Getting through lockdown with Veronique Sandler...
Posted by James Heaton on
Wales.. what a place! I’m feeling pretty damn lucky to be living here during the Covid19 pandemic. Some might call where I live the middle of no-where, but for us MTBers its an absolute gem of hidden trails on almost every hill as far as the eye can see.
Riding the usual trails is pretty much off the cards at the moment as I want to keep things safe and steady, so I’ve been taking this time as the perfect opportunity to get stuck into some build projects for general shredding and video segments that I’ve had on my mind for ages but never had the time to build.
Aside from riding bikes digging is definitely next on my favourite list of activities, and even more so now that I’ve recently adopted a pooch named Oski who loves the outdoors and going digging just as much as I do!
Oski and I can walk to the local dig/ride spots from my house within 10 minutes and dig for hours without seeing a soul. I’ve been loving the fact that we can still go to the areas where we’d normally be riding and start on some fresh builds instead.
The crew and I had been busy building over the winter months and through this Id already gotten an idea of the areas where I wanted to create some new sections.
We are super lucky here to have a few amazingly chilled local land owners that allow people to ride mountain bikes, motos and dig trails on the parts of their land that don’t get used for anything else.
I’ve been going with the terrain and incorporating features that are already prominent at the spots such as fallen trees and rock faces for step downs and drops. All the spots have had a huge variation in types of dirt too, so it’s been cool learning how to work differently at each one, figuring out how to make the most out of the different types of dirt.
Id been meaning to buy some fresh tools before lockdown but missed the chance, so I’m stuck with a few trusty old spades and a pick which have been doing a perfect job!
Being a huntaway cross, Oski can’t wait to leave the house every day and never gets bored out in the woods. He loves to lend a helping hand wherever he can by dragging logs around, packing berms in with his paws and helping me start dig pits by rummaging in the dirt. Sometimes he tries to stitch me up by rolling in all kinds of smelly substances, but luckily there’s a perfect dog sized swimming hole on the way home which usually does the trick!
So far I’ve built a section of trail with a rock step down into a fast drop section which I hope to film on some time soon, and a trick step up which I built with my boyfriend and brother. Our most recent project and my favourite one yet, is the revamping of our local dirt jumps that need some serious love. It’s been so satisfying to throw fresh dirt on them and watch them come back to life.
All this digging and creating fresh trails has got me seriously excited to send it as soon as we are allowed! Hopefully it’s not too far away now...
Check out more from Vero over on her Instagram page...