Shortly after moving into his house in 2001, Matt Beringer started off with a mini ramp in the yard, a few ramps in the garage, and then slowly progressed from there with the help of donations, found objects, and whatever else he could get his hands on. Today, it’s hard to think of a house that is more consumed by BMX than Beringer’s—from his rider roommates, machine shop in the basement, trophy room and BMX memorabilia scattered throughout, the bowled-in garage, and of course, the backyard. Matt’s house has become legendary for the ramps, ever changing and expanding backyard setup, and just the aura of wackiness, weirdness, and fun that is Matt Beringer. People from all around the world have made the trek to his small Utah town just to experience the house for themselves—it’s become almost like a pilgrimage. With over a decade of hard work and dedication trying to turn his visions into reality, the backyard has become a testament to Matt’s love and passion for BMX. With so much history and stories to tell, we let Matt take the reigns and caption all the photos and answer some questions as well. There’s a lot to read here, so prepare yourself! —Jeff Z.
“I think that this picture is 2002, I was on SNAFU and we did a road trip that started here and went up to Pocatello, Idaho, and then down to Vegas. This picture really shows what started us out with building stuff around here. Me and three of my roommates at the time each put in $250 to buy this mini ramp from some friends in Salt Lake for $1000. They had to get rid of it because they were moving. It used to have a 12-foot wide spine off the back of it, but we didn’t have room for it. With the leftover wood from the spine part we started the garage ramps.” Photo: Zielinski
How long after moving in did you begin to build ramps? And what came first?
It was in the first year that we got the mini ramp from some friends in Salt Lake City. I remember going down there, taking it apart, and moving it up here on a trailer. It was crazy because one time we had two giant 12 foot wide transition pieces on a trailer like big spoilers. We where driving on the freeway just waiting for the Highway Patrol to roll up next to us and say, “Hey guys, I’ve been behind you for a while with my lights on.” We wouldn’t have known because it was impossible to see behind us.
2004: “This is the year that the Orchid “Step On It” trip started here. The first year that the on-off the shed line was there. One of my old roommates went kind of crazy and smashed up his little Honda Civic in the front side yard. We pushed it into the backyard and smashed it up some more and flipped it over. It’s not very good to wake up with a hangover and look out the back window and see an upside down car in your backyard. We ended up flipping the car back over and when the scrap yard didn’t want to come get it we pushed it up against the shed and put dirt up against it. Like the progression of any trails it got added to and added to until it was completely buried. A lot of people have no idea that there’s a car under the lip to the shed, but I’ll always know that I’m going to have to go through a bunch of shit to get it out of there someday. Other additions are the set between the trick jump and the setup jump that only Aitken could destroy, the addition to the top of the curved wall that Afro Pat did when he stayed here for a while building Fuzzy’z ramps, the sub-rail, and the tight tranny steep angle ramp thing we got when Proving Grounds closed. The curved wall got a paint job when Bob Scerbo, Wiz, and Josh Stricker were passing through on a trip and we had a paint session and some good garage skate sessions. If you watch the T1 video you’ll see Taj downside whip from in front of the sub-rail to on top of the shed and 360 off. Also 540 tap and downside whip to disaster the tight tranny steep wedge thing on the side of the curved wall.” Photo: Mulligan
Was it the plan all along to make the whole yard rideable?
Yeah, the thing is, there used to be a little wood fence between the immediate back yard and the far back yard. Once we got the mini ramp here we just built on stuff in the immediate backyard that linked into the mini ramp. It was a long time before we got a tractor here, then the little fence came down and we started building further back. There’s a slide turn back in the back left corner now that’s as far back as it goes. Walking back to the back fence kind of makes this place seem less than half full still.
