track.
 
We have a small yard but it was just big enough. After the digging frenzy, our pump track takes up approximately 1400 sq ft.
 
The building process has definitely attracted some interest in the neighborhood since it’s a bit different from the landscaping most people are used to seeing. The whole process has allowed us to have some great conversations and connect with new friends.
 
I’ve always wanted my own adult playground in the convenience of my backyard. I still am hoping for some other fun yard assets like a garden, fire pit, and a chicken coop and whatever else I can squeeze in around the perimeter of the pump track, which nearly covers the entire yard.
 
We also plan to plant pumpkins on the berms and turn it into a “Pumpkin Track”.
 
There is still plenty of work to be done, we’ve only got one rideable outside line so far. The truth is, a pump track is never done because there is always an opportunity to change and reshape it. Pump tracks are a constant evolutionary design with room for new lines and creativity.
 
Sure, it’s not the most “practical” thing to have in the backyard, and it does not match the status-quo of what most adults build in their backyards, but we couldn’t be happier. I now have a new way to decompress after a stressful day, and I know I’ll develop better bike handling skills by default. If you feel like behaving like a kid, you’re welcome to come ride the pump track too. #NorthwestRenosBestPumpTrack