Mike Lima Bravo AKA MLB AKA Major League Building is somewhere now between 6-12 months old. A fairly new concept we pushed last year highlighting the underground scene of mountain biking, inspired by the trail builders who you've probably never even seen or heard of. If you ride the bike parks a lot and operate on a pay to play system then chances are when you ride other / local places for free you wont fully appreciate the time and effort it takes to build and maintain the trails especially when this hardcore select few do it for nothing more than the love of their spot.
( Two of the OG brainstormers who helped MLB Become a reality )
So for me (COV) personally it started around 3 years back when I went to a local spot and met the trail builders in the woods. As most people assume on initial contact with trail builders you're going to get some sort of abuse or bad mouthing for being in the woods having never set an uncalloused pair of hands on a shovel or mattock. My personal experience says that things couldn't be further from the truth. I think this is some sort of myth made up so people have an excuse to not want to help build trails, or potentially an idea that is engrained in to the BMX trails scene of "no dig no ride". Now, I'm certainly not qualified enough to talk about that scene nor do i want to get in to the politics of it all its just merely how i see things having been a trail builder at that said local spot for 3 years.
(Big sko reshaping the lip after ejecting out the front door on the first try)
So my first impressions of seeing this bunch of lads on the tools was super motivating, they were a rugged looking hardcore bunch of dirt bags who appeared to love Building trails more than the actual riding itself. I've come to find in time that is also the case with me, don't get me wrong I love riding but its taken a back seat as of late (family,work,other hobbies, life etc) so any time I'm up in the wood its almost certainly with a shovel in my hand. There's something therapeutic about beasting yourself all day mainly in the winter months filling barrows and stacking the dirt high. Its a sense of being uncommon amongst common people, the fact that nobody else wants to be out in the rain,snow,sleet,sidewards wind for months on end to create something so beautiful that can be enjoyed for funnily enough only a small percentage of the time it took to create for that years dry season. The fact that no one else wants to do it is what fuels the fire for the lads and makes the bond amongst the trail builders a lot tighter.
So how does this all tie in with MLB??. You can take the building aspect and isolate it solely to trail building but what it actually represents is the whole scene at these local spots. The people who come and help litter pick or sweep trails the people that collect water and help tarp up at the end of the sessions. The people who help "BUILD" the local scene. I feel people may not be able to get down with MLB as its not really for them. Again from my personal experience what I've found is people will tell you what they think you want to hear just so they can come and ride but what the trail builders (at least at my local spot) want is a solid community where everyone helps everyone and as the saying goes "More hands make light work". Its actually surprising how welcoming the trail building community is and also as equally surprising is how well you'll be received if you show up to help even if its just for an hour before you all ride together.
(The first ever MLB design layed on a T-shirt)
I'm not preaching here or at least I don't think I am, I'm just trying to give people who are unaware of how local spots works a heads up and how everyone can ride together with a smile on their faces. Which if were being honest that's what we all want at the end of the day.
This is just a brief insight in to a series of Blogs that will be created on a few little local spots and the trail builders who make the insane riding possible. Locations will be kept private out of respect of the spots and the years of work gone in to them but hopefully you can take something away from the upcoming pieces and hopefully we can all ride together in harmony, given we all do our bit to help !!!!
( local ripper and loose cannon trails builder Cal Needham letting her fly with style)
For anyone wanting to check out the MLB range of T-shirts simply type in MLB on the website search bar and et voila you should see the small range we've got running. The next few blogs will be getting drip fed in the next month or so so keep your eyes peeled Homies
BANANA BOYZ X