Let's be real here, for one reason or another most of us have extra time on our hands right now. Quarantine is getting weird for a lot of people, and it's important we find ways to occupy our time so we can come out swinging when the world lands on a new normal. PNW Squad member Matt Jones is using the lockdown to work from home in a different manner than most by building dirt jumps in his yard. We’ve all contemplated building private trails and jumps and the extra time we have could be the perfect reason to get that project started. If you’re looking for inspiration and tips for building your own backyard jumps, or if you just need to kill some time, Matt’s videos are the perfect source of education and entertainment.
The Lockdown Series with Matt Jones - Episode 1
I hope everyone is safe and staying indoors as best they can, wherever you are in the world. I've decided to kick things off in my backyard and get the MTB trails going. So here's an awesome start to the biggest build and ride project that I've undergone yet. This will be incredible for mountain bikes, mini bikes, pit bikes and BMX bikes. I'm super lucky that I can progress this project from home with lots of digging, time lapses and riding. Stay safe and see you soon with more trail building!
Episode two sees Matt progress his line beyond the initial speed setting rollers and into the beginning of the jumps. With so much space to build, he could really take his jump line in any direction...
Matt finishes the landing on the second hip and gives some pointers on how to apply final touches to your future dirt jumps. From watering to filling in cracks, it's the little things that make the biggest differences.
After running out of dirt, Matt builds a whaletail from wood to continue progressing the line. Will it work? Or will Matt be back in front of the drawing board?
The dirt has firmed up and it's time to do some test riding. Being the guinea pig rider is the most intimidating part of building a trail. Watch episode 5 to see how the trails hold up to the pressure of tires.
With the first test rides behind him, Matt keeps the jump line moving through his yard with another feature: a spine. After transforming the features into art with a round of touch ups, Matt hops back on the bike to see how well the jumps are solidifying.
In episode 7 the spine gets a new friend and turns into a double feature. Matt shows off a gnarly sunburn, makes up a new word, and throws down some whips.
In episode 8, Matt builds and rides what he's dubbed as "the first hefty jump in the line," a 12-foot transfer. The jumps are starting to get big and Matt thinks they could be even bigger.
Matt and Ben give the shark fin it's final test and work on extending the line after the spine feature. Big plans are teased for the tenth episode and daises are proven to be more slippery and dangerous than the jumps.
As Matt promised, episode 10 delivers huge developments to the jump line over the course of a few days. Berms are stacked, the early stages of a step up are completed and innovation defeats leg work as Matt uses the pit bikes to shuttle dirt from one location to another. We hope you're sitting somewhere comfortable because this episode is over 45 minutes long.
Episode 10 may have been the biggest episode yet, but episode 11 has the most riding in the entire series. Matt and Ben finish the initial build on the new double, appropriately named "El Grande," and have their first full-line session, capping it off with a backflip and a stylish dumped 360. Matt tries some creative lines, Ben goes another round with the daisies, and the world's most stylish shirt steals the show.
"Digging creates progress, but riding inspires new ideas." Matt and Ben build a 20 foot, long and low jump that gaps an entire berm, Ben masters the daisy drift, and both riders test out the new features before nature delivers the forecasted rain.
If you're looking to help with Matt and Becca's fundraiser, donations can be made here for St. John's Hospice.
Episode 13 of Matt's lockdown series starts with some good news: the trails received some much needed love from Mother Nature in the form of rain. With the jumps too soft to ride, Matt and Ben build a near vertical lip as part of an open-loop jump and begin a line of rollers that will serve as a pump track.
The newest feature of the line, the "open loop," gets its name from the comment section of Episode 13: The Gnar-Wall. Matt and Ben test ride the rhythm section with success and a quite possibly the best crash of the series. Matt goes full send on The Gnar-Wall and get's inverted.
Just when the trails seemed to have it all, Matt and Ben added a new line that connects the beginning rollers to the final rhythm section, so the jumps are now interwoven with a pump track. Matt and Becca reveal the random winners of the giveaway from episode 12 and announce the final total form the fundraiser.
Episode 16 introduces two new additions to the backyard trails: a large right hand hip after El Grande and the "banana jump," which is a middle of the pack jump on the pump track. The new system for transporting dirt should help make an already speedy dig team even more efficient.
Matt, Bec and Ben take a break from digging and host the inaugural Lockdown Olympics. The trio compete for bragging rights in a five leg race that includes lawn mower racing and BB gun target shooting. Who will take home the gold and celebrate with a bit of toast?
So. Much. Dirt. Matt and Ben spend episode 17 moving a ton of dirt and shaping the landing for the right hip that was introduced in episode 16. While testing the new feature, Matt discovers they'll need to add a whole new line after the Gnar-wall to continue the trails.
With a ton of dirt moved in episode 17, episode 18 is all about the ride. Matt and Ben get creative as they ride lines and transfers suggested by viewers in the comment section.
With lockdown restrictions easing, Matt called in some help and traded shovels and dirt for power tools and lumber to build a more permanent start to the trails. As he progresses towards the far end of his yard, the ground becomes more and more rocky, slowing the dig process and building suspense for soon to be released mega-episode #20.
As promised, the 20th episode is a big one. With build lapses, new features, and guest riders, this episode has it all. Matt eats some dirt (literally, that is not a figure of speech), crushes the new racer jump with his pit bike, and then challenges Sam Reynolds and Daryl Brown to ride the trails.
After hosting some friends on the jumps for the first time in Episode 20, Matt and Ben get back to moving dirt. The pump track line gets extended and even adds a wooden wallride to its list of features.
30. Tons. Of dirt. All in one feature. We've said this before, but Matt and Ben keep "one-upping" themselves; the newest feature is the biggest one yet.
After two weeks away from the yard jumps, Matt and Ben are back with a proper riding session. Get your comments in now to help choose the future direction of the trails.
Check back again for more videos. We'll be updating this article to include all of Matt's latest lockdown episodes.