Building the Backyard “Maim Frame”


As it stands, we have a great starting point
for downhill trails on Berm Peak. We have a route to the summit, an official
trailhead, and a big roll-in called the Flight Deck. We even have a map of the property, and a
rough layout of what our future trail system could look like. Today, we continue our work on Woodpecker,
the first of our downhill trails. I’m trying to make the most of the land
up here in Stumpthorne, and that means I can’t just choose the path of least resistance. There are quite a few dead trees in the way,
and although they work great for lining the trail, I need to move them all myself. A lot of you have asked why I don’t buy
or rent a machine, like a mini excavator or skid steer. It would make building go a lot quicker, and
allow us to build bike park features like jumps. But I want to become proficient at hand cutting
before we get into any of that. Hand cut trails have great character. They can be built surgically, keeping the
underlying root systems intact. This keeps them narrow, loamy, and beautiful. Not that there’s anything wrong with machine
cut trails…no. Machine cut trails can be awesome, but hand
cut singletrack is quickly becoming an endangered species. I want to give it a chance to flourish here
on Berm Peak, and that means this is going to take time, and sweat. But out here in Stumpthorne, there’s not
much to do besides route the trail, clear corridor, and rake. We won’t need to cut bench or anything like
that until we get to the steeper parts of the property. And that means, we can finish this trail rather
quickly. Woodpecker can now be ridden as a loop, climbing
back to the trailhead by middle and upper Berm Peak Express. The climb only takes a minute or so, and the
trail itself lasts just under 30 seconds. Given the remaining elevation we have, that
means a 1 to 2 minute downhill run is absolutely in our future. Better yet, we’ve completed this loop just
in time for some special visitors. Phil and Hailey are in town, and this is the
first time they’re seeing any of this stuff. Phil is a connoisseur of sketchy features. Last year he visited me at Berm Creek after
I broke my collar bone, and dug some pretty insane stuff in the snow. I guess we’ll just pick up where we left
off. We started thinking of a feature we could
build in one day, and strongly considered an A frame like this one. Instead, we opted for a slightly modified
A frame with a turn at the top. Go straight, and nosedive off the end. This would be less of an A frame, and more
of a Maim Frame. With a little planning and some preparation,
we’d be ready to jump into this project full force the following morning. And that, would require some digging. Aside from some post holes we haven’t dug
much on Berm Peak. One thing I’ve noticed is the total lack
of rocks. This has destroyed my dreams of uncovering
amazing rock rolls, but you never know what’s lurking on the other side of the property. Still, this clay packs really well and will
make for great dirt features down the line. This clay is also great for securing posts. We’re not using concrete mix out on the
trail, so dirt needs to be tamped down really aggressively after each shovel full. If any settling occurs and the feature ends
up being slightly off level, life will go on. And indeed these kinds of projects involve
a lot more guess work than even I’m used to. To make this stuff fit the terrain and get
all the angles right, a tape measure and level can’t do all the leg work. We won’t really know how this thing rides
until it’s done. Some of you may notice that we’re also using
different lumber. Most of the stuff I’ve built outside has
been made of treated pine, which is soaked in this slimy preservative. That helps the wood resist decay, but it also
makes it risky to handle without gloves, and dangerously slippery when wet. So I’ve been experimenting with rot resistant
hardwoods from my local sawmill. These locust planks are from the low grade
pile, so they’re the planks with all the knots, bows, and twists that people don’t
want for building decks. The roughness and inconsistency makes them
cheaper than the appearance grade stuff, and grippier on bike tires. This stuff is hard to work with. It pushes my Ryobi saw to its limits and dulls
drill bits, but it’s very strong and as I said, makes for great traction. Given the safety and environmental benefits,
it’s worth using out here. Between the holes, moving supplies around,
and actually putting this all together. Constructing the maim frame took the better
part of a day. But with a little bit of light to spare, we
were ready to actually ride the Maim Frame. In the future I’ll alter the trail to improve
the approach, but as is, the Maim Frame is really challenging just to get over. Of course, that didn’t stop Phil from tryin
to air it—and attempting to ride it from the other side. In typical Phil fashion, he cleaned it after
a few tries, but for me this would be a slightly bigger challenge. When we last left off with Kevin, he was sending
these huge jumps at Windrock on a cheap used downhill bike. But the Maim Frame is unlike anything he’s
ever ridden before. We can improve the approach to the maim frame
with fairly little work, but in the future I’m going to spend more time focusing on
the approach to features like this. I couldn’t have pulled this off in one day
without Phil, Hailey, and Kevin’s help, so definitely check out their very different
YouTube channels below. As excited as I am about the Maim Frame, I’m
even more excited about having an actual loop on Berm Peak. With each home improvement project, we’ll
add to Woodpecker until it lives up to its name, and then move on to building more trail. Until we break ground again, thanks for riding
with me today and I’ll see you next time.

100 Replies to “Building the Backyard “Maim Frame””

  1. Hand made single track becoming extinct? In Scotland where I’m from I could die for just 1 jump made by an excavator lol
    My town has a good community around building trails but the people who own it say it has to be natural features and boy do the people make some amazing stuff from a few old logs

  2. I think he should make some rock garden. Like just get a shit ton of rocks and a bulldozer and mix up the ground and the rocks.

  3. Seth you should try using some grip tape on the timber where you walk and stuff or ride give it a go will add to grip and could look cool

  4. Seth motivated me to start my biking again. I locked my bike away in my garage because reasons, but I've taken it out, cleaned it up and started my riding again. I've never felt better, mentally and physically. Thank you Seth

  5. Phil: does crazy thing with ease. Also Phil: only encouragement for someone having more difficulty on it than him. Be like Phil.

  6. Insane in the maimframe! Looking good Seth. Ever think about turning some of those long logs into skinnies on the side of the trail as a brief alternative line? Just shave/crosshatch the top and bottom. Bevel the entrance and exit

  7. Maybe you could SHOOT off the right side of the MAIM (another ramp maybe) and do a long, speedy downhilll to a super BIG jump OVER the driveway!!!!

  8. I don’t wanna rush it cause you just did this stuff but around 2:44 ish when you hit the corner you should put a birm by the tree not a huge one but one that you can get some speed and air off of

  9. I have a suggestion, probably not a good one though,

    Make a track called “Skinny” and make it a very narrow trail with a lot of challenging features, like a lot of jumps and wooden features. It would be an interesting sight if you actually do this though

  10. Your original house/trail inspired me to do similar work on my track in my local hills. After nearly 2 years the 1st stage is almost complete. Its all hand cut like yours. I agree, they are the best type of trail. Part of why i got into MTB was the view/nature. Wish i could show you pics at what youve inspired. Cheers from NZ bro. I know what you mean by feature guess work. The ammount of times ive made something, then ridden it and had to alter. But thats part of the fun imo, trail and error :p Ive been using old pallets that were going to the rubbish for my wood. Similar to your rough stuff. PS : can i come live at your house…. so awesome. And a great bunch of dudes/dudette to hang with

  11. I am now obsessed and fully invested in this project. you do amazing work and take litte shortcuts. so awesome, keep up the good work!

  12. Your videos are the best and your the only reason I started mountain biking, and started a little group of people to start just having fun.

  13. Yeah man, keep it hand built unless you are building big jumps or flow trail in the open. You don't know how lucky you are, we pretty much have to bench every meter of trail.

  14. Seth you should try a sub compact tractor. It’s small could come with a backhoe, mower deck and a loader. Just a thought. Thanks for another amazing video!!

  15. Yesterday I was riding I crashed pretty hard and got knocked out how do you get up and ride it again without being scared?

  16. Wooden Lawsuit score. Berm Creek 3 – Berm Peak 2. Berm Creek still ahead…just. Berm Creek still the champ though with coolest feature: Drama drop, and most original feature: Sicknic table. Berm Peak gotta up it's game. Here's an idea: When you have a spot in mind for a feature, come up with a couple of options and let us plebs vote on which one you should build. Please let us choose one of the Wooden Lawsuits.

  17. At 3:11 wher Kevin stopped you should make a mini dirt jump and if you do add a berm like Kevin said you could get a lot off speed and clear it

  18. Not sure if the run up allows it but a small berm or wall ride on the side of the maim frame would be a sweet alternative!

  19. how you didn't outright slash halfway through your tire on that slide amazes me.

    Can also see Kevin upgraded to a nomad?

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