The History Of Matt Beringer’s House – Photo Gallery & Interview

Shortly after moving into his house in 2001, Matt Beringer started off with a mini ramp in the yard, a few ramps in the garage, and then slowly progressed from there with the help of donations, found objects, and whatever else he could get his hands on. Today, it's hard to think of a house that is more consumed by BMX than Beringer's—from his rider roommates, machine shop in the basement, trophy room and BMX memorabilia scattered throughout, the bowled-in garage, and of course, the backyard. Matt's house has become legendary for the ramps, ever changing and expanding backyard setup, and just the aura of wackiness, weirdness, and fun that is Matt Beringer. People from all around the world have made the trek to his small Utah town just to experience the house for themselves—it's become almost like a pilgrimage. With over a decade of hard work and dedication trying to turn his visions into reality, the backyard has become a testament to Matt's love and passion for BMX. With so much history and stories to tell, we let Matt take the reigns and caption all the photos and answer some questions as well. There’s a lot to read here, so prepare yourself! —Jeff Z.

Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
Matt Beringer's House Gallery
“I think that this picture is 2002, I was on SNAFU and we did a road trip that started here and went up to Pocatello, Idaho, and then down to Vegas. This picture really shows what started us out with building stuff around here. Me and three of my roommates at the time each put in $250 to buy this mini ramp from some friends in Salt Lake for $1000. They had to get rid of it because they were moving. It used to have a 12-foot wide spine off the back of it, but we didn’t have room for it. With the leftover wood from the spine part we started the garage ramps.” Photo: Zielinski

How long after moving in did you begin to build ramps? And what came first?
It was in the first year that we got the mini ramp from some friends in Salt Lake City. I remember going down there, taking it apart, and moving it up here on a trailer. It was crazy because one time we had two giant 12 foot wide transition pieces on a trailer like big spoilers. We where driving on the freeway just waiting for the Highway Patrol to roll up next to us and say, “Hey guys, I've been behind you for a while with my lights on." We wouldn’t have known because it was impossible to see behind us.

2004: “This is the year that the Orchid "Step On It" trip started here. The first year that the on-off the shed line was there. One of my old roommates went kind of crazy and smashed up his little Honda Civic in the front side yard. We pushed it into the backyard and smashed it up some more and flipped it over. It’s not very good to wake up with a hangover and look out the back window and see an upside down car in your backyard. We ended up flipping the car back over and when the scrap yard didn’t want to come get it we pushed it up against the shed and put dirt up against it. Like the progression of any trails it got added to and added to until it was completely buried. A lot of people have no idea that there’s a car under the lip to the shed, but I’ll always know that I’m going to have to go through a bunch of shit to get it out of there someday. Other additions are the set between the trick jump and the setup jump that only Aitken could destroy, the addition to the top of the curved wall that Afro Pat did when he stayed here for a while building Fuzzy’z ramps, the sub-rail, and the tight tranny steep angle ramp thing we got when Proving Grounds closed. The curved wall got a paint job when Bob Scerbo, Wiz, and Josh Stricker were passing through on a trip and we had a paint session and some good garage skate sessions. If you watch the T1 video you’ll see Taj downside whip from in front of the sub-rail to on top of the shed and 360 off. Also 540 tap and downside whip to disaster the tight tranny steep wedge thing on the side of the curved wall.” Photo: Mulligan

Was it the plan all along to make the whole yard rideable?
Yeah, the thing is, there used to be a little wood fence between the immediate back yard and the far back yard. Once we got the mini ramp here we just built on stuff in the immediate backyard that linked into the mini ramp. It was a long time before we got a tractor here, then the little fence came down and we started building further back. There’s a slide turn back in the back left corner now that’s as far back as it goes. Walking back to the back fence kind of makes this place seem less than half full still.

