Rob and I had business trips back on the east coast, so we decided to spend a week working remote, visiting his parents and catching up on all things Hanover, New Hampshire. I heard that the mountain bike club built a pump track last fall, so I was pretty excited to get to see it and to help make it better. First, I went out with the Colliers to ride the flow track that I built at school and improve one of the hip jumps on the track. It was great to get out biking with the Colliers again and to extend the bike season a bit. There is nothing quite like New England biking – weaving your ways through the hardwoods, one minute pumping through loam, the next flossing your way through technical New Hampshire granite.
Later in the week, I got a chance to get my hands dirty at the adjacent pump track with the help of about eight mountain bike club members. We seriously improved the track’s riding flow. Trail building is a great way to teach both biking skills and about the local trail networks. As we built and perfected rollers and berms, we tested each section until it rode well, and if it didn’t, we diagnosed what could improve the section. That critical thinking really improves beginner biker’s riding. As for learning about local trail networks, when the bike club members are back at school and the trails dry out in the spring, they will have true ownership in that section of trail. They designed, tested, built, and rode it. Come spring, some of them will be back, shovel in hand to improve the drainage, make sure the track is running smooth, and bringing friends to enjoy the great riding. That puts a huge smile on my face.