One week ago, Jay Lonergran was posting videos from the Posh Trails in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. With summer quickly approaching, he captioned a video of himself with Chris Stauffer, “Ahh, it’s that time