March 2002, Transworld BMX. “The garage ramp with the paintjob inspired by the Easy Rider helmet. This is back when everyone started out in the driveway and pedaled from outside. The garage was mostly built in the middle of the night because the neighbors never complained. I remember when my old roommate Timmy Thompson opened up the door to the house when he was getting up to go to work and I was still out there working on stuff in the morning. There where some nights that I worked all night and then went over to Lowes to buy more stuff and work more. I remember one night when me and my old roommate Justin where working out there at 2 or 3 in the morning and there was a knock on the garage door. When the door opened there where two men with thrashed bloody clothes standing there. Me and Justin stood there ready to fight these two thrashed guys when they asked us if they could use the phone. They said they where up on the mountain and there was a fight and a fire and cops all over so they walked down. They must’ve been clear the hell up there because there’s nothing close up there where anyone would go to party.” Photo: Mulligan

When did you start bowling in the garage?
In the first year for sure. I remember Mike Aitken and Tim Thompson trying to figure out who was going to be parking in the garage after it got cleaned out from moving in and I said “Nobody’s parking in there, I’m building a ramp in there." We just got the mini ramp out back and had leftover wood so I went in there one night and started cutting four foot trannies because I could get four out of each 4' x 8' sheet. Nobody has ever parked a car in the garage since the last people that had this house. Funny thing is, the first thing I ever worked on with this house was putting a new garage door opener in. Now the garage door tracks and garage door opener are under the mini ramp. They have been for years. I wonder if the opener even works still.

March 2002, Transworld BMX. “Kitchen perspective. There’s the helmet that inspired the paint job. I got it from my friend Shaun that owed me money. He got it at a thrift store in Ogden. In 1997 I wore that helmet at a contest at an ABA race up in Canada. I had a list of tricks to do and one of them was a double barspin-to-no-footer. The runway for the jump started outside where it was brighter so it was hard for your eyes to be used to the inside by the time you hit the jump. I did a 1.25 barspin and caught the bars at 90 degrees between both arms. The crash is on the GT “Dead Sailor” video. All I remember is waking up in the hospital. I guess they carried me out of the arena on a stretcher and I gave a thumbs up to the crowd. The original pads in the helmet got smashed up all the way and I ended up putting the insides of a different skate helmet in it.” Photo: Mulligan

It seems like the building in the garage kinda reached its limit…
Yeah. It’s bowled all the way around and built up to the ceiling almost everywhere. I always wanted to make a crazy cradle with the first vert corner, but I think it would be too tight and someone would get destroyed. The thing about all the rest of it being filled in so much is that there’s not that much room for more than two or three people to session in there at once.

2004: “The pool paint job/pool coping renovation. The week before Christmas I worked on changing the 2-foot bowl corner into a 4-foot one with pool coping. I even worked on Christmas. A couple days after Christmas it was done with a whole bunch of wood cuts and saw dust in the middle. Me and Rob Wise rode circles around the stuff on the flatbottom and then threw it all out the window and painted the pool. The next day was the first session. I remember Cam, Greg, Rob, Elf, Justin, and a couple other people came up to session it how it got changed. I went in there and pumped around a couple circles and then popped up on the deck. Everyone else took their first run and then I was back in there for my second run. The new corner made for some better speed at the other vert wall and I was doing laps going up to do tables high on the wall. The next thing I knew I was tabling and my tires hit the wall again somehow. This sent me straight down to my face on the flat bottom. I ended up breaking my nose and my face on both sides of my nose. I also split my lip in half all the way up to my nose—good times. Changes in there made for more speed than I knew what to do with I guess.” Photo: Zielinski

How have your neighbors reacted to your evolving yard over the years?
The people that used to live to the east of us at first, they wouldn’t ever look over. I know that it was over a year that we lived here and I had never even met them. One day I just finally walked over and introduced myself and just said, "I hope you guys just don’t completely hate us." They were nice and said that they didn’t hate us. They just kept to themselves almost all the time. The neighbors on both sides have always been cool. There’s been a couple times when new people moved in both of those houses and I was always worried about somebody moving in and shutting us down. Actually, I think I’ve probably had the coolest neighbors ever for not calling the cops on some of the wild times that we’ve had here. A lot of the times I’ve thought to myself, I would have called the cops if I were them.

