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One of the driest summers on record has made farmers despair, but for us mountain bikers it’s meant sun-filled days and dry, dusty trails. The lack of water has also opened up some unusual riding spots, as Welshman Ajay Jones discovered when he went exploring in the Brecon Beacons.
“After watching old BMX videos from California as a kid, I always wanted to find a full-pipe or some sort of manmade construction that I could ride,” he explains. “I spied this quarter-pipe back in 2002 but it wasn’t until this year that we had a long enough drought to dry it out. I was on holiday in Greece when I heard about the hosepipe ban in Wales and I was worried I wouldn’t get home before the rain came and I’d miss the opportunity. The moment I landed, I went straight to the spot to check it out and struck gold – it was bone dry! I returned a week later with photographer Andy Lloyd.
“I was absolutely buzzing that we got this shot and that I got to ride it after years of dreaming. It’s mad to think that, over 100 years ago, when it was built, the engineers would have never expected someone to be airing a bike 3ft out the top of it! I’ve already got my eye on another spot. Maybe I can get it done before summer ends, or maybe I’ll have to wait another 16 years!”