I’m 43 and just getting into the sport. I bought a decent starter hardtail about 15 years ago when I lived in Germany. It’s a 26” Carver. I rode a little when I bought it but then hockey ate up all my time, and the bike sat. I know the bike is a bit outdated but it was decent at the time. So for my skill level right now it should be fine.
I rode some singletrack last week when camping in Atlanta. Bike was flawless, i was not. My skills (or lack of) are rusty. I live in southeast ga with only 1 or 2 trails close, one is an hour drive and the other 1.5. I don’t have much to choose from. I live on a 2 acre pool table with lots of trees. I want to build a backyard singletrack to work on skills, gain confidence, fitness and mostly importantly shred with my kids lol.
What backyard features have you built? Any home built tracks? Side note I have a chainsaw and an almost endless supply of logs lol.
I live in the southeast as well in the Piedmont. My trail has a variety of logs sizes to get over, a rock garden, a oak tree root area, small steep hills about six feet high that have dirt ramps upon exit, a 8% incline over about 200 yards with small hills for climbing and slaloming down, 2 different gravel runs (uphill and downhill) for cornering, a nice straight away for tricks, an area of dense bamboo with a very narrow winding trail, a high speed corner, an end to end layout railroad tie shinny and several wash out areas for jumping of riding through. I don’t do big air anymore. I am getting too old to handle a hard crash.
A flat yard is actually the perfect place to build a skills course. Honestly my young kids like playing on skills courses more than actually riding trails, so if you have kids (or there are kids in the neighborhood!) they’ll love it. Plus, it’s great for building your own skills.
A few ideas:
Skinnies. Build a variety of widths, and also heights, angles, etc. You can go a little crazy.
Pump track. Have a load of dirt delivered, and start sculpting berms and tabletops.
Ramps, ladder bridges, kickers. With wooden features, the sky is the limit. This is a way to build in some elevation.
Rock gardens, log stacks, etc. Use whatever you have on the site, pile it up, and make it into an obstacle.