2006: “Ahhh… The GnarBQ. Some of the most drastic changes to this place brought together an amazing group of people for one of the best jams ever. Extensions on both sides of the ramp to make going off the roof less insane (Rob did it before the extensions were there, the footage got lost with my camera, sorry Rob). The rail off the mini, a couple other things too, but most importantly, the deck—I rented a saw from Home Depot and cut the bricks out of the house to make the window by the kitchen into a door. Friends helped me put the deck up. It was all a real serious project, but when we got this far it was one of the best days that has ever happened here. BF jumped off the roof and then back up the roof on the other side. LeForce played on the deck of the ramp… so many things went down, it was amazing. I think that’s the start of when I started buying green paint to go with the trees so this place didn’t look so crazy for the neighbors.” Photo: Zielinski

How many different roommates have you had?
Wow, let me think. At first it was me, Tim Thompson, Mike Aitken, Justin Miljour, and Pat Kendall. Over the years there have been a lot of roommates that have come and gone. Some of them I don’t even know what ever happened to them and where they are now. Bowling Ball, Zon, Josh Laurio, Brandy, Clint Peters, Brian Miller, Jeff Brown, Dave Thompson, and Ethan Spaulding. So I guess there’s been 13 other people that have lived here besides me.

2006: “GnarBQ… Me, Rob, and BF up on the roof to start the roof jumping off session. This is when I’m eyeing up the drop to the extension deck. I thought that one of those black PVC things was going to catch my pegs so I kicked it off (one of the many things that I thrashed around here without thinking about the consequences—"living in the now” I guess). One of the crazy things that happened when we were going off the roof was A.J. Anaya climbing up there. He said, "Hey Matt, do you think we could get that guitar player to move over a little bit?" I told him that he’d be fine and just to go off the side of the ramp the first time. He told me "Yeah, but I want to triple whip that hip." I went over and had somebody get the LeForce guitar player to move over a little bit and A.J. went off the roof for his first time and triple whipped the hip.” Sequence: Zielinski

Are there any specific ones worth mentioning, because they were crazy, weird, or just awesome?
Damn, that makes me think of so many stories of good and bad things that have happened here. I’m just going to say that I’m better friends with some of them now than when they lived here, I miss some of them being a roommate here, some of them I’d rather never see again, a couple of them owe me money, and one of them has a car buried in my back yard. You can be really good friends with some people, but when it comes to living with them, that’s another story.

“Ahh… the old video edit room. For a long time I thought I was going to be making another video, but it just didn't pan out. I got that computer from Utah Ryan Young probably a couple years after I moved in here. That computer is the computer that he made the videos “Thunder”, “Generation”, “S&M 4”, and him and [Dave] Parrick used it to edit “Nowhere Fast”. It's also the computer that I learned how to edit on when I went out and stayed with Utah Ryan and made “The Beginning.” Some of the stuff that I did put together with it while living here is that Mike Aitken part that was edited to the Doors “Five to One” (I think it was in the extras of “Fit Life”). I also made an S&M commercial that was on Props “Megatour 2” and my part in S&M “Please Kill Me.” I still have it and I know it has some random stuff on it that was never used for anything, I just need to get a new cable to hook up the monitor because I lost it somewhere in this big mess of a house.” Photo: Zielinski
Who have been some of your favorite people to watch ride your yard?
Mike Aitken, Brian Foster, Drew Bezanson, Hucker, Garrett Reynolds, Taj, Rob Wise, A.J. Anaya, Clint Reynolds, Def Paul, Josh Hult, Chris Doyle, Corey Bohan, Heath Pinter, Chase Hawk, Tony Cardona, Randy Brown, Ryan Nyquist, Cam Wood, Elf, Pinko, Rooftop, Aaron Ross, Bas Keep, Corey Martinez, Jamie Bestwick, Van Homan, Kevin Porter, Big Daddy, Fuzzy, Jonesey Fedderson, Ethan, Cody Gessel, Pantyboy, Greg Ingersol… I guess that’s a short list of people that I can think of off the top of my head. The amount of people that have shredded here makes it hard to think of 'em all.

