Mongoose BMX racer Mason Hayes recently traveled to Runway Bike Park in Springdale, AK, to lead a pump track instructional clinic alongside race pro Alec Bob and the USA BMX Foundation. The goal of the clinic was to teach young people some pump track fundamentals and enjoy some exercise with friends. From what we can tell – mission accomplished, Mason!
Read the event recap from our favorite 12-year-old racer!
Alec Bob and I were invited to host a clinic as part of the UCI Pump Track qualifier held at The Jones Center in Springdale, Arkansas. It was an amazing experience! It was my first time doing a clinic, but Alec and Mike DuVarney [executive director of the USA BMX Foundation] helped me so much throughout the day and I think the riders learned a few things and had fun doing it!
The clinic was well organized. Mike introduced everyone and gave a rundown of how the day would go. While Alec talked about the basics of how to pump and why pumping is important, I demonstrated what he was talking about by slowly showing the movements and then picking up speed. After the demonstration, the riders were split into groups. We gave each rider tips on how to get better. The kids responded very well to me and Alec. They were improving every time they went around the track!
The staff at the Jones Center was super nice and they helped all of us the whole day from information about what we were doing to an eating room!
I learned that it was super fun teaching kids about how to ride a pump track better and to improve what they needed to work on. I also learned a few things about cornering and I can take those skills to the BMX track so I can work on them and get better results!
One thing I thought we did well was to not let the riders just ride the whole time because then they would be worn out for the educational part of the clinic. Also, all of the skills that we taught them can be used not only on a pump track, but out on MTB trails or jump lines as well. For example, The Railyard is just 15 minutes away from the pump track! There are lots of areas to pump and gain speed to get ready to hit the big jumps. There are plenty of super fun spots to ride bikes and work on skills in NWA (Northwest Arkansas).
Overall, this weekend was super fun teaching kids about pump tracks!