Save Vert Riding
Vert riding is not the most popular aspect of BMX in todays climate of foot high ledge warriors and resi smashers (not that there is anything wrong with that) however, Vert riding has played a huge role in building the sport and is still relevant today in big competitions like the X-Games and Dew Tour. So why is it that there are less and less vert ramps being built?
To break it down to it's most simplest form, it is because they take up huge amounts of space, cost a lot to build and maintain, and quite frankly, kids are scared to even ride the things. So when I heard that Adrenaline Alley's vert ramp located in Corby was seeking donations to have the ramp resurfaced, I had to use whatever influence I had working at Vital BMX and spread the cause by post something.
The ramp has been the host of many vert competitions in the UK and hosted the first ever stop of the UK Vert Series (which is a great series and I recommend you all take a chance and enter). Unfortunately since it's been built it has had no maintenance and requires a lot of work. We reached out to Zach Shaw the creator of the UK Vert Series to explain the situation going on at Adrenaline Alley and to give you some words on why it's important to donate and help fix it.
"For as long as I can remember I have always looked at Halfpipe riding as the pinnacle of BMX riding and the riders as the gladiators of BMX.
From very early on all the greats of BMX seemed to have cut their teeth on Vert (and yep they lost a few along the way) Hoffman, Mirra, Miron, Bestwick, Tabron, Canning, Guillotte, Barnett, Dye, Reynolds, Galley etc , etc.
I have seen some wild stuff go down all over the World on all sorts of different Vert ramps in so many different countries, Eindhoven in 96 where Bestwick, Galley and Tabron went head to head at the Worlds, Galley did the biggest 360 to fakie I have ever seen and landed hard falling off the back fast enough for his crash helmet to get ejected off his head as he hit the floor, damn! Most of us thought his head had come off! Or watching Mirra, Miron, and Hoffman go head to head at loads of BS contests in the USA, or recently seeing Kagy finally win X-Games after coming through the ranks after switching from park!
We kept that Vert dream alive by pushing ourselves the whole time.
For the last 7 years in the UK we have had the No1 Vert facility in Europe at Adrenaline Alley in Corby, and its now badly in need of refurbishment and a new top surface.
Its important that we look after this Vert ramp as this is the only place I know of that was purpose built (the building was designed around the Vert ramp) and has a resi of this size and width.
If we look after it now there will be a new generation of riders who can learn the crazy highs and lows of Vert riding, if we let it go then something like this will probably never exist again in the UK in our lifetime, can we take that chance?
If The ramp is lost all the amazing UK & European talent that I see riding Park, Street & Dirt will never have the opportunity to try something new as they mature as a BMX rider, I didn’t commit to riding Vert fully until I was 28 years old, before that I was a street, park & dirt rider (my first interview in a UK mag was riding pinner trails).
The management at the Adrenaline Alley have invested heavily in developing the Skatepark and in the new rooms for the younger generation of riders so have no money for the foreseeable future to resurface the Vert ramp, we have a deal in place that will secure the future of the Halfpipe if we can raise the money for the refurbishment.
We need to raise £3000 to get the ramp resurfaced and checked over, Shaun and the boys at Four one Four are going to do this at cost and are providing free labour.
If all BMX riders could please donate all you can to get the Vert ramp resurfaced and secure the future of Vert riding in the UK, you never know who will turn out to be the next Jamie Bestwick or Simon Tabron?
You may not want to ride this ramp now but in the future you might? If it goes then you will never get the chance.
Thanks guys, give up a couple of pints on a friday night and put some money in please.
UK BMX Vert & Park Series"
If you wish to donate to the park, please visit the following link to donate - http://www.gofundme.com/bhqcuc
Do not be afraid to try riding vert. It may be big, it may be scary, but when you get used to riding such a big ramp, it can be the most exciting thing you'll ride.