“The shed has been one of the most popular things here that people have wanted to come session. At one point it had a little transition with a deck at the top edge and some people called it “the shred.” It has my old roommate Bowling Ball’s car buried in the lip to it. He smashed it up in the front side yard and a couple days later we moved it into the back yard, partied, then smashed it up a bunch more before flipping it upside down. The next day we flipped it back over and moved it over in front of the shed and added a little dirt to the side, then more and more. Besides all that, the shed’s really just a quick on off hill thing that people want to get stuff done on. This picture is so long ago, probably 2004or '05. Back then tailwhips weren't something that was very common in Utah so it was so sick that Rob threw one down off that drop. Nobody ever looks in the shed, if they did they’d see the sketchiest old little couch, a sequence of Aitken 180ing on and half-Cabing off, plenty of 2x4s and 4x4s reinforcing it, and a Hell of a lot of spiders and spiderwebs.” Photo: Zielinski

What are some of the sickest things you've witnessed back there?
Brian Foster jumping off the roof and then hipping from the old extension to the hip landing out of the mini doing one hand tables, BF going off the roof, then up onto the roof on the other side, Hucker front flipping off the shed, Aitken, off the roof and then hipping over the deck into the roller ramp during a Halloween party at night with a bunch of dumb asses on the deck, Drew Bezanson jamming down the waterslide and then tailwhipping over the dish (even jumping it), Josh Hult tailwhipping over the shed and then trying to double whip it, A.J., off the roof-to-triple whipping the hips on both sides, Rob Wise icepicking the window ledge from the mini over the part that I side wallrode, Garrett Reynolds double trucking off the shed, Cam Wood caveman off the roof into the mini, Rob Wise dropping off the roof into the mini before the extensions where there, Taj downside whip transfer onto the shed-to-360 off, Taj 540 tailtapping the tight tranny steep bank thing on coping the whole time.

“Mike Aitken, 180 onto the shed and half Cab off. I think that this is probably 2005? This is one of the most bad-ass things that’s been done on the shed because to keep speed up that hill to make the half Cab off can’t be easy. Another thing about this, he only does a half crank when he’s on the shed roof so he’s doing that half Cab drop with his feet switched. Mike’s style of doing this…. well, it’s Mike’s style. It’s pretty hard to put it into words talking about this sequence. I guess I’ll just shut up and let the picture do the talking.” Sequence: Zielinski

I know some summers would get really crazy with riders from out of town wanting to come visit and ride at your house. Can you describe what it was like during the craziest, most hectic time?
Yeah, there has been some crazy times when people would come into town and stay here and then I’d get a day before I left town and then when I got back there’d be more people here. Sometimes it’s been team after team. I guess it was 2010 when I cracked my skull at FDR. I came back here and couldn’t do anything for a couple months. Then Road Fools 18 came here, and then another team or crew, then the DC guys, then another crew, and then some of the S&M team came here. It’s really cool to see what people do when they come ride here and I’m glad people are psyched to come ride, but sometimes it’s like a rerun session to me. Everybody’s cool, but there’s been times when it just seems like this place is a free skatepark/motel.  I won’t get anything done in my machine shop or really have time to think about anything besides being a host around here. This place is kind of off and on, it’s either really busy and crazy with people or it’s just empty and dead. That’s how it is lately with it being winter. It’s sad. As for people coming from crazy places, there have been people from Australia, South Africa, Japan, England, and even Idaho. I know there have been people from a lot more places around the world, but it’s just hard to keep track because there’s been so many people that have come through town.

