Oakley's Pump Track Jam

IMG_7263

Some of Oakley’s top factory pilots (two wheel “no motor”) along with Oakley employees and friends, including editors from Outside Magazine and Wired, came together yesterday to shred, in sunny skies, at Oakley’s newly built pump track for a special media event. Oakley’s Dirt Lab, which is essentially a pump track, was designed by legendary pro mountain bike rider, Brian Lopes. It is the ultimate testing ground for Oakley products and training for team riders. Everyone had a blast meeting, being inspired by and learning, from each other, the different ways to ride the track. The pump track is a great way for each rider to hone their skills and work up a sweat, before heading off to various parts of the globe.

In between sessions we were able to catch up with a few athletes. Coryn Rivera, at just 16 years old, has already won 24 National Championsip gold medals in Road, Track and Cyclocross racing. Right now her main focus is getting ready for the Beijing World Cup (Track Cycling) in January. Coryn just got back from Moscow, where she was selected by the US national team to compete in the junior Track Cycling World Championships. Recalling Moscow, she said, “Every meal looked the same! I placed 6th but now I am really looking for a win.”

South African Greg Minnaar, current leader of the UCI downhill mountain bike World Cup, is a 3x World Cup Champion and 1x World Champion. He is currently training towards winning this year’s World Cup and World Championship. In two weeks he will participate in the World Championships in Canberra, Australia where he hopes to realize one of his goals. It all started for Greg when his parents bought a bicycle shop. “At the time I was riding motocross and since they bought the shop they didn’t have time to take me riding or to races. So I got involved in mountain bike riding by myself and enjoyed it. Then I started racing and did okay in it so I just continued on.”

Later we caught up with BMX pros Danny Caluag and Steven Cisar. Danny, who was the first pro in BMX history to win both the ABA #1 AA Pro and Pro Cruiser title in the same season, discussed the benefit of riding Oakley’s pump track. “From this track you can learn to carve a lot better. With BMX we have wide open turns, sometimes tight turns and people get a little sketched out and they don’t know how to carve it right. With this type of track it helps us learn how to carve it right.” Steven Cisar, who won silver at the World Championships in Beijing, relayed that he had a fear of jumping when he first started the sport. “When I was younger I struggled with jumping. I was scared of it. My Dad told me to keep jumping and now it is one of my best traits.”

Kyle Strait, just off a big win at Crankworx in BC, was also gearing up for the World Championships at Canberra. His secret to beating, as he says,”My idol since I was 8 years old,” Brian Lopes, was staying smooth and riding strong. Throughout his career the biggest lesson he has learned is to “keep it fun.” He was keeping true to this yesterday at the Oakley dirt lab.

The session wrapped with everyone happy and with an overall agreement that as one athlete said to Oakley’s Steve Blick, “Yo Blick. This track is legit.”

Four truckloads of dirt were just dropped off today. Stay tuned for more action at the Dirt Lab including the man himself, Brian Lopes, testing the standards.