I enjoy mountain biking but the closest bike parks are still pretty far away and I don't go often, so I decided to make a park in my own backyard! Even if you have a small backyard you can build some simple things to help you keep your mountain biking skills sharp. Having a bigger yard, or woods near your house, helps but is not essential. I will show you how to make some simple features that will make your mountain biking EXTREME! Building features in your yard is a great idea if you are not that good at biking (like me!), and want to improve your skills without others watching you crash and mess up.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
-Drill (hammer works)
Materials I used:
-Screws (nails if you choose to hammer)
-4 in. diameter trees
Step 2: Making a Trail
Keep your trail entertaining, don't just blaze a trail straight through the woods, instead make it wind around and add a few things such as jumps, berms, balance beams, and bridges. However, don't crowd the trail, keep a good distance between each of the features and don't let the turns get to tight.
In the following steps I will show you how to make some different features that will make your trails exciting.
Step 3: Build a Bridge
Now take some scrap wood, (I am using mostly 2x4's and 2x6's) and make some support triangles and screw them into nearby trees to support your bridge. Then you can lay down the trees you cut earlier, screw them in and test it a little bit to make sure they are strong enough.
You are now ready to lay out some decking. I used scrap wood for this. It really depends on how narrow you want your bridge. Just make sure you make the boards a little longer around the turns so you get enough area to turn on.
The best thing about these bridges is you can keep adding on and expanding! In a few places I am making landings so you can jump off the bridge and return to the trail. To do this cut down some trees and pile them up then put down a layer of dirt on top of them. Using trees is helpful because otherwise you would need a ton of dirt, and its just not worth digging it out of the ground with shovels.
Step 4: Jumps
To build a bigger jump lay down a layer of wood then a layer of dirt and keep doing this until the jump is big enough. The shape of the jump is important to, you may have to go off of it to see what you need to change, but a nice smooth curve is what you want.
Step 5: Berms
Optional-- On one of my berms I made it so you can jump the berm and land into another trail. The build is basically the same just make sure you can get over the berm. This is great if you are trying to expand your trails.
Step 6: Random Features
Balance beams- Cheap, easy to build, and a great learning tool, balance beams will sharpen your biking skills immensely. To make yours, take a couple of logs that are roughly the same size then take some scrap wood ( I used 2x2s) and screw the ends into each log.
Step 7: Putting it all Together
I am posting some videos of the trails I have made, I'll be posting some more in about a week because I crashed and got some stitches in my leg and cant ride right now. Also, sorry for the bad video quality but if I had a.. ...hmm... maybe a Go Pro like the one seen here (http://www.instructables.com/contest/extreme/?show=PRIZES) I could post some sweet videos!
Anyway, have fun, be safe, and make your mountain biking EXTREME!