Canberra BMX Spots History Lesson: Bega Flats (AKA Junkie Flats) bank (R.I.P)
Above: Van Homan, rail fufanu at the banks. Screenshot taken from 'the best video part of all time' - Criminal Mischief. The video came out in 2001, which puts this clip at 16+ years old.
This post is something that is almost too weird to comprehend - if you don't ride BMX that is. How a small, steep, banked piece of concrete with a railing on top can be so revered.. especially when it sits within a housing complex that most citizens wouldn't dare step foot in (unless you happen to be one of those citizens who is trying to score hard drugs).
The fact is, that the bank setup at Bega flats has played a big part in BMX for almost two decades and as of right now, thanks to city development and gentrification, has been demolished and is no longer.
BMX riders from Canberra and afar have found themselves here at the Bega flats banks at some point, as the spot sits across the road from the city skatepark and you can't help but see it as you're sitting on the deck of the mini ramp. Most of the time you're pretty quickly greeted by irrate junkies and a bad vibe, so many Canberrans don't count this as a go-to for a session, but nevertheless, locals like Pete Majoinen, Michael Puniard and Zac Miner (among others) have stamped their mark on the spot over the years.
Zac Miner in Troy Charlesworth's Epic Invasion video.
For travelling BMXers eager to film, the Bega flats bank been host to some of the greatest to ever do it. Mike Aitken, Dennis Enarson, Ronnie Napolitan, Josh Harrington - as well as Van Homan scoring two clips at the bank for his Criminal Mischief section (AKA the best section of all time).
Dennis Enarson, overpedal to barspin in the Haro Australia video in 2010.
Mike Aitken, pegless icepick to fakie from Sentenced to Life.
The Bega flats complex have been torn apart in the last few weeks and it was only a matter of time until the bank itself was going to be no more, so Jack O'Reilly and I made it a point to get in there, shoot some photos and take one last ride on Sunday. It was a strange experience, it's the quietest it's ever been in there riding the spot and to be honest, probably the longest I've ever been there. While the trick we shot was far from the most progressive, it is a crazy feeling to look at it even just days later and know that it will be impossible to do that again.
The demolition of the Bega Flats bank is a reminder of just how good the experience of searching and riding spots is; find it while you can, ride it while you can, take nothing for granted and enjoy the memory.
The bank as it stood on Sunday 25/6/17. No rails and no sub-rail.
The banks, this morning.
Downside whip, last time ever. Jack O'Reilly photo.