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Building & Riding a FAST wooden berm

Building & Riding a FAST wooden berm
The Kevin jump is lookin pretty rough. It’s been raining, snowing, freezing, thawing, and just being winter. But all things considered, we have it pretty good here, and on a nice day like today I can get these features running again in not too much time. But the

wooden

lip we built requires zero time to get running. And every time I perform a task like tuning up this

berm

, it makes me wonder how we’ll keep this place running when I have 5 or 6 of them. And it just so happens that we do need another

berm

, or something. If you can make it to the landing of this iconic testament to sketchiness, there’s a 90 degree turn which of course requires heavy braking. You then need to sprint to make it up the next grade reversal, and that’s not so efficient. But if we’re gonna build a

berm

here, its definitely going to be made of wood. The only problem is, I’ve never built a

wooden

berm

. Of course, the other Seth just built an incredible plywood

berm

on his

wooden

pump track. We could just copy his plans, but plywood won’t have the traction we need with dirty tires. Our

berm

will need be made from planks. Or in the case of our model, popsicle sticks. Since I’ve never built a

wooden

berm

before, this is a good experiment for working out the bugs. And it’s already apparent that we’ll need to make some changes on the real version. We’ll need to anchor it to the ground, and find a secure way to

fast

en the planks—Unless someone has a giant hot glue gun. One thing I did...
building riding a fast wooden berm
learn from

building

the model is that the radius of a

berm

increases as you move from the inside to the outside. Based on the measurements of a rough survey, I’m cutting the inside radius 10.5 feet, and the outside 11.5. This tape measure makes a much better compass than our old string method since it doesn’t stretch. Whenever we cut these transitions, we’re left with these seemingly useless off-cuts. But with the addition of the table saw, we can easily rip them down and use them as stakes to anchor the

berm

to the ground. Unlike a dirt

berm

, our

wooden

berm

isn’t going to curve from bottom to top. It’ll be flat, kind of like a wall ride. But unlike a wall ride, it’ll be angled at 45 degrees. So that’s the angle I cut these supports at. To join the transitions, I’m simply lapping them and securing them together with lag screws. This won’t need to be too strong since the

berm

will actually get its rigidity from the supports we place behind it. To keep the

berm

from sliding backwards, I’m hammering in the stakes we cut behind the lower radius. To keep the

berm

from tipping backwards, we’re using the bigger stakes and securing them to the supports in the back. Our stake solution ended up working incredibly well, but I was about to run into some design errors that would end up making the project a little more difficult. So the planks would sit flat against the upper radius, I beveled the entire edge at 45 degrees. That’s when the hacking and murdering...
building riding a fast wooden berm
began. On future

berm

projects, I won’t be overlapping the transitions as it creates havoc when trying to get planks to sit flat. Instead I’ll miter and scab them together so they run in a straight line. Now that the tweakery and botchery is complete, we can install the planks. The planks did not go on as easily as they would on a bridge, or a lip. This was another learning experience and in the future I’ll lay out every last plank before securing any so that it looks more even in the end. But I still got it done, and they didn’t look completely terrible. After just a few finishing touches, our

berm

is complete. And it’s solid. But we have yet to find out if it actually works. As usual, I tried to get a little too woodsy and leave that rhododendron on the end. But for reasons which I hope are obvious, it had to come out. This

berm

feels amazing. Everything about it is fun, functional, and addictive. The only thing I would change about it dimensionally, is to add another plank or two to the end to really blast off to the other side of the trail. But, it’s still great. In fact I’m coming out of this

berm

so

fast

that I’m brake checking the next turn, and it needs a

berm

now too. But the real test is to see if we can make it from the first

berm

to the log jump without a pedal stroke. We just barely made it, but that was with a brake check on the third turn. If we add a

berm

there, we’ll have enough speed for a hip jump before the log. In the meantime,

Berm

Peak...
building riding a fast wooden berm
is finally starting to live up to its name! You can now white knuckle this

berm

and carry crazy speed down the trail, well if you can make it that far. And I guess my friends had better practice a little so they can enjoy all the cool stuff we’re

building

further down the trail. Thanks for

riding

with me today and I’ll see you next time.