Trails Win

01-pub-lunch-on-route

Pub lunch on route

02-Warhammer-rave-van

Warhammer rave van

03-big-man-jonny-c-taking-a-break-between-360s

Big man Jonny Ctaking a break between 360s

05-local-josh

Local Josh

06-giggsy-back-of-the-net-le-grand-enfant

Giggsy back of the net Le grand enfant

07-folded-pizza-cruising

Folded pizza cruising

08-cheers-josh

Cheers Josh

09-emo-witch-loving-trails

Emo witch loving trails

10-warhammer-texting-someone-he-knows-about-something

On blower mate

11-jaz-through-the-berms

Jaz through the berms

12-hard-day-for-the-champs

Hard day for these champs

13-oh-reservoir-mate

Oh reservoir mate

double-jonny

Big spinner Jonny C. Pic by Jaz

josh-tbog

Local Josh T Bog. Pic by Jaz

merlin-chris-combo

Asssss reet- Norwich combo, Eggs and one legs. Pic by Jaz

merlin-table

Merlin table. Pic by Jaz


A tale of falling in love with trails, by Kristopher Shee MSc.

London. One of the best cities in the UK for the street stunts. So many iconic spots, Wandsworth round about, that estate out west, the flood defences, Hackney Wick hip, London Bridge steps and the Jazz bench. It’s a concrete jungle filled with endless rails, ledges and banks to suit everyone.

Being brought up in the North East it’s really no surprise that most of my youth was spent riding around the streets of Sunderland and Newcastle gridding every ledge we could until the inevitable security guard chase. Then it was off to the next ledge, one brick higher and 4 foot longer or maybe a set of stairs that has 2 more stairs than the one you rode 20 minutes previously. This was more out of necessity than anything else. There were no skateparks. No smooth 6ft transitions, jump boxes, driveways or hips.

As the sands of time passed concrete parks started to pop up here and there but largely we ignored them (bar our weekly trips in my Dads jeep to APE Skatepark), choosing instead to kept on adding a couple of inches to the walls we feebled and the stairs we stunted down. As for trails, well they practically didn’t exist. Not in our world of Primo stiffys and double layered tires. We built some jumps by my old school but they didn’t last and we really didn’t care. You can’t grind dirt. So when it was time to leave the nest and move to the big smoke I couldn’t wait to finally ride all those iconic spots from Nang and sling some Bs down some cockney steps.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I rode street and you know why? London has bowls. London has Clissold bowl, the bowl that changed everything. Learning to ride transition was like learning to 180 again and that was fun, it was basically starting to learn to ride all over again. Popping out of lips, jumping hips, curving corners, picking out lines, landing smoothly and pointing in the right direction so you can get some pump and line up for your next hit of air. Nothing in the streets gave me the level of pleasure that completing a new line without any hang ups or that feeling you get from a good table top. I should have learnt to leave the ground a long time ago.

Another really good distraction from street riding was The Spot. All the “fuck skateparks” attitude of the streets crammed into one hell of a DIY skatepark. Every take-off and landing is different, an inch either way could send you hurtling towards the flat bottom like a Spitfire with its tail shot off or have you shagging your bars like a horny Terrier.

With my new found ability to go in the air and a group of friends brought up on a diet earth, shovels and nac-nacs it only seemed logical to give these trails things ago.

Recently I have been riding some jumps in South London. Proper jumps. Jumps that people who can ride jumps will go and jump. The jumps that changed everything. Learning to ride trails was like learning to 180 again and that was fun, it was basically starting to learn to ride all over again. Popping out of lips, jumping hips, curving berms, all the different lines, landing smoothly and pointing in the right direction so you can get some pump and line up for your next hit of air.

Every take-off and landing is different, an inch either way could send you hurtling towards the flat bottom like a Spitfire with its tail shot off or have you shagging your bars like a horny Terrier.

Trails are the only thing that makes me regret my past. Why did it take so long for me to realise that this is the most fun you can have on a BMX? I’m not sure if it’s getting away from the city to go play in nature with my mates, the challenge of riding something new and so different to everything else I’ve been riding over the past 10 years or just that feeling of landing, pumping and hitting that next lip but….. trails win.

This is a very long winded post just to show you some photos from our Saturday away in Petersfield. Petersfield was rad. It’s one of the first set of trails I’ve actually made a proper effort to travel to and by far the most complex and scary set of jumps I’ve jumped. On arrival I was gutted the small line wasn’t running. By the time we’d left I had conquered way more than I was expecting to and watched some people who actually know what they are doing rip through the biggest lines and some who didn’t (including myself) get stoked just ticking off the lines jump by jump, raising their confidence higher than Merlins table.

Thanks to everyone down Petersfield for the warm welcome, all your hard work and most of all the bag full of confidence I found hiding somewhere in the woods. Trails are rad. Trails win.

Text: Shee
Film Snaps: PC
Proper Photos: Jaz

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