WIN TICKETS: Alexandra Palace gets dirty for Red Bull event
12:51 10 May 2012
Crafting 3,500 tonnes of soil into a death-defying BMX course fit for the world’s best riders is not an enviable challenge. But that’s exactly what 30-year-old Kye Forte has been tasked with in the foothills of Alexandra Palace this week.
Red Bull’s two-day Empire of Dirt BMX contest, starting at the Palace on May 19, is the brainchild of Kye, a former BMX world champion and one of Red Bull’s top riders.
Tipping the course to be the “world’s best-ever”, he told the Journal: “The Palace is in the background, you can see the city of London - it’s pretty amazing for for BMXing to take centre stage, especially in Olympic year. 20,000 people will probably witness the event over the weekend.
“If you don’t come and see it you’ll miss out, because when are you going to see 36 of the world’s best riders in London at a venue like this?”
The 435metre-long course will be a series of ramps constructed from a mixture of soil and scaffolding.
The biggest jump will require riders to clear the height of two double decker buses.
Kye, who will also be competing for the cash prize on offer next weekend, explained the complex process behind such a large-scale construction project.
He said: “The course is not just thrown together; we’ve got the best tradesman from the UK here. Everything is super-size.”
Since work began, 195 trucks have been used to transport the enormous mass of soil stockpiled in the Paddock car park up onto the grassy verges in front of the Palace, where it is then crafted into the course and various jumps.
Besides the heavy machinery, which includes a fleet of diggers up to 15 tonnes in weight, Kye said: “We also have men armed with shovels who pat the dirt into shape - it’s quite a process that it goes through.
“The actual ground has been covered in polythene and there’s a layer of plywood on top of that. So the grass is protected.”
Mark Evison, park manager at Alexandra Palace, said a number of measures had been taken “to avoid damage to the park flora and to help restore the area after the event”.
Tickets for the event have sold out - but the Journal is offering readers the chance to win one of five pairs of tickets exclusively from Red Bull.