From building his own tools, repurposing old shovels, hammers, bikes and building jumps to share with everyone in Richmond VA, Kitt West is a friendly advocate for good living via two wheels, and a supporter of outdoor fun.
Name– Kitt West
Years riding– 20
Location– Richmond, Va
What kind of bikes do you ride currently– My big bike is a FBM Sword. My little bike is a FBM Steadfast. My mountain bike is a Mongoose International Bike of Champions.
What kind of work do you do? My main gig is at Richmond Re-cycles bike shop. Never a dull moment in that place. I love it. My buddy Marshal runs a construction company that does site work and grading and stuff. I work with him here and there when he needs me. Lately I have been traveling around turning wrenches for Powers Bike Shop at the bmx races. Thats pretty awesome because we ride a bunch along the way and its cool making a living from bmx.
Top 5 trails/ trail personalities?
North Carolina is way underated
Can you tell us about your trail building outlook? Lately I am all hyped on the idea of legal, public trail spots. I think dirt jumps/pump tracks are an inexpensive and sustainable way for a bunch of people to have fun. There should be one in every city. I think of the trails as Burnside or FDR except made of dirt. We need to head in that direction.
What woodland experience do you have outside of building dirt jumps? I did two seasons of backcountry hiking trail work with Americorps. The first was in the mountains of Virginia and the second was in Montana. We would hike miles back in the Wilderness with all of our tools and food and work for nine days at a time. It was amazing. For a couple of years there I spent more nights in a tent then I did in a bed. If you have ever worked on a set of bmx trails then you are already better at it than most people. Just google “Americorps” or “conservation corps”. There is a program in almost every state. Do it, because that shit is awesome.
What inspires you to build and and what influences can you share with in trail work, and outdoor awesomeness? Seeing someone finish a lap on something that you created with a smile on their face is the most inspiring thing that there is. As far as influences. Edward Abby books. Andy Goldsworthy art. I get a lot of ideas from old Forest Service manuals and stuff. They had all of this figured out a long time ago and they wrote it down. Its all on the internet. Look up “Handtools for trail work” and it will set you up for a good Youtube tangent.
Any shouts? Everyone out there making trails happen. I see ya’ll (insert clinched fist emoji).