For a long time, I loved weird spots. Actually, the BMX community in general seemed to be pretty into weird, hard to find, and secret spots. Pipes, street trannies, that fountain in Chattanooga, etc. They seemed to all be top priority for awhile. However more recently, those weird hard to find spots have been replaced with a more classic street style. Both are great and honestly, I wouldn’t mind a comeback of the weird spots but what I’d really like to see is a comeback of not-spots.
Now I realize that most street spots tend to be “not-spots”, especially with all of the bug splatting going on these days. But what I’m really talking about are things like roots, shitty walls that aren’t even that good to wallride, bumps that give you boost, the type of stuff that is accessible to every kid in every shitty suburb. These spots also kind of separate BMX from skateboarding unless of course you consider mtboarding skateboarding.
Regardless, not-spots are pretty much the best kind of spot. Chances are no one cares about their brick wall, the tree that was already chopped down, or that curb that’s already gone to shit from snow plows. This will leave you with even more time thinking of weird things to do on the weird spot and not worrying about getting kicked out. And if you do get kicked out, you’ll probably be able to ride around the corner and find another not-spot. To help you start looking for something that basically doesn’t exist I listed some possibilities below.
1. Parking blocks.
Granted they may be spots to most skateboarders (especially the red ones in Cali), for the most part these things are just 3 inch wide manual pads. But situated the right way, they are great bumps for Wallrides. Also great for skids, sliders, and bump jumps in general. I’d say that no matter where you live there’s probably at least 1 parking block in a 5 mile radius.
Roots do lots of cool things besides just looking cool. The best thing they do is mess up those sidewalks and create possibly some of the best curb jumps ever. Basically they are curb jumps on steroids. Also if you ride other bikes besides BMX ones, like say mid 90’s MTB’s, roots play an integral roll in jumping into hills and trails.
Walls are not Wallrides. Although you do “wallrides” on walls. I know it’s confusing but here’s what I use to differentiate the two. If it’s got a bank up to it, it’s a Wallride. If it’s curved, it’s a Wallride. If it’s slightly banked, I’m still calling it a Wallride. Other than that, they’re just walls. The great thing about walls though are the different things they are made of. A stucco wall can give you years of fun. Brick is similar, unless it’s new. Then you’ll have to wait years for it to weather perfectly to grip your tires right.
That’s it, I’m only giving you three. Partly because there aren’t even more than 3 kinds of not-spots and partly because finding not-spots on your own, similar to finding actual spots on your own, is pretty sweet. Enjoy! Oh, and if it’s too cold to actually ride some not-spots, I would suggest tracking down a copy of Standard Domination and watching Brennan Brown’s part a few times. That whole part is basically not-spots.