Josh taught me a lot about trails – I have only recently realised how much. He was one of the first people I met that dug and rode trails and he taught me a lot through the things he said and what he did.
I remember one of the first discussions we had was about the difference between dirt jumps and trails. I didn’t even realise that there was a difference until I met Josh. He showed me his jumps and explained how important it was to build jumps well, so they don’t fall apart all the time. Bulky was a word he used a lot.
I learnt a lot of digging skills in the woods with Josh. He taught me the slap/slide method of hitting in, and how to get a strong back and steep sides on the jumps.
Josh also taught me a lot of things without even realising probably. He would go and dig in the rain. He actually enjoyed digging. These were new ideas to me, but I have since realised that he was right. Digging is a creative process which can be enjoyable and rewarding. He usually dug by himself as well, which deserves respect. Seeing this example made me realise the amount of work and the level of commitment that good trails need. He would go digging after work for an hour, or half an hour – until it was too dark to see anything. Every spare moment was spent digging. For Josh digging wasn’t something you did with your friends on a spare Saturday afternoon, it was something that you did whenever you could: something we could all learn a lesson from.
Josh also made me rethink the possibilities of trails. Pieces of land that before I would have thought completely out of the question he would see potential in, and some of these actually worked out well – despite the closeness to the road for example.
Josh loves trails. I hope I can pass on some of the enthusiasm and motivation that he gave me.