We all google and drool over the amazing trails all over the world BMX and MTBs have worked hard to make some of the most breathtaking trails in countries like UK, France, USA, and Australia just to name a few. With the right Dirt, Ideas, Rules, Attitude, Determination you can have your own amazing set of trails too.One of the most frustrating things for trail builders is showing up at their local jump trails and finding that their hard work has been ripped apart by someone they can’t blame, because they don’t even know who’s been riding the trails. Jumps get cased, run-ins and landings get skidded on, transitions get changed by inexperienced builders, and even litter is left lying around. Sometimes the trail builders will even show up to their trails being plowed because someone went out of their skill level, tried the jumps, got hurt and called the ambulance, and the parents/city got the jumps plowed because they are worried about safety.
Now, I’m sure we’ve all done it and poached other people’s trails. We’ve all thought we were the best builders and changed someone else’s work so that it works for us. And we obviously all case and have to take run-ins to jumps. Here are a couple tips to think about that will make you a better trail rider/builder, and eventually get some respect from your building peers. They might even let you ride their trails! These aren’t really rules, as I’m sure they’re different at different local spots, but think of it as a simple guide to follow:-
Never ride someone else’s trails with out the builder’s permission: This is one of the main things that will cheese a group of builders off. There’s nothing worse then finding out people are taking advantage of your hard work.Example:
If you’re not invited to your friend’s house, you don’t go over and use his shower.-
Never show up to the trails, ride your bike, then leave: In order to keep your bike in shape you use tools to tighten loose bolts, chain lube to lube your chain, and a pump to fill your tires. Dirt is the same; it needs to be worked on and given love and maintenance. Always show up at the jumps ready to dig. Touch up the jumps before you jump, and then fix the jumps before you leave.Example:
When you mow your grandma’s lawn, you rake up all the pinecones and acorns first, and then sweep the grass off the sidewalks when you’re done.-
Don’t change someone else’s work or build something for you without permission: This tends to happen at lots of trails. If an obstacle is too difficult for you, don’t change it to your liking. This is someone else’s work built for their skill level. Practice and work up to that stunt, then try it.Example:
You wouldn’t go over to your friend’s house and knock their wall over just because you don’t like it.-
When you case and skid, fix all your divots: Something that is so simple to do, but seems to be so hard for lots of learning riders to follow. No one is perfect, and everyone cases, just make sure you pick up your shovel and pack in some dirt where your sprocket or tire took it out. Skidding is something that you’ll learn to not do it time, but realize this now that skidding up to lips and on landings looks bad, and wrecks the pack job.Example:
When you’re playing baseball and break a window, fix it.- Clean up:
On long riding days it’s normal for people to bring lunches. Most trail spots will have a garbage can/bag. Use it. Or pack up your stuff and take it with you. Littering not only sucks for the builders, but also the whole environment. Don’t forget global warming kids.Example:
You should clean up wherever you go! Never litter!-
Never give out a set's location: You never know who’s watching the online forums or who you might be telling about your latest dirt jump spot. Once you tell one friend, they will tell 2 friends and those 2 friends will each tell 2 of their friends etc. You can always ask permission to bring a friend, but you’ve got to make sure you can trust them.Example:
You find the only pair of size 8 shoes in the city, do you tell everyone who wears size 8, or keep it to yourself?- Don’t steal tools/put all tools back after usage:
Other people spent their money to bring tools to dig jumps for theirs and your enjoyment. If you end up using someone else’s tools please return them. Make sure you have a hiding spot for your tools at trails. It sucks loosing them. Example: Never steal!
So there you have the etiquette side of things. Like I said earlier, these rules could be totally different somewhere else, but this is just a simple guide for everyone to follow. Always go by the builders rules, without them you wouldn’t have good jump spots. Hopefully this little manual will help with your relationship between the elite bmx/mtb trail builders out there!
PS: Showing off jumps is cool, but try to keep from posting photos/videos of jumps that aren’t yours. All someone needs is one single land mark to find the spot!