Last week, I re-up’d a four year old “10 Things Not To Do At A Skatepark” article on FB…500 shares later, I noticed a comment that simply said, “Do a trails version.” I immediately thought of Mike Saavedra, as he’s has had a running set of trails in BMX faux-pas heavy Southern California for almost 15 years. Through countless tactless acts and bad etiquette over the years, Mike compiled this list with a bit of his help from his brother Sal Saavedra. So take heed to the rules before you step into someone else’s trails…and look for a street version next week. —Ryan
“Some people think trails are scary because they heard a story about some dude catching shovel to the face. But the truth is, if you dig a little bit deeper you will discover an unbroken brotherhood. Here are ten simple suggestions to help make sure you don’t catch a shovel to the face.”
An underground society made up of a small group of friends dedicated to the creation and preservation of a spot.
1. Make A Call
Don’t show up unannounced, like some unwanted relatives on the holidays. If it’s your first time going to a spot, you should really consider reaching out to the locals via friends or even social media.
2. Don’t Be A Dick
In other words, don’t feel entitled. Make sure you introduce yourself to the locals when you walk in. One of the lamest things you can do is ignore the locals.
3. Add Water
Although I wouldn’t recommend riding a set of trails without the locals present, if you happen to be that guy, make sure you water them! This is a serious offense to the international trail committee and may led to an international ban.
4. Dine And Dash
No matter how good the bluegroves are at the end of a session, it’s not cool to just bail. Offer to help put tools away, water jumps, and of course everyone’s favorite job to try and get out of, tarping the line. Make sure to offer to help—before and—after a session.
5. Heros Unwanted
No one likes a hero and you can’t win the woods. Take the line one jump at a time and don’t bite off more then you can chew. The trails don’t exist to boost your ego. We don’t need you smuggling through a line that is over your head.
Don’t give out classified information, especially the location of someone else’s trails. This information is stored in a top-secret database system in which every trail builder on the planet has access to.
7. No Can Left Behind
As much as we love picking up everyone’s trash, it wouldn’t hurt to carry it out with you. After all, everyone knows house keeping only comes on Mondays.
As much of an honor as it is to have people want to photograph your work, it’s not cool to show up and just start running around with a camera like you’re at Disneyland. You should always check with the locals before even taking a camera out, let alone blowing up Instagram and FB feeds. This applies to everyone; no one has all time fraternity status.
9. Skid Row
Dragging a handful of brakes and skidding up a flat bottom or berm is like doing an indian giver. You might get away with it once, but keep it up and you’ll get called out.
10. Suggestion Box
When visiting a set of trails all the locals really want to hear is how they should of done this and that. Here’s an idea: grab a shovel and start your own spot. If you have suggestions, then offer to help. Don’t stand around using the shovel as kickstand telling the locals, “You know what would be really cool?”