A Half-Acre of Glory

A half-acre of terrain, perfect dirt and limitless possibilities. One of the Post Office’s many iterations. 59

A Half-Acre of Glory An Ode to the Aptos Post Office Jumps

When I go to the Aptos Post Office to mail something nowadays, I look across the street at a Los Angeles-inspired condo development and a nondescript strip mall, still under construction.

Underneath the future Starbucks and New Leaf Market lies some of the best dirt in the world. Dirt that’s filled with the blood, sweat and tears of hundreds of bike riders from all over the globe.

I remember when it was just an empty grass field. It was the late 1990s, and my mom would drag my brother and I along whenever she visited the post office. Soon we noticed what looked like bike jumps, right off the road. They had been long abandoned, but we talked about trying to fix them up. Then one day, when I was 9 years old and my brother was 12, we pedaled from home to the post office on our own. We could have never imagined the thousands of times we’d repeat that trip.

Along with some friends, we were able to make a few features rideable, albeit janky. We’d use pallets, plywood, old car tires and anything else we’d find (aka steal) from around the area to use as bases for the lips and landings because we thought that was how you build jumps. In reality, the place looked like a dump, something that didn’t initially endear us to the neighbors, and it’s a miracle no one was ever killed pedaling across the busy street to get speed. The cops were called on us pretty regularly, but we knew if we reached the train tracks quickly enough they couldn’t catch us. We’d run, hide, take a candy break at the now-defunct Mr. E’s Cyclery, and then head back to dig and ride some more.

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