How much upkeep does it take? And have you had to make any sacrifices to keep the yard going?
One thing about Utah is that winter hits. There’s either snow all over everything or it all turns to mud. Snow soaks everything, and then it freezes and melts a bunch of times and then in springtime the first couple inches of everything is like cake mix or something. It’ll be mud under a bunch of crumbling dry mess and everything that’s built steep will fall down. It sucks. As for the ramps, the layer on top can kind of take some of it but usually if it doesn’t you can’t just take it off and put another layer on. Every time I think I’m getting into fixing a little hole in the ramp, as soon as I start getting into it I realize that I’m going to have to replace a big section of the ramp, it turns into a crazy project. These ramps are falling apart from the inside out. The slides have been thrashed by windstorms a couple times and ripped apart where the sections are bolted together. Last year the one that goes to the far backyard didn’t even get fixed and hit all year. I just kept putting off going all the way back there to drill and bolt together the sections that ripped apart because drilling fiberglass sucks. The next thing I knew they were overgrown with weeds the entire length of the slide. That’s another thing that takes over hard. If we don’t go back and get at the weeds, after a rainstorm they’ll be about five times worse. It’s an ongoing battle. As for sacrifices to keeping the yard going… well, I’d have to say that knowing that the resale value of a trashed BMX house is shot kind of sucks. Another thing is… well, my roommates have been cool for the most part, but I’m almost 36 and I don’t want to have my roommates my whole life. As long as I live here I’ll have to have roommates to be able to afford to keep it. I honestly don’t know if that will be much longer.

“More stuff that I can’t ever get rid of. My trophy collection. They’re either from '84 or '85 when I was racing when I was 7 and 8, or they’re from '94 or '95 when I was 17 and 18. The biggest trophy there was from the 1994 ABA Grands. I went there as a 17 and over novice and finally raced people who weren't experts. I won all my races and turned intermediate. I also saw the K.O.D. there where Fuzzy tried front flipping off the GT show lip to the back of the berm where they had the contest…. clipped in! Going to that race was an amazing experience because I saw my first real dirt jumping contest that had so many people that I looked up to in it. Another funny thing about winning that race was that I came back and my high school caught wind of me winning a national event. They gave me the Roy High “R” pin at the beginning of an assembly and after that all the jocks in school that had been pricks for so long told me “good job” and thought I was number one pro or something. Little did they know, I was number one novice.” Photo: Zielinski

Can you describe how ideas for new features in the yard usually come about?
It could be something everyone’s sessioning that ends and needs to do something different. I could end up with a hand me down ramp from someone else that I get to figure into everything. There could be a jam coming up and a bunch of people get into changing whatever they want. Or I’ve been known to get into building stuff on my own that I don’t really want anyone else’s help with because I don’t want to hear “We should do this…” when I know they mean “You should do this…” There are a handful of people that actually do constructive work over here. Most the time people have a hard time moving a couple boards out of the way so they can ride stuff that’s not even very hittable. When people act like I’m in their way when I’m trying to fix something, they need to go ride somewhere that doesn’t need to be fixed because they’re wasting my time with their bitching. Sometimes I get more into building than riding.

“The little canning/storage room downstairs next to the laundry room turned into my shop because my dad gave me his old lathe when he got a new one. His friend Everett who was kind of like a father figure to him gave it to him probably around when I was 10 or so. Back then I remember cutting on my skate wheels when I only skated. When it was at my parent's house and I was about 16 I figured out how to make bar ends and some other little nick-nacks. Now my machines are in the other room downstairs that used to be Aitken’s room. I still use that stuff, I just need to use it a lot more, but I’ve been saying that for years. I went to school at the local vocational school called the ATC to be a machinist. I almost finished, but in '98 I got picked up by Redline and I said, “I’ll finish school later.” That was 15 years ago. Photo: Zielinski

