When you hear the name Leandro Moreira, I think the first thing that pops into most of our minds are those giant dirt jumps in a field that he boosts to the moon. That spot is Leandro's local stomping grounds in his home of Sao Paulo, Brazil, known as the Caracas trails. They’ve been there for over 20 years, juxtaposed between a neighborhood and a giant city. Following up his latest video for Profile, we asked Leandro some questions about Caracas--his English is a little rough, but he still got us better acquainted with his local dirt scene.
How many years has Caracas trails been in existence? Who initiated the building?
Caracas Trails have been in existence since 1996. Some BMX racers started the jumps and after that many others guys joined to help them. One in special continues riding, his name is João Geraldo--he is 44 years old and still jump the big ones.
The location of the Caracas trails appear to be on the edge of a city--as opposed to hidden in the woods like trials often are. What's it like having trails out in the open like that? Are there ever any issues?
We prefer building the trails in the woods, but in Sao Paulo it is really difficult to find places like that. The only issue is the kids running around the jumps--besides that it all good.
Is it on public lands, or private? And what is the attitude from people in the neighborhood?
It is on public lands from the City Hall. For now we are able for use, but we never know when we can lose this. The neighborhood is awesome. They participate in everything we do.
Did you guys actually get permission from the city of Sao Paulo to build the jumps there?
Actually we have, but when they decide to build something there we will need to move on. I don’t think that this happens soon, but we never know.
Considering Caracas is so close to the equator, how does the rainy season effect the jumps. How long does it take to rebuild?
We work there every single day, but when is rainy season we take to rebuild in two or three days depending how many people are helping and if the drainage system is working.
What is the scene like? Do you have a lot of people to ride with and to motivate you?
The trails scene in Brazil is amazing, the guys working and riding together all the time and sure we are a big family. My friends push me up everyday and we try to go faster, higher and smoother. Above all else, we are always looking to have fun--we love riding BMX no matter what.
How many locals help to maintain the jumps?
During the week about three people, but on weekends we have more than seven locals helping.
Have you had any visiting pro riders come to Caracas?
Yes, big names like Anthony Napolitan, Ryan Guettler, Cameron Wood, and some Pro riders from Colombia, Argentina, and Chile.
Do you ever have any jams at the trails?
Yeah we have some local jams, a Halloween jam... but sometimes we just have a barbecue.
Are there ever any issues with keeping the trails going?
We just had all of our tools stolen two years ago and we had to buy news. No more issues.
The size of the jumps has to prevent a lot of kids from riding them, right? Are there any options for you younger generation who are just starting out?
Sure we have. The kids can to start on the tables and there are a roller, two tables and three small doubles. When the guys feel confortable they’re can move on for trails, there are six jumps or the medium line with four jumps and the option to jump two more on left side, next to medium we have the big line with seven jumps and the option to jump two more on left side.
Have you ridden many trial spots in the United States? And how would you compare Caracas trails to them?
Is very difficult compare a local with trial spots, but Caracas trails gave me the opportunity to ride in big jumps and feel very comfortable to ride on any jumps.
How have the trails evolved over time? Do you guys have any new lines in the works?
When is rainy season we always try something new or try to improve what we already have, but sometimes rainy for one or two weeks without stop and with the tropical weather is really difficult change or add new lines. So we have plans for the future. We’d love to add hips on the course.
And do you want to thank anyone?
I’d like to thank all the guys that do all the best for keeping the trails good to ride also thank you to my sponsors Monster Energy, GT Bikes, Profile Racing, and Virtual BMX.