March 2002, Transworld BMX. “The garage ramp with the paintjob inspired by the Easy Rider helmet. This is back when everyone started out in the driveway and pedaled from outside. The garage was mostly built in the middle of the night because the neighbors never complained. I remember when my old roommate Timmy Thompson opened up the door to the house when he was getting up to go to work and I was still out there working on stuff in the morning. There where some nights that I worked all night and then went over to Lowes to buy more stuff and work more. I remember one night when me and my old roommate Justin where working out there at 2 or 3 in the morning and there was a knock on the garage door. When the door opened there where two men with thrashed bloody clothes standing there. Me and Justin stood there ready to fight these two thrashed guys when they asked us if they could use the phone. They said they where up on the mountain and there was a fight and a fire and cops all over so they walked down. They must’ve been clear the hell up there because there’s nothing close up there where anyone would go to party.” Photo: Mulligan
When did you start bowling in the garage?
In the first year for sure. I remember Mike Aitken and Tim Thompson trying to figure out who was going to be parking in the garage after it got cleaned out from moving in and I said “Nobody’s parking in there, I’m building a ramp in there.” We just got the mini ramp out back and had leftover wood so I went in there one night and started cutting four foot trannies because I could get four out of each 4’ x 8’ sheet. Nobody has ever parked a car in the garage since the last people that had this house. Funny thing is, the first thing I ever worked on with this house was putting a new garage door opener in. Now the garage door tracks and garage door opener are under the mini ramp. They have been for years. I wonder if the opener even works still.
March 2002, Transworld BMX. “Kitchen perspective. There’s the helmet that inspired the paint job. I got it from my friend Shaun that owed me money. He got it at a thrift store in Ogden. In 1997 I wore that helmet at a contest at an ABA race up in Canada. I had a list of tricks to do and one of them was a double barspin-to-no-footer. The runway for the jump started outside where it was brighter so it was hard for your eyes to be used to the inside by the time you hit the jump. I did a 1.25 barspin and caught the bars at 90 degrees between both arms. The crash is on the GT “Dead Sailor” video. All I remember is waking up in the hospital. I guess they carried me out of the arena on a stretcher and I gave a thumbs up to the crowd. The original pads in the helmet got smashed up all the way and I ended up putting the insides of a different skate helmet in it.” Photo: Mulligan
It seems like the building in the garage kinda reached its limit…
Yeah. It’s bowled all the way around and built up to the ceiling almost everywhere. I always wanted to make a crazy cradle with the first vert corner, but I think it would be too tight and someone would get destroyed. The thing about all the rest of it being filled in so much is that there’s not that much room for more than two or three people to session in there at once.
2004: “The pool paint job/pool coping renovation. The week before Christmas I worked on changing the 2-foot bowl corner into a 4-foot one with pool coping. I even worked on Christmas. A couple days after Christmas it was done with a whole bunch of wood cuts and saw dust in the middle. Me and Rob Wise rode circles around the stuff on the flatbottom and then threw it all out the window and painted the pool. The next day was the first session. I remember Cam, Greg, Rob, Elf, Justin, and a couple other people came up to session it how it got changed. I went in there and pumped around a couple circles and then popped up on the deck. Everyone else took their first run and then I was back in there for my second run. The new corner made for some better speed at the other vert wall and I was doing laps going up to do tables high on the wall. The next thing I knew I was tabling and my tires hit the wall again somehow. This sent me straight down to my face on the flat bottom. I ended up breaking my nose and my face on both sides of my nose. I also split my lip in half all the way up to my nose—good times. Changes in there made for more speed than I knew what to do with I guess.” Photo: Zielinski
How have your neighbors reacted to your evolving yard over the years?
The people that used to live to the east of us at first, they wouldn’t ever look over. I know that it was over a year that we lived here and I had never even met them. One day I just finally walked over and introduced myself and just said, “I hope you guys just don’t completely hate us.” They were nice and said that they didn’t hate us. They just kept to themselves almost all the time. The neighbors on both sides have always been cool. There’s been a couple times when new people moved in both of those houses and I was always worried about somebody moving in and shutting us down. Actually, I think I’ve probably had the coolest neighbors ever for not calling the cops on some of the wild times that we’ve had here. A lot of the times I’ve thought to myself, I would have called the cops if I were them.
