Are you being productive in lockdown? British mountain biker Matt Jones has been – getting the all clear from his fiancé, then hauling in 100 tons of dirt to sculpt a slopestyle course in his backyard to hone his riding from home. Oh yeah, and he’s got a killer new Marin Alcatraz DJ bike to shred with too!
Matt Jones’ Backyard Lockdown Slopestyle course
The 26-year-old slopestyle rider went into pandemic lockdown at home in Bedfordshire, England this spring thinking it would be a while until he got back to big international competition, or even being able to really train for whenever Crankworx or other big Slopestyle events would return. But instead of sitting on his hands, Jones enlisted friend and videographer Ben to move in & help dig in. The backyard was originally planned as just a dog run for trusty pooch Moose, but when his wife-to-be gave the OK, the boys took over half of the back garden.
How did he do it? All By Hand!
The result are a few expertly crafted jump lines – with 100 tons of dirt & clay moved by wheelbarrow and carefully sculpted by hand. To be fair, they apparently rigged up a trailer to the ride-on mower to move some of the dirt a bit faster.
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“The course starts with three rollers that splits into five pump track and technical lines that can be navigated over 10 different ways with a step-up, chunky spine, shark fin, hip and big jump that gives Jones enough challenges to stay in tune with his bike.” The features aren’t quite the massive 4m/13′ size you’ll find on big mountain slopestyle tracks. But topping out at 1.4m/4.5′ there’s plenty to work with. “The ‘narwhal’ goes almost vertical at its clay lip, so Jones could drift backwards across to the big jump, while the chunky spine was made of rock hard clay.”
“With having so much time, it was important to find a way to keep riding my bike, this was the only solution,” said Jones. “The aim wasn’t about doing massive tricks, just staying on my bike and keeping fit and active with my riding.”
By the way, see that video is episode 22 of Jones’ lockdown, feel free to dive in deep with him over on his YouTube channel.
Pro Bike Check: Matt Jones custom Marin Alcatraz dirt jump bike
Marin says they worked with Jones to develop their 6061 alloy Alcatraz dirt jump bike. And he gets a pretty killer custom build for his own backyard track.
Start with a custom Ohlins dirt jump fork for its 26″ wheels and tapered headtube. Then throw in what Jones says were the first ever set of 165mm titanium Cane Creek eeWings cranks (which you can get now, too.)