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  1. #1
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    Reputation: CaliforniaNicco's Avatar
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    HOW TO: Backyard DH/FR Trail

    PICS:













    I was tired of riding 2-3 miles after a long school day to get to my favorite FR spot or trail, so I built a small trail in my backyard. It consists of two ladder bridge drops, a tricky rock garden with a small jump in the middle, and a berm.

    I built this trail over summer va-k and had a blast! It wasn't too hard with proper instruction from friends and web surfing (IMBA, Youtube). Now I'm going to somewhat tell you how to do it.

    Find the space..... You need a wind up to gain speed (hill, long stretch of land).

    I figured out that the trial and error of building a ladder bridge is more fun than building it from exact instructions....

    1. Buy your wood-I bought mine from a local ACE for $300..... I completely underestimated the strength of wood and bought about $100 too much.....(but now I'm working on a teeter tot with the extra wood)....

    2. A ladder bridge should have two bases normally made of long pieces of 4x4. After you Cut the base pieces, you should cut planks and nail them on top (see pics).

    3. Place your ladder bridge (without the supports or stilts, just the ladder).

    4. Depending on the length, you might not need supports in 2 or 3 different places (like mine), so what i did was get 4x4s and stack them for the supports.

    5. As you can see, on my ladder bridge, I put some rocks and scrap wood by the base to make it look natural (it didn't really work, but now you have to clear those rocks).

    For the rock garden:

    1. Place your rocks.

    2. Try to make the sizes uneven so its harder to pass through without it getting bumpy and technical.

    3. To make it even more technical, bury some rocks halfway, and leave others loose to give it a sketchy feeling.

    4. Then, finally, scatter some gravel or small rocks around the rock garden to make it look more natural.

    Now, HAVE FUN!

    I have friends come over and ride all the time!

    One of my fav. memories with my friends was when one of them manualed up the ladder bridge, down the drop, and then through the rock garden...it was sick!

    Thanks for reading, hope this helps you!
    Last edited by CaliforniaNicco; 10-20-2008 at 07:42 AM.

  2. #2
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    What about a gap jump over the bird bath? Got enough room/speed for that?
    IF YOU CAN READ THIS, YOU'RE NOT RIDING (or building)!

  3. #3
    mtnjam
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    should use screws instead of nails....they'll hold better

    Instead of buying wood go to a local home construction site and beg them for the scraps they throw in the dumpster or to your local landfill if they have a wood recycling area, go beg them for some scraps

    Either way kudos on the build in progress...
    Just ride down there and jump off something for crying out loud...

  4. #4
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    Reputation: CaliforniaNicco's Avatar
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    good idea.....

  5. #5
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    Reputation: CaliforniaNicco's Avatar
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    thanks, yeah, i've noticed the planks have gotten a little loose....

  6. #6
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    You'll be needing one of these too.



    Even some very good riders are intimidated by this thing! 16' long and the end is about 5' off the ground. It comes down REAL slowly too... you have to track stand at the end.
    All problems in mountain biking can be solved by going faster, except the ones that are caused by going too fast.

  7. #7
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    Plans on the net?

    pinkheadedbug and others...is there a website that offers blueprints to build such things?
    MTOBikes.com

    Keep the rubber side down!

  8. #8
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    IMBA has a lot of information about building Technical Trail Features. Try these links for lots of info!

    http://www.imba.com/resources/freeriding/index.html

    http://www.imba.com/resources/trail_building/index.html
    IF YOU CAN READ THIS, YOU'RE NOT RIDING (or building)!

  9. #9
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    The best thing to do is go someplace that has features and see how they're built.

    I have a bunch of links here which you can check out:
    http://delicious.com/pinkheadedbug/feature

    But usually what I do is think for a while about exactly what I want and then just start building it.

    When in doubt, over-engineer. Imagine what would happen if as many fat people as could fit on it all got on it at once. I use 5/8 PT lumber for decking with 2x6 stringers space 18" on center. If you go to your local Home Depot they will have standards for deck building which are good to follow.

    I like to use screws not nails as it's easier to take apart and generally stronger. I also like to keep stuff moveable as far as possible cuz you can keep playing with it that way.

    Nothing is worse than riding sketchy features. Build 'em like you mean 'em.
    All problems in mountain biking can be solved by going faster, except the ones that are caused by going too fast.

  10. #10
    Builder of Trails
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkheadedbug
    The best thing to do is go someplace that has features and see how they're built.

    But usually what I do is think for a while about exactly what I want and then just start building it.
    Both sentences are excellent statements! You can learn what to do and what NOT to do by watching what others have already done.

    Also, think about it a lot. Visualize what you want in the spot you want to build it.

    Make sure that the feature fits into the flow of the trail, the lay of the land, etc. For example, don't build a slow speed skinny in a spot that has riders going above seven MPH or so. In that spot, build something that allows riders to carry their speed, momentum, and flow in and out of the feature.

    Also, if it's a technical trail feature that is more difficult than the trail that it's on, build a qualifier (aka filter) that weeds out riders who don't have the skill to successfully clean the most difficult part of the feature.

    D

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