During all the craziness of the UK lockdown currently going on James Parkinson took some time after another digging session to answer a few questions on the VTL.
What is VTL?
VTL stands for vauxhall trails locals. It is a group of friends that have found each other in the woods and bonded over a love of shaping dirt and riding little kids bikes. It’s a place to go, where we can forget all the troubles of the outside world, unwind, and just enjoy the woods and bmx.
Who is VTL?
Current guys myself, Dave Longhurst, Tom Blake (Tommy one bang), kev (wobbly), Alex murrels, Mike Goddard, Marc, Leroy, Ed Blake, Danny, Harry, Sammy, Neil (Rodknee), then we got a couple new youths that have been busy digging this winter too, kieran and isaac. We also have Martin when he’s not sunning it up in Spain, or digging his own trails (Thong).It’s a big crew this year which makes a lovely change from all the hours of solo digging previous years.
When did it start?
There have been some form of dirt jumps for a long time where the trails are now. They started properly though back in 2006. Olly Spry had been a naughty boy and was running away. He ran into the woods, and found some old abandoned jumps. That was enough to get him back into bmx and start reviving the trails. Duck, Mike, Dave, and Brian joined him to get the trails to the quality everyone knows them for now.
Where did the name come from?
Name is pretty self explanatory really. The trails are vauxhall trails, and we are the locals!
Fancy dress jam 2015.
I couldn’t actually ride at this jam as I was recovering from a broken leg and dislocated ankle. It was still such a good time though. We made it fancy dress and said anyone without fancy dress had to give us a beer. Only about half the people that turned up had fancy dress, so we ended up with a lot of alcohol. The mood was really good all day and evening at this jam, and it was amusing watching people shred the trails in fancy dress. Especially Dave in his Knight costume. He even dressed his bmx up as a horse.
Vauxhall jam 2020
As you’re well aware, 2020 was a shitter of a year. Lockdowns, and the usual British summertime weather definitely gave us all a stressful time leading up to the jam. On the day it was pouring down everywhere apart from Tonbridge. People were turning up and were in disbelief that the trails were still dry. It was literally pouring down 2 miles down the road and completely missed the trails.
It was probably the busiest jam we have had, and Ride even came along and made a nice little edit of it.
Loads of people camped and it was a real party. The whole weekend left the whole crew with face ache from smiling and laughing so much.
Digging this year.
The numbers we have had digging this year are crazy. I still can’t quite believe it. There have been several days where we’ve hit double figures. The trails scene is alive and well!
Where can people find out more?
We don’t have any official instagram or social media for the trails. But my Instagram parkyvtl is 99% vtl so that’s a good place. It’s the perfect place to find out when is good to come and help dig haha!
What’s the future for the VTL?
Very excited for this summer. We’ve been very busy this winter and have 2 new lines, and two extensions to existing lines. We’ve been a little adventurous with some of the ideas this winter and can’t wait to test them all out. Definitely looking forward to people’s reactions when they turn up this year too. Just seeing how much new stuff there is.
We also already have plans for a couple more new lines next winter, so I guess the future is just more jumps! Until we run out of space.
And riding bmx until our bodies completely give up!