Did you ever build something that ended up not working?
Ha, that’s a funny thing. I’ve got a problem where I start stuff and get distracted with something else so I’ve half built stuff that could some day be working. I just get into riding or working on some other project. I’m pretty bad at that. One of the things that got almost going is a hot tub that was originally Fuzzy’s. Aitken got it from him and had it working at his house. When he had to fix his deck at his house we ended up with it. At first it was over in the trees by where the trampoline was. Then I found out that wiring it up so far away from the electric box was going to cost a whole bunch of money. I ended up taking out the ramps on the other side of the house that put you from the roller ramp into the old slide. I took out ramps and dug a good square spot for it. I bought a huge bag of gravel and put it down where it needed to go. It sat on the four-wheeler trailer in front next to the driveway for a little while. Then Elf came over with the guys that set up and tear down Winter Dew tour, they came over to skate the garage. They helped us get the hot tub off the trailer, put it through the fence on its side, then get it set down where it needed to go. All it needs is to be wired up, the electric box is right through the window in the garage. Now it’s sat through a couple winters and the cover’s been blown half off a couple times. I’m sure that’s how it is now if I go over there and look at it, half covered with some ratty frozen water in the bottom of it. When the Red Bull Ride and Seek came here I got some 16-foot 2x6s and we put a bunch of flat 2x4s on those and covered it with four 4×8 sheets of 3×4 plywood. It had a bridge/cover thing so you could ride over it and get into the old slide. Since then all that wood has been taken apart and used for other stuff so now there’s just an up ramp, a trashed hot tub, and then the start to the old slide. I need to take that hot tub to the dump or put it on KSL for free and just make it so you can do the old slide loop out of the ramp again. Damn, I guess with all the ways this place has been changed you could just say that most of the things that used to be how they were ended up not working. That could be argued though, because some of the things that have been changed makes me miss how they used to be. This place is an awesome complicated mess.

“Shawn “Elf” Walters… When Shawn “Elf” Walters moved to Salt Lake he pretty much introduced us to riding street and to this day he’s the most motivated person I know around here to really seek out the really good street stuff. He’s also really organized when it comes to keeping track of what’s what and who might be able to do what on it. Elf’s got street spots that absolutely nobody will be able to seek out because he rides around so much on the lookout for all that stuff. The cool thing about Elf being such a street killer is that he can build jumps better than everyone and works his ass off until it’s done right. I always thought that it would be crazy if Elf came back to town from building contest jumps and wouldn’t be burned out on building. He’d just look at it like he was able to build stuff that a bunch of contest guys weren’t going to bitch about and he wouldn’t have to work 14 hours a day to meet a deadline. So if there are people out there that think that Elf is only street they should think of this… Elf not only builds the dirt jumps at most of the big dirt contests, he’s the first one to hit them.” Photo: Zielinski

What is your favorite thing you ever built?
I’d have to say the combination of things that got built for the GnarBQ in '06. Before that construction project you had to walk downstairs with your bike and go out the downstairs back door. I took out the window next to the fridge, busted out all the wall below it, rented a saw for cutting bricks at Home Depot, stood on a ladder out back and cut the window into a door, put a door in, we built a deck off the back of the house, a hill going down to the deck of the mini, extensions on both sides of the ramp so people could session the roof drop. The combination of all those things really changed this place and made it a lot more fun.

“The old slide. We must've gotten it in 2007. This is a picture of it when it just got put together because it got painted army green the next day. Before that stuff gets painted with flat paint it’s damn slick to ride. Having that slide has always been a real attraction to the yard. Where else can you go ride one where you don’t have to trespass and have to risk riding some slick thing with drops over the edge and a skidding stop at the end before you go into a pool? One of my favorite things to do is make sure nobody’s coming down it and go through the dish the other way and go up the slide. It took me a while before I could get up the slide without pedaling. I love that thing because it might have dirt crumble into it from the jump over it and it might have water or fruit in it [from the trees], but it’s a whole run that’s pretty much ready to go when we’re rebuilding after the winter. There have been some funny crashes in it—my biggest fear has always been some kind of head on collision with two people. Having criss-cross crash lines around the yard makes me have to pay attention a lot more when there are more than just a couple of us back there.” Photos: Beringer
Who does most of the work? Who helps the most?
That’s changed depending what’s been going on. There has been times when my roommate Ethan has been all about digging on that big spine elbow thing and out there constantly. In 2011 Fuzz got some money from Red Bull for us to work with. Me, Elf, and my roommate Ethan built nonstop for two or three weeks for when that Ride and Seek trip came here. After that was over we got the old Coliseum park bowl corners from our friend Jeff Hall who had them set up in the back of his office over by 5050.  I got really obsessed with working on all that stuff and that’s all I did for three or four months. I was always out there hooked on Red Bull with my headphones on, just going crazy like some kind of ramp scrounge that hit the jackpot or something. Mostly with help from GWAR Pandora and the Saltair ghosts, but sometimes Pinko and his crew came over and helped, too. There was four nights in a row that I was just wheel barrowing scrap and rotten wood down to the fire in the fire pit, at least six hours a time and probably eight on the last night when Pinko, Skyler, Beecka, and Forackis came over and helped haul stuff down there.  In general, it’s been Skyler Pingree, James Pinko, Chicken, Elf, Tristen Cooper, Beecka, Ethan Spaulding, and Brian Miller in the last year.

