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Posted on April 15, 2018
It’s spring build season at the TRA BMX compound. Every year we keep 60,000 sq. ft. of jumps and turns running all summer long without the need for daily watering or tarps.
The rugs we use let us get it going after a long hard winter without the need for hand shovel stacking and packing…not something we ever thought would be possible when we started. Heavy snow, strong winds, and frost are all part of winter trail life in the Northeast. And when the spring thaw comes, it’s time to get the jumps running and coated before the thunderstorms start. While the techniques shown here may seem obvious for those who have been doing it for decades, there are lots of new builders out there just starting out. For those of you who’ve asked us how we do it, this article is for you. We want to spread the knowledge so our sport can grow and the next generation can start out with better tools than we had. Rugs, ATV’s, soil hardeners…all of these can be used together or alone to make life easier at the trails. Once the surface is properly prepared, maintenance is a breeze.
Under a blanket of snow, all the transitions are perfectly preserved using layers of tarp and carpet. A row of logs across the top and a row of pallets across the bottom keep it all in place against the winter winds.
Utility ATV with car tires. We use these at the trails too. Combined with carpets over the winter, this cuts shovel packing down to almost zero.
Hoses are neatly coiled in cans over the winter. You can drop 1000′ of hose in no time using the cans to avoid tangles. We run four 250′ sections so multiple sections of the track can be reached as needed.
ATV first roll. Dark areas show the frost that hasn’t been rolled in yet. You don’t have to rake or pick up rocks…just roll it right in and watch last year’s surface come right back. We roll once to keep the moisture in and again for final prep before applying soil hardeners.
This turn was prepped in less than two hours on a berm that was untarped all winter. A few light shovel pats to press in any raised tire marks and it’s ready to spray with soil hardener.
Soil hardeners make the impossible possible. We go all Summer long without the need for tarps or watering. During the Summer’s strong torrential downpours, there is barely any erosion damage. We’ve started using this at Posh on the pump loop and on some of the bigger runs as well.
The last two straights of the TRA pump track are soiltac’ed and ready to go.