2006: “Ahhh… The GnarBQ. Some of the most drastic changes to this place brought together an amazing group of people for one of the best jams ever. Extensions on both sides of the ramp to make going off the roof less insane (Rob did it before the extensions were there, the footage got lost with my camera, sorry Rob). The rail off the mini, a couple other things too, but most importantly, the deck—I rented a saw from Home Depot and cut the bricks out of the house to make the window by the kitchen into a door. Friends helped me put the deck up. It was all a real serious project, but when we got this far it was one of the best days that has ever happened here. BF jumped off the roof and then back up the roof on the other side. LeForce played on the deck of the ramp… so many things went down, it was amazing. I think that’s the start of when I started buying green paint to go with the trees so this place didn’t look so crazy for the neighbors.” Photo: Zielinski
How many different roommates have you had?
Wow, let me think. At first it was me, Tim Thompson, Mike Aitken, Justin Miljour, and Pat Kendall. Over the years there have been a lot of roommates that have come and gone. Some of them I don’t even know what ever happened to them and where they are now. Bowling Ball, Zon, Josh Laurio, Brandy, Clint Peters, Brian Miller, Jeff Brown, Dave Thompson, and Ethan Spaulding. So I guess there’s been 13 other people that have lived here besides me.
2006: “GnarBQ… Me, Rob, and BF up on the roof to start the roof jumping off session. This is when I’m eyeing up the drop to the extension deck. I thought that one of those black PVC things was going to catch my pegs so I kicked it off (one of the many things that I thrashed around here without thinking about the consequences—“living in the now” I guess). One of the crazy things that happened when we were going off the roof was A.J. Anaya climbing up there. He said, “Hey Matt, do you think we could get that guitar player to move over a little bit?” I told him that he’d be fine and just to go off the side of the ramp the first time. He told me “Yeah, but I want to triple whip that hip.” I went over and had somebody get the LeForce guitar player to move over a little bit and A.J. went off the roof for his first time and triple whipped the hip.” Sequence: Zielinski
Are there any specific ones worth mentioning, because they were crazy, weird, or just awesome?
Damn, that makes me think of so many stories of good and bad things that have happened here. I’m just going to say that I’m better friends with some of them now than when they lived here, I miss some of them being a roommate here, some of them I’d rather never see again, a couple of them owe me money, and one of them has a car buried in my back yard. You can be really good friends with some people, but when it comes to living with them, that’s another story.
Who have been some of your favorite people to watch ride your yard?
“Ahh… the old video edit room. For a long time I thought I was going to be making another video, but it just didn’t pan out. I got that computer from Utah Ryan Young probably a couple years after I moved in here. That computer is the computer that he made the videos “Thunder”, “Generation”, “S&M 4″, and him and [Dave] Parrick used it to edit “Nowhere Fast”. It’s also the computer that I learned how to edit on when I went out and stayed with Utah Ryan and made “The Beginning.” Some of the stuff that I did put together with it while living here is that Mike Aitken part that was edited to the Doors “Five to One” (I think it was in the extras of “Fit Life”). I also made an S&M commercial that was on Props “Megatour 2″ and my part in S&M “Please Kill Me.” I still have it and I know it has some random stuff on it that was never used for anything, I just need to get a new cable to hook up the monitor because I lost it somewhere in this big mess of a house.” Photo: Zielinski
Mike Aitken, Brian Foster, Drew Bezanson, Hucker, Garrett Reynolds, Taj, Rob Wise, A.J. Anaya, Clint Reynolds, Def Paul, Josh Hult, Chris Doyle, Corey Bohan, Heath Pinter, Chase Hawk, Tony Cardona, Randy Brown, Ryan Nyquist, Cam Wood, Elf, Pinko, Rooftop, Aaron Ross, Bas Keep, Corey Martinez, Jamie Bestwick, Van Homan, Kevin Porter, Big Daddy, Fuzzy, Jonesey Fedderson, Ethan, Cody Gessel, Pantyboy, Greg Ingersol… I guess that’s a short list of people that I can think of off the top of my head. The amount of people that have shredded here makes it hard to think of ’em all.
“The shed has been one of the most popular things here that people have wanted to come session. At one point it had a little transition with a deck at the top edge and some people called it “the shred.” It has my old roommate Bowling Ball’s car buried in the lip to it. He smashed it up in the front side yard and a couple days later we moved it into the back yard, partied, then smashed it up a bunch more before flipping it upside down. The next day we flipped it back over and moved it over in front of the shed and added a little dirt to the side, then more and more. Besides all that, the shed’s really just a quick on off hill thing that people want to get stuff done on. This picture is so long ago, probably 2004or ’05. Back then tailwhips weren’t something that was very common in Utah so it was so sick that Rob threw one down off that drop. Nobody ever looks in the shed, if they did they’d see the sketchiest old little couch, a sequence of Aitken 180ing on and half-Cabing off, plenty of 2x4s and 4x4s reinforcing it, and a Hell of a lot of spiders and spiderwebs.” Photo: Zielinski
What are some of the sickest things you’ve witnessed back there?
Brian Foster jumping off the roof and then hipping from the old extension to the hip landing out of the mini doing one hand tables, BF going off the roof, then up onto the roof on the other side, Hucker front flipping off the shed, Aitken, off the roof and then hipping over the deck into the roller ramp during a Halloween party at night with a bunch of dumb asses on the deck, Drew Bezanson jamming down the waterslide and then tailwhipping over the dish (even jumping it), Josh Hult tailwhipping over the shed and then trying to double whip it, A.J., off the roof-to-triple whipping the hips on both sides, Rob Wise icepicking the window ledge from the mini over the part that I side wallrode, Garrett Reynolds double trucking off the shed, Cam Wood caveman off the roof into the mini, Rob Wise dropping off the roof into the mini before the extensions where there, Taj downside whip transfer onto the shed-to-360 off, Taj 540 tailtapping the tight tranny steep bank thing on coping the whole time.
“Mike Aitken, 180 onto the shed and half Cab off. I think that this is probably 2005? This is one of the most bad-ass things that’s been done on the shed because to keep speed up that hill to make the half Cab off can’t be easy. Another thing about this, he only does a half crank when he’s on the shed roof so he’s doing that half Cab drop with his feet switched. Mike’s style of doing this…. well, it’s Mike’s style. It’s pretty hard to put it into words talking about this sequence. I guess I’ll just shut up and let the picture do the talking.” Sequence: Zielinski
I know some summers would get really crazy with riders from out of town wanting to come visit and ride at your house. Can you describe what it was like during the craziest, most hectic time?
Yeah, there has been some crazy times when people would come into town and stay here and then I’d get a day before I left town and then when I got back there’d be more people here. Sometimes it’s been team after team. I guess it was 2010 when I cracked my skull at FDR. I came back here and couldn’t do anything for a couple months. Then Road Fools 18 came here, and then another team or crew, then the DC guys, then another crew, and then some of the S&M team came here. It’s really cool to see what people do when they come ride here and I’m glad people are psyched to come ride, but sometimes it’s like a rerun session to me. Everybody’s cool, but there’s been times when it just seems like this place is a free skatepark/motel. I won’t get anything done in my machine shop or really have time to think about anything besides being a host around here. This place is kind of off and on, it’s either really busy and crazy with people or it’s just empty and dead. That’s how it is lately with it being winter. It’s sad. As for people coming from crazy places, there have been people from Australia, South Africa, Japan, England, and even Idaho. I know there have been people from a lot more places around the world, but it’s just hard to keep track because there’s been so many people that have come through town.