How much time do you have to spend getting the yard back into shape after each winter?
It’s probably a couple months depending on if I’m in and out of town or whoever feels like riding over here instead of riding street or the cement park. It kind of gets back into shape a piece at a time. The line where you hip out of the mini, go next to the dish, hit the step-up and then go down to the spine elbow thing usually gets running first. Then the flat between the steep spine off the ramp and the 10-foot quarter. Then the bowl off the side of the mini and the curved wall lips. Then the hip out of the 10-foot to the other quarter. Then the style-jump line. Then the left line. It all kind of goes in a random order depending on who’s over and into it and what they want to hit, and usually the whole yard won’t be all the way running all year. There’s always something that needs to be fixed, everyone will just be having fun riding what’s running and have the intentions of doing it later. Everyone’s standards of what’s good enough to ride or what needs to be worked on are different, too.

“This must’ve been 2005 too. I remember thinking of stuff to do for my Ride interview and I really wanted to do something different, something that almost wasn’t riding. Jeff Z. was already in town to shoot photos and [Ryan Navazio] Navaz was there to film for Standpoint. I think it was maybe on our ride out to the Utah tree or back when I thought about it and brought it up. I know for sure that when I brought it up Navaz said if I did it he’d give me $50. The next day I went out there and put some couch cushions after the trampoline and started doing the jump on-to-half-flipping flop. Then I got around a little more and moved the pads. I wrecked a couple more times before I got it all the way around. I had to pop high off the sheet metal on boards on a couple 2x4s, then land with my brakes locked, and just flip as hard as I could off the bounce. That’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had riding away from something because I didn’t know if it was even possible. I feel like I had a bunch of years being the only one that would go for front flips and it was always a roll of the dice for me. I never went for them unless I was really amped up by the crowd at a contest and half the time I’d get worked. The other half the time, it was always that stoked, "I can’t believe I’m on two wheels after that" feeling. Well, I think it was probably around 2004 or 2005 when Scotty Cranmer learned them a different way. He’d blast way up in the air and wait until he was at his highest point and then throw around the flip. A new amazing way to do them higher and more consistently, so a bunch of people caught onto and added a bunch of tricks to. I never figured out how to do them that way, but I still did one last year at an Evel Knievel days show over the 5050 show jump after saying to myself, “This ones for you Evel.” Well, as few and far between as I’ll get myself to do frontflips and as my eternal hit or miss syndrome with that trick will never catch up to par. I feel the same way as I did when that magazine with my interview came out. Props to everyone that sends frontflips and does 'em right, but I’ll always have the tramphop-to-frontflip under my belt. Too bad I never had the balls to 180 onto the trampoline and backflip off—never say never, I guess.” Sequence: Zielinski
Do you have any pipe dreams for the house? Something that was just too big or expensive for you to pull off yourself…
Yeah, I always thought that if I were rich I would cut a hole through the wall so you could go from the garage and roll down into the ramp with the roller. I always thought it would be the coolest thing ever if I was rich enough to be like Willy Wonka and just build a big wall around this place. I would just have it be closed and build the most amazing stuff ever, with everyone always wondering what the Hell was going on over here. I guess that’s pretty antisocial, but sometimes I get burned out on stuff and I feel like I’m building it for everyone else to come ride, shoot pictures, and film on. I guess the attention this place has got over the years is my job and I’m psyched that people like it and want to come ride here. I just sometimes feel like this place has had it’s day and it’s on a downward spiral of doom. Winter’s just depressing and as soon as it’s Spring I’m sure I’ll be stoked to build new stuff if I can still afford to be here and run it like this. I think that’s really the motivation these days, the fact that we’ve got a place where this kind of stuff can be built and sessioned with friends. I can’t take that for granted. The best thing would be to have a sick invite contest here, have [Nate] Wessel go crazy with the ramps, have Elf, Gilly, Clint Reynolds, Matty, Nutter, and Dave King build for three weeks or so. Then turn this into some kind of BMX time-share or something after it’s over.

“I think that this was 2009. Me and Cam were filming for a little ski bike edit that was on the ESPN site. I think if you put in Matt Beringer and Cam Wood ski bike edit you can find it on Youtube. Some years we’ve had enough snow to session snowboards and ski bikes at the house, other years we just don’t catch the session in time before it melts and it’s gone. This year there’s even more snow than there was in this picture. I made our ski bikes in my shop in my basement. I’ve made a couple setups since then, but I’m way better at making and testing prototypes than I am at going through what it takes to make a company out of them. Me and a couple of my friends kind of turned into a ski bike gang, too. One of my favorite things about going ski biking is that it’s a getaway from the scene of riding with wheels. There are no politics, no “good enough”, no shit talking crews, no internet shit talk, no “seat’s too high’, no cliques to clash. It’s just a damn good time hauling ass and making turns. Just make sure not to piss off the lifties or ski patrol. People have been asking me to build them one for a long time and I have some skis, but there’re a couple people that I need to build custom ones for before building them to sell. I’ve been talking to this guy Drifter Dave who does DSB ski bikes. Hopefully I can work with him and combine some ideas for next season. For now if you’re where you can’t ride because there’s too much snow or you’re lucky enough to have a resort near you that lets them on the lift, DSB has legit ones for sale on their website. Or if you want to get into it like me and a bunch of other people have. Go to work making one for yourself, once you get into it you’ll wish winter wasn’t over instead of wishing it was for months.”

Was there ever a point when you thought, "Ok, the yard is perfect, I'm never going to change it up again."
In the fall of 2011 I was so close to having this place 100% for the first time ever. We got the main part of the whole yard awesome for Ride and Seek and the Coliseum bowl turns we got from Jeff were up and running. I just needed to put Masonite in the 3/4 bowl and on the mini. I had a couple slide turns going into place for a little S-run coming back up from the dirt spine/elbow. I had angle iron on the right side of the shed and started widening the lip and landing for making that line. It seemed like having this place 100% was so close to being a reality, but around every corner was a new idea of what needed to be done or something to fix. Then a windstorm took out some sections of the far back slide and then winter hit. When spring of 2012 came along I just didn’t have the crazy motivation or the money I needed to go to Lowe’s and get new stuff to fix a lot of things. When I had gone crazy trying to work the bowl turns into the mix at the end of 2011 I had maxed my credit card out. In 2012 we got the jumps running and I layered some parts of the ramps that really needed it, but there wasn’t some kind of jam or goal to go crazy for. We just rode and had fun. Right now everything’s covered in a foot of snow and there’s still a couple months left of that. When spring of 2013 happens we’ll see what’s in store for this place. I’ll hopefully have a couple more roommates in here helping with the bills. If this place isn’t doomed and gets rebuilt and fixed up in the spring, there’ll be a “Don’t Tour” or “GnarBQ” in 2013.

“When I think of all the good times and bad times and all the projects finished or being worked on at this house I think that this Odyssey poster really sums up the fun that’s been had here. When I’m completely washed up and out of this house I think that this picture will be the one picture I have up on the wall to remember this place.” Photo: Zielinski