In the latest MBUK we catch up with Brendan Fairclough and Matt Jones to find out more about the bonkers backyard bike tracks they built during lockdown. We're not talking digging a few little doubles. Matt constructed a line of perfectly-sculpted dirt jumps that looks more like a sculpture park and is packed with transfer options, while Brendog's slightly more rough-and-ready affair includes some huge features and even uses his house itself as part of the set-up. You can read the full story in the mag, out now, but here are some video highlights and some tips from the boys on building your own backyard set-up.


Brendan Fairclough

We're focusing on Brendog's house set-up here because there's plenty on his jumps in the mag. This was the first indication that he was planning something pretty wild...

Then it progressed to this...

With the odd mishap along the way – it's good to know the pros sometimes mess up too!

Check out Brendan's full Don't try this at home!!! series on his YouTube channel.

Brendan's backyard track tips

1 Don’t wait. There’s no time better than right now, so if you have the space, get stuck in!

2 Avoid rushing it. Plan how to space the jumps and build them to last.

3 Take your time in using the best dirt you can, whether that means bringing it in, or digging deeper down for it.

4 If the jumps don’t work right away, don’t feel down. A lot of the time, jumps need time to settle in and a little tweaking.

5 Keep it fun. Don’t get too caught up in it all and make it more serious than it needs to be.

6 Jumps are a work in progress so there's always time to fix any mistakes. I've been building them since I was 13 and never really stopped, so I've made all the mistakes already! Haha.

Brendan Fairclough's backyard. Pic: Jacob Gibbins/Aspect Media
Brendan waters his jumps while planning another crazy stunt. Pic: Jacob Gibbins/Aspect Media

Matt Jones

Matt's track is an altogether neater affair (to be fair to Brendan, while his house set-up looks somewhat scrappy, he's lavished more care on his jumps, but admits they're not quite as aesthetically pleasing as Matt's).

The open loop is a definite highlight!

And if you're going to be riding all day, you definitely need a dirt fridge!

Check out Matt's full The Back Yard Build! series on his YouTube channel.

Matt's backyard track tips

1 Space everything out way more than you think you need to. Jumps always end up riding tighter and closer together than you think. Test
as you go!

2 Work in the rain, even though it sucks – the digging works better and lasts longer. Save the hot days for riding and enjoying the jumps.

3 Check with your other half/parents that it’s OK first. Or don’t, but if you’re not going to ask for permission, be prepared to ask for forgiveness! Haha.

4 If you’re going to get dirt delivered, get it close to where you need it, not 100m away. This leads me onto tip 5…

5 Stock up on wheelbarrow tubes, because when they go it’s game over and completely stops your progress. Especially during a lockdown.

6 Don't use a spade to break up hard ground, use a pickaxe. Your wrists will thank you. This is something I realised three months late.

Matt Jones shows off his spadework. Pic: Jacob Gibbins/Aspect Media
Matt Jones shows off his spadework. Pic: Jacob Gibbins/Aspect Media

Read our full backyard tracks article in MBUK 384, out now.


You can subscribe to MBUK here and check out our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts for all of the latest mountain bike action.
And don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter!