In the early years of my adolescence, dirt-biking was a big part of my life and lifestyle.
My friends and I would strip perfectly good road-bikes down to remove any civilizing or sissifying elements (you know, things like safety reflectors, baskets, mud-guards, or brakes) and then take them back into the woods to jump ridiculously unsafe ramps and race around well-worn around dirt loops that had served generations of kids before us, and then likely served countless other kids after we aged out of that particular demographic. (Well, most of us anyway . . . I never really stopped bombing around in the woods on bikes, but that’s a whole ‘nother therapy session, for some other time . . . )
In my 12,500-acre Hidden in Suburbia range, I have found three fantastic deep-woods racetracks over the past decade that clearly have just as much draw for today’s kids as our racetracks had for us all those years ago. Unfortunately, one of those great courses disappeared two summers ago under a new housing development, and I had noticed another new development going up in a different area that looked like it could have obliterated a second one. (I shot the third one as part of an earlier Hidden in Suburbia report this summer, here).
Tonight, I went to check up on that second racetrack, to see if it, too, had succumbed to (so-called) progress. I am pleased to report that the course endures, though it’s even more hidden now than it used to be. While it looks like kids might not be riding there as often as they used to accordingly, there’s still plenty of evidence of those other great woods pastimes: dumping and burning stuff.
To see other Hidden in Suburbia photo essays, click here.