Last Friday night was a good one. Riding bikes with some cool dudes in one of the sweetest, most photogenic pump track backyards to date will do it. This backyard with its mounds of carefully shaped soil in the shadow of Mount Diablo ranks up there on the wish list of any mountain biker. (although it would be even better if the trails were bike friendly)
It also features some of the biggest rollers we’ve ridden as well, given the size of the over all layout. The track is a basic L, with two straight sections, 180 berms and a jump line down the middle. Utilizing almost every non-paved area of the backyard, it squeezes as much as it can into the fun-to-yard (FTY) ratio.
The flow of the track has been dialed in well. With a bit of practice, railing the berms simply requires choosing optimal front wheel placement and a dropped shoulder, resulting in the super-rad feeling one gets when a berm has been railed. The two large oversized rollers can be utilized for a ridiculous amount of speed as well, making the entry speed into the berms excessive, or they can be used to scrub speed and keep things a bit more leisurely.
The second 180 berm has a bit more yardage to take advantage of, as well as a the option of entering via the mini-dirt jump line. Having a slightly larger radius makes the higher speeds a bit easier to manage, and without the obstacles is less taxing mentally.
For riders that haven’t quite mastered keeping a high exit speed around the tree berm, there is a starting ramp that set up for the three mini-jumps down the middle of the track. They are perfect for learning on for novice riders while still adding zing for riders flowing the rest of the track.
The track is less than a season old, but they brought in some really good soil that appears to shape well, and after watering, the surface packed in really nicely. The hardest part of the evening was putting the camera down while I had a moment to capture the images I could in the brief window before the sun set. Fortunately, there is great lighting that allowed marathon endurance laps to go on for several hours after dark.
Please note that with any private residence that has a sweet backyard, this is private property, and the house requests that the location be withheld, as sessions are by invite only.