Further to Part 1, here are some more trails gems I've dug out. It's amazing to look back through any collection of BMX photos and remember the stories, but for some reason I feel that more with trails shots. I remember the mood and atmosphere in the woods, the work we put in to get the lines ready on that particular day, the weather, the company, the smell of pine, the sounds.
I asked the riders to reflect on these memories, tell you about the trails themselves and share the story behind getting the shot.
SVEN HACKETT: No hander, A38 trails, Derby, UK.
A38 trails were a set of trails I stumbled across when I was about 16 whilst riding around Derby aimlessly looking for things to ride, but it wasn't until I met Chris Radford who owned the trails a few years later that I got to ride them. Me and a few others used to go most weekends and ride with Chris, hang out and have a laugh.
This session was one I'll remember for a while, I got a phone call from either Nick or Ze I can't remember which one, asking if I wanted to ride trails and shoot some photos and at that time I hadn't rode my bike in at least 2 or 3 months but I couldn't turn down a session at the trails! I turned up and Robin was there shooting photos for Derby's bit in the This Is England Ride UK issue.
I was feeling good riding with Ben Basford and Sketch all day, well I remember Sketch front wheel casing because he was wearing sunglasses, haha, it didn't look nice! Shot some rad photos, then decided I wanted to whip one of them jumps, bearing in mind I hadn't ever whipped over anything that big, not rode in a while, downhill trails, brakeless and trees everywhere!
I rolled down the roll in, set up over a couple of jumps and went for it, pulled up too much... Over rotated whip... Caught pedals and landed 90 sliding down the landing and as I landed my chain exploded, haha... Session killer! But it was a rad day!
CHARLIE HALL & JACK HERON: Over Under, The Black Woods, Surrey, UK.
This spot is an outburst of our joint creativity. I remember Robin taking lots of photos and having a bit of a sesh with us. It was cool, I think we all felt kinda envious of his job, haha. I remember that particular photo taking about 20 attempts to get the timing right and each time Jack and I would meet back on the roll in, look at each other and say, “Fuckin’ long…" Hahaha!
BOB MANCHESTER: Table, Catalunya, Spain.
This spot in Spain was mad! We had to get a train out of Barcelona for roughly 45 mins, get off at a random stop then ride into the countryside. Once we found the dirt track we were looking for, we were told by the guy showing us there that we had to run past a drug dealer’s house with people surrounding it all the time, so that’s exactly what we did! Then with more riding through the woods we found this amazing but overgrown spot.
The session that day was sick! We lit a fire in the woods and had to put in some hard work to get the trails running. The roll in was falling to bits and the jumps were covered in weeds. But after a day’s work we managed to ride half the line which ended on this big hip. It was well worth the risk and the work! What a treat!
BEN PETERS: Moto, Gate 23, Suffolk, UK.
The boys there have always welcomed me. They're all so hardworking at what they do, but all they really care about is riding and having fun! I've been riding there for about ten years.
The line in the photo is my favourite line – it's fast! And you can pull up as hard as you like!
To be honest I had no idea Robin was behind that tree taking photos, I thought he was taking pics of Joe (Embrey) while I was trying to encourage him to man up and get through the line!
MATT ROE: Kickout, Villij, Leicestershire, UK.
Me and Robin went over to Zeal to shoot a ramp photo for Ride UK. We had a fun little session, hung out with Hitchcox and rode the outdoor vert ramp. Then Robin told me he had the chance to get a cover photo and I really wanted it. Couldn't think of anywhere else with such beauty and radness than Villij. I gave Robbo a bell and he was down. So me and Robin drove down to the woods. It was a little damp but rideable. Bloody love going down Villij, you feel like you're on a different planet... Forget about the whole world and jump through the woods.
Started warming up my favourite line with an insane hip in it. We got some cool photos but wanted more. Robin perched himself in the tree next to the lander and that was the perfect spot. Only problem was the dark was coming. While I was pulling my hair out, Robbo was playing on Robin's bike. All you could hear was, "This thing's mental!" So I was scrambling and one of the times I had an insanely scary crash – took off from the lip and knew straight away was wrong so jumped off way up, basically corkscrewed into the lander and came away with a scratch, haha. Next go after that got the bugger and was stoked. Love the photo and was honoured to get the cover at my favourite place on earth!