Saturday, February 28, 2009

Nesting: Now with more sticks and dirt!

"You know, this isn't what most people consider nesting."

This was my neighbors comment to me upon seeing the 15 tons of dirt sitting next to our house and the mini excavator perched in our driveway.

"We're building a pump track in our back yard," I explained. Apparently, this didn't explain anything at all, so I tried another route.

"The way I figure it, as fun as those bouncy baby swings are, I can't fit in one. This is for me to play on."

Finally, my neighbor got it.

For those who are not completely and totally and unreservedly obsessed with all things biking, a pump track is like a tennis court, except it doesn't suck. It's a small track full of rollers and berms that you ride to your heart's content (or until you collapse with exhaustion, which normally happens in 15 minutes). It's like being able to surf your backyard.

We'd been trying to create a backyard pump track by hand for quite a while (and by "we," I mean "the man beast"). It turns out that moving a zillion tons of dirt by hand is both difficult and demoralizing. When a friend of ours came to town, a friend with an expertise in building pump tracks, we realized this was one helluva opportunity.

It was time to bring in machinery and a big ol' pile of dirt and Git. 'Er. Done.

We had a plan, a big machine, and a few good friends to help out. Since I'm way the hell knocked up and useless when it comes to moving dirt, I've taken to making beer runs. It turns out that few things draw dirtier looks than a preggo in a liquor store with a case of PBR under one arm and a set of tallboys in the other. I figure, since I'm getting the dirty looks anyway, next time I'll ask, "Do y'all know a beer that won't clog Junior's bottles so quickly?"

Alright. Let the games begin! Below is a game we like to call, "Oh shit! The mini-ex is going to tip! No, wait. It's all cool."

Eat your heart out, Johnny 5.

After a warm day's work, a chill set in and we woke up to a beautifully snow dusted track. Still soft and under construction, the frozen snow made a perfect canvas for first tracks.

In just a few days, big piles of dirt became flowy waves.

Of course, some people are more adept at riding those waves than others.

Watching these folks (like Jason here) dance their bikes along the track triggers this insatiable curiosity within me. I always wonder the same thing. How much practice will it take for me to do that too?

I hope to find out, sooner than later.

Our back yard pump track started out as a joke. Somewhere along the line it became a fantasy that began to seem like a good practical idea. And though I'm officially too pregnant to ride the track, I find myself perfectly content just staring at it. I picture riding it for the first time with the baby on the patio. And then I picture him riding it for the first time on his first obscenely tiny bike.

And that's about when my placenta tree planting neighbor walks out and says to me, "You know, this isn't what most people consider nesting."


hack said...

I have been thinking of building a pump track in my yard. I would like to talk to you about the details and possibly see the finished track. I live in South Boulder. Thanks.


Unknown said...

My husband and I have been planning a pump track in our back yard. We're friends with The Bishops, and they directed us to your blog. I love the pump track pictures, and am now fully motivated to get to work. We also LOVE reading your blog. Keep it up.

brian hawkins said...

God I love you....and your placenta.