Get ready. Get set. Get dirty!
By Len Fernandes, SierraTech Public Relations
The Chalet View Lodge on Highway 70 between Graeagle and Portola has added one of the more interesting bicycling attractions to eastern Plumas County. Chalet View owner Bob Hickman enlisted the help of world class pro mountain bike racer Mark Weir (pictured above) to help design and install a pump track on the Chalet View grounds.
A pump track is a continuous loop of turns and bumps that mountain bikers and BMXers ride with- out pedaling. In just a few years, pump tracks have grown from a rare secret to a worldwide trend. Tracks are popping up in back yards, vacant lots and public parks everywhere because:
- Pump tracks are fun to ride.
- Almost anyone can ride them.
- Pump tracks build phenomenal skills and fitness.
- They can be built almost anywhere.
The new pump track at Chalet View lodge was built in just three days. “We moved 25 dump truck loads of dirt, shaped 12 berms and built 22 rollers. We hope it brings more kids into the sport in the Graeagle and surrounding communities,” Weir said.
Weir, who races for, and is employed by Wilderness Trail Bikes, was part of a group of bicycle industry professionals and Shimano reps who made the area their base camp in August for testing a new line of components that Shimano will soon be introducing. Weir was a natural to design the local pump track because he built a personal pump track in his own backyard in Marin County.
Pump tracks offer that kind of nirvana everyone seeks while riding – the flow. Imagine a trail that flows on and on. Each turn flows into the other. Now imagine riding this trail without having to use your brakes or pedal. That’s the essence of a pump track, which offers a chance to dial in your bike handling skills and have a blast doing it.