Starting A New Trails Spot During Covid-19

Avoiding Covidiots and Karens, doing something positive, and most-importantly; reconnecting with the earth (via a bicycle).

The indescribable buzz of building your own secret trails spot hidden away in the woods.

For the uninitiated and in the most simplest of terms, a ‘trails spot’ is basically a geographic area where BMX Dirt Jumps exist. The term ‘trails’ has been in use within BMX circles for roughly 4 decades now, however to the non-bike-riding audience the terminology could appear confusing seeing as the word ‘trails’ is primarily used to describe hiking trails, AKA walk-able pathways through countryside terrain predominantly used for trekking and hiking journeys.

In a way it makes sense, as BMX trails also comprise of ‘bicycle pathways’ through woodland, but yeh, for the uninitiated; it could be totally confusing. It is what it is. The insular worlds of BMX, Surf and Skate all include their own language of terms, and learning it all is as a part of the initiation ritual.

I don’t exactly know who came up with this noun, but in a way, I kinda wish they had chosen something else. Anyway, no point dragging-out an article intro over English language terminology.

The only reason I have to mention this explanation is because there is literally no BMX-riding audience situated on Medium. How do I know this? Keywords and hashtags, baby!

That and the fact that it’s been about 5yrs since a BMX mag has even existed…so the community probably no longer reads many long-form articles anymore. Shame, but again, it is what it is. I personally witnessed the destruction of the magazine industry and can testify as to why it happened and what the ongoing impact has been like ever since.

Like most aspects of life, Social Media has reduced documenting our hobby into tiny square photos or ultra-short videos. Our collective attention spans have been reduced to those less than a goldfish. It’s real shame of course, but if you’ve made it this far then well done to you! (Not all hope is lost I guess?).

So anyway, back to trails, and I mean ‘trails’, not ‘Dirt Jumps’ which is a bit of a hijacked term because of the association with the MTB community. BMX trails in its pure form is where no pedaling is involved once you have begun jumping the jumps (which could range from as many as 2 in a row to 99+ in row). In BMX its considered ‘bad form’ to pedal. You have to ‘pump’ instead, whereas in the MTB world you can pedal through the line of jumps, which are usually tailored to this with the gaps between the jumps being larger. If I had to guess why that is, it’s probably because of our roots; BMX being bicycle motocross over race tracks and MTB being pedaling through mountainous terrain.

Anyway, now that the Medium-friendly explanation as to what ‘trails’ actually are is out the way, I can really begin to tell you all about my story of digging and shaping earth.

So let’s paint the right picture here: The location is the capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague, a city where both a really lively BMX scene exists and very little social impact from Covid-19 is taking place. Sure, some of us lost our jobs, myself included, but in terms of freedom; we’ve had it good.

And this is exactly how I’ve used a lot of my newly-found free time thanks to the plandemic, building a new trails spot in Prague.

I had been a part of the Dablicky Trails during 2017–2018, but unfortunately they were eventually flattened by the land owners. For most BMX riders, this situation is familiar enough. You create unsolicited BMX jumps on land you don’t own. Eventually the land owner finds out and invariably freaks out. Usually they think that you will sue them if there’s an accident…so in rolls the Bobcat digger and in one afternoon your month’s/year’s worth of effort is all flattened back into the earth from whence it came.

It’s so sad, but I’ve seen it a million times before. And there-in actually lies the reason behind my motivation for starting a new spot. You see I’m in my mid-30s now and I during this plandemic I have been thinking a lot about life and the consistent themes throughout my own.

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Published Photographer | Bicycle enthusiast | Former Editor of Ride UK BMX Magazine

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Photos by Beddows

Published Photographer | Bicycle enthusiast | Former Editor of Ride UK BMX Magazine