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Out of Hours – BMX


In the second of our pieces looking at what our staff get up to away from the office, Senior Engineer Andrew Bilsborrow talks about his passion, riding and building BMX jumps.

Ever since I can remember I’ve always loved riding bikes. Mountain bikes, road bikes and even just commuting if it’s got two wheels and some pedals I’m hooked, but the thing I’ve always enjoyed the most is BMX. As soon as I first built a ramp out of the obligatory pile of bricks and a plank in my parents front garden I was hooked.

As my riding progressed the desire to find better and better places to ride grew and grew until eventually the only option was to build my own jumps! It’s a slightly unusual hobby, spending all winter in the woods shaping wet piles of clay just to ride for six months in the summer but I love it. There’s something very therapeutic about the simple task of moving a big pile of earth especially when you know how much fun it’s going to be to ride the following summer.

Over the years, the jumps my friends and I have built have grown and grown. These days we work with the council to make sure the jumps are safe and the woodland they’re in is looked after. One added benefit of building your own jumps is that I get as much pleasure from seeing other people enjoying the jumps as I do from riding them myself.

Whenever possible I also go and visit other people’s jumps. Obviously riding a new set of jumps is always fun but the more I enjoy building our jumps, the more fun I get from seeing the hard work and passion other people put into their spots. From simple shacks to barbecues, intricate drainage systems and even full pizza ovens the only limit to what can be built is your imagination! Over the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of visiting jumps all over the UK, in Spain, France and America.

It really is amazing how far a little bike can take you!

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