Diamonds in Da' Burg: Dirt Shovels and Bikes


The Treehouse at the jumps

The Treehouse at the jumps

By: Dominic Gavan

Leesburg is a town filled with many things like senior citizens, numerous antique stores, and a downtown deader than the Old West after 5pm. However, if you are a teenager, you can always find some diamonds in da burg. These diamonds are places that people don’t just know, they treasure. Every other week I will highlight a diamond so unique that I have to shine the brightness on our school.  

Ida Lee is one of the most visited spots in Leesburg, possibly in Loudoun County, because of all the great things it offers. When you hear Ida Lee, you think of all the typical parts of it such as the indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, and weight room. But for the very small crowd of BMX riders in Leesburg, none of these things come to mind. The attraction that brings them in is a bunch of dirt, shovel heads, and a water damaged tree house made of plywood. This diamond is technically on Ida Lee’s property, but they don’t upkeep it and they sure did not build it. These dirt jumps have been there since before 2000, and the only people that would know who built them or how they got there have moved or don’t ride BMX anymore. This means this dream project of some devoted riders was just abandoned, with the hope that this tight-knit community would upkeep it. Their hopes have been fulfilled, because it’s 2011 and the jumps have expanded and continually been groomed throughout the past 11 years. The trail consists of 8 jumps, but when I first went to these jumps back in 2001, it only had five, which proves how devoted the riders that upkeep it are. The tight knit feeling of BMX overwhelms you when you walk in and see 8 shovel heads sitting in a hole just waiting for someone to take them and help groom ramps that were damaged by rain or snow. The tree house overlooking a creek right at the end of the trails regularly has a couple of chairs resting on it so when riding gets old, you can just kick it with your friends. Regularly, there will be tools left behind for upkeep of bikes. I’ve even seen bikes left near the beginning of the jumps. This section of trees and dirt is filled with respect and trust of the fact that people can leave their stuff because they know other riders would never mess with anything in such a sacred spot. This place in the forest is located about a half a mile behind Ida Lee and another half a mile to the right. This diamond will always be up kept by the community of riders who are responsible for it today or be replaced by a whole new generation. All I know is this diamond is here today and will be here 11 years from now too.