Post image for Santa Cruz MTB Festival: the Epicenter Pumptrack

Santa Cruz MTB Festival: the Epicenter Pumptrack

by Jason Van Horn on April 17, 2012

in Pump Tracks

The Epicenter Pumptrack in Aptos, California received a rework and a facelift for last weekend’s mountain bike festival, and we had been looking forward to checking out the new lines as well as the pump track comp on Sunday. Unfortunately, misreading the schedule combined with a delayed morning start caused us to miss out on the pro pump track comp. Fortunately the ongoing festival meant there was plenty of stuff to do and see- and we still managed to get some time sessioning the track and snap a few photos.

The soil used in the track held its shape well, but by the end of the day it wasn’t holding up in spots due to the high number of riders on it. There were a number of soft sections, and much of it was left unfinished. If it was my track I would have shut it down, watered and repacked it, but it wasn’t getting any love while we were there. It isn’t surprising as it is a public track; plus I’m guessing that the talent behind it was a few blocks away dialing in the jump lines at the Post Office trails. Regardless of the less than ideal conditions, the pump track was packed all afternoon, and getting in an actual run at speed wasn’t possible until the festival died down, as it was packed with groms and their parents.

The little ones were clearly having a good time riding.

The little ones were clearly having a good time riding.

We managed to get some time in on the track later in the day though, and the newly reworked track was a lot of fun to ride.

I was having a hard time getting the focus dialed when Mikey railed this turn- he was going so fast.

I was having a hard time getting the focus dialed when Mikey railed this turn- he was going so fast. I had to make him slow down in order to get him in focus.

The current layout consists of two lines that can be linked together for continuous runs. That said, the flow of the two lines is distinctively different. One is fast and high speed with a feel much like a dual slalom run, complete with an uphill start. On the other hand, the contained loop had tight and technical 180 berms that took good technique in order to get your brraaap on.

Line one consists of the uphill roll-in, followed by three rollers that created momentum for the sweeping left turn pictured above. Railing the turn gives you ample speed for a table top that promptly dives into a right turn. Although the lip of the table was for the most part chewed up, hitting it at the right section felt super good and you would air from the far right to the far left (to avoid the mushy part) while diving right to make the turn.

Mikey Haderer demonstrates the right hand sweeper. Betabrand discolab represent!

Mikey Haderer demonstrates the right hand sweeper. Betabrand discolab represent!

The table top coming out of the second sweeper was super long, and didn’t quite flow with the rest of the track. Airing the entire length required a brief sprint, and the section felt much more like a BMX track than a pump track. At this point you had the option of continuing the rest of the line, or you could turn right and enter the main actual pump line where the comp took place.

Straight line section of the comp track.

Straight line section of the comp track.

You can see above the wear and tear the track took from the comp in the photo above. I’m stil bummed we missed it.

The pump track is in Aptos, California, just south of Santa Cruz, located just behind Epicenter Cycling. Epicenter Cycling joins a short list of sweet bike shops with pump tracks in the back yard. It is also one of the few public pump tracks in the near vicinity of the Bay Area. Unfortunately the track appears to be temporary while a permanent location is found, so if you’re a Bay Area native that wants to get some time in on a public pump track, I would recommend making the trip sooner rather than later.

Find it here:

Epicenter Cycling
8035 Soquel Dr #23
Aptos, Ca 95003

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