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Who had backyard tracks growing up?, pardon my "waxing nostalgic" here for a moment...
dreamerproject
post Jul 3 2010, 10:31 AM
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When I started racing around '79, my dad let me build a backyard track. 2 great things about it: 1. I had a cool place to ride and 2. NO MOWING!!!! My yard was small, the turns were tight, it wasnt exactly a "speedy" track and each straight only had 1 jump but I can remember how much fun it was to build and ride...especially summer nights with the porch light lighting up the yard. We'd have occasional informal races even. (and boy was my gate ghetto...even for back then, LOL)

When I quit racing, the track grew over but dad left the jumps and berms in place. When I would go visit my parents after I grew up, I'd always have to take a peek in the back yard to look at it.

My mom sold the house six months after my dad died in '98. Last week while serving warrants, I ended up in my old neighborhood. I drove by and there was a lady outside working in the yard of my old house. I stopped and talked to her for a second, told her it was my childhood home and asked if I could peek in the back yard for a second. The yard had obviously been redone but I could see where two of the jumps remained. (now just weather worn earthen/grass humps)


Building in your yard as a kid. Informal races. Anyone else have good memories like that????



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Lonewolf
post Jul 3 2010, 11:31 AM
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I had a great back yard track. It was nothing like the termite mounds of today, but it had berms, jumps (both wooden and dirt), crazy pit jumps in the middle of turns, and a jump I called the "chasm" which cast a shadow down the face at noon. Looking at this jump from the side, you couldn't imagine someone could achieve the distance to clear it as the lip (about 3 feet high) went straight up. I would say it was about a 12 foot jump, but it was intended to shoot you straight up and give you a balance stall, in the air, where you could then do tricks.

It started out being pretty basic and as time went by, it grew into a monster. Less than a half mile from my house, was my LBS. I hung out there and even worked on bikes as an informal job. There was never any real terrain or obstacles at the shop to show the shop owner what I was all about.

One day after I was already state champ for my age group and sponsored by the oldest continual bike shop in the nation (Gus Betat and Son -100 years old by 1986 -now defunct), I convinced the LBS owner to come to my back yard on his mountain bike.
He was 6'4"and having to look up to see my rear wheel. He was blown away. He said he had no idea I could ride like that.
Not long after, he asked if I would race for him and drove me to the track, in his shop vehicle, on his 30th birthday.

Never had a gate, but that was my back yard track.
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Lonewolf
post Jul 3 2010, 11:46 AM
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Moved into the house with a 1/2 acre lot in 1983. It wasn't 2 days before we started raking out a path. By 1894 (age 12), I started racing and winning, right from the get go. All through '84 and '85 a group of kids, sometimes 20 strong would descend on my house every single day after school and ride till dark. We hooked the place up with shop lights and on weekends, we would literally ride all night long with large home stereo speakers mounted on the window sill of the second story bedroom. Music blasting at 3am. Yes we had neighbors and thinking back, I can not believe we were allowed to get away with this.

My back yard didn't look like a stadium, but that was only because we weren't using Arc lighting.

My parents didn't have all the money in the world and seemed constantly strapped, but they did what the could and I had a great childhood.

Then, in '86, it was like someone threw a light switch and I rode alone for a long time after.

This post has been edited by Lonewolf: Jul 3 2010, 11:48 AM
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Lonewolf
post Jul 3 2010, 11:49 AM
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Riding alone sucks.
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plushie
post Jul 3 2010, 02:58 PM
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I was pretty lucky! My dad raced motocross, so when BMX made the scene in Michigan in the early 70's, he was all about it! He had an old Ford tractor with a front blade and a small backhoe. He carved out a real cool track, and we even had organized racing on Saturdays. I'll have to dig around the old photo albums next time I visit home and scan some pics.
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Lonewolf
post Jul 3 2010, 03:30 PM
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QUOTE (plushie @ Jul 3 2010, 03:58 PM) *
I was pretty lucky! My dad raced motocross, so when BMX made the scene in Michigan in the early 70's, he was all about it! He had an old Ford tractor with a front blade and a small backhoe. He carved out a real cool track, and we even had organized racing on Saturdays. I'll have to dig around the old photo albums next time I visit home and scan some pics.

You seriously need to.
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plushie
post Jul 3 2010, 07:01 PM
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QUOTE (Lonewolf @ Jul 3 2010, 02:30 PM) *
You seriously need to.


I will! The riders from Strecker Schwinn, Barber's, and Pedal and Tour used to have their team riders come out to race. They would always have some of the latest and coolest bikes, when most of us were still on converted sting-rays. I remember them riding Matthews, Webco and a couple of Yamaha bikes.
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Lonewolf
post Jul 3 2010, 07:28 PM
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That would be great to see, Man.
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knightsofnii
post Jul 4 2010, 01:33 AM
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QUOTE (Lonewolf @ Jul 3 2010, 11:46 AM) *
Moved into the house with a 1/2 acre lot in 1983. It wasn't 2 days before we started raking out a path. By 1894 (age 12), I started racing and winning, r...

Then, in '86, it was like someone threw a light switch and I rode alone for a long time after.


That would have been Thomas Edison... holy crap dude you're old!!

hey i can edit posts now!! Just poking fun at your 1894 typo (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

wish i had a backyard track, all i could manage was a few double jumps up @ the end of my street, though we did have a fire pit jump for a bit, that was scary as hell, just a wooden plank on a log, going over a 10' diameter blazing fire pit (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

This post has been edited by knightsofnii: Jul 4 2010, 01:35 AM
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COASTY
post Jul 4 2010, 03:20 AM
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This is not my track but it is a backyard track on the Gold Coast here in OZ.
It's called Bushys Track. Pretty wild.
(IMG:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v108/coastvl/bushystrack4.jpg)
(IMG:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v108/coastvl/bushystrack.jpg)
(IMG:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v108/coastvl/bushystrack2.jpg)
(IMG:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v108/coastvl/bushystrack3.jpg)
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