‘Dirt jumpers’ pay for bulldozer to add extra ramps

2010-06-23 00:00

A PIECE of land next to Cascades shopping centre has become a sporting home for about 20 schoolboys (most of them Maritzburg College pupils) who have been using it during the World Cup holidays as a venue for “dirt jumping”, an extreme sport that involves riding bicycles over sand ramps and performing tricks while in the air.

Yesterday saw the boys at it again as they clubbed in to finance the use of a small bulldozer for the day to help them build some extra ramps to upgrade their track. They boys have previously caught the eye of The Witness with their enthusiasm for the sport.

The services of the machine with a driver cost R2 300. Shane Martin (16) and 18 of the other “dirt jumpers” all contributed R100 towards the services of the mini-bulldozer, with Shane’s parents paying the deficit.

“We just needed it for a day to build us some new ramps, about six in total,” Shane says.

“Once it has laid down the sand, we can complete the rest of the ramps by hand.”

Shane says they asked all of the Cascades shopping centre businesses, as well as the shopping centre’s management, who the land belongs to and no one claimed responsibility for it.

They next made a call to the local municipality, which said the boys could go ahead and use the land provided that their sport does not interfere with anybody in the surrounding areas.

Shane and the group intend to tidy up the area to make it more aesthetically appealing, but admits that this has been difficult.

“One of our biggest problems is that there are no rubbish bins around here,” says Shane.

He says the newly built ramps will probably take another week to complete, but adds that they will still be useable before then.

Some of the boys in the group have some experience in building tracks. This was when they helped to put together last year’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill event held in Pietermaritzburg.

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