The Beverland Farm is third generation land. It was handed down to Chris from his father who had it handed down from his father; there's history there. The road into the property is called Beverland Road and the family, over three generations, has converted the land from swamp into a dry stock farm running Friesian bulls. It seems only fitting that the Beverland Farm was chosen for the first ever New Zealand Red Bull Backyard Digger. The project now has some real grass roots in rural Waikato. Over one weekend we would transform a small part of the Beverland farm into a bike riding heaven.
The project concept is simple: help a local crew to create a new jump park. Local riders already have the vision, they have the land and they've started some digging. This is where some projects fall a little short. They start with the best intentions but lack a little punch to get in the big boys toys—the 12 tonne diggers, the trucks and the bobcats—needed to transform a piece of disused land into a fun slice of bike paradise. This is where Red Bull can step in and lend a hand, give the project some new momentum, rally the troops and get in there with a bunch of diggers, spades and riders and pack down some jumps that will stick around for the local crew to shred for a lifetime.
The main shaping crew consisted of The Bolters, Chris Beverland, Nathan Hunn, Fraser Booth, The Wazman and Jaden Leeming. Between these guys there are years of shaping dirtjumps and a wealth of transition and positioning knowledge. This meant the jumps went up once and they went up right. The big 12 tonne digger initially shifted in more than 320 tonnes of dirt, making basic mounds which were then shaped skillfully by the Wazman in his mighty Bobcat. The finished form is completed by hand. Many spades and many hands made the work lighter, but there was plenty of it to go around.
Wet them down and pat them down, wet them down then pat them down again. That's how that work goes, but the result is worth more than the effort. There is a strange pleasure in literally creating something that big by hand where before there was nothing. Over three days the Beverland backyard was transformed into one of the sickest jumps parks around. All that's needed now is time, time for the jumps to dry, firm up and become ridable. For this week Red Bull Backyard Digger is in a holding pattern. Come Sunday, riders from all around will descend on a hopefully dry Red Bull Backyard Digger for a ride day that's sure to be nothing short of amazing.
Beverland senior pulled up at the end of day two on his Honda farm bike with a work dog chasing, stepped off his bike and summed it up pretty well with a typically short farmer statement:
"Looks bloody good."
And he was right.
Keep checking www.redbull.co.nz for Backyard Digger updates and Part One of the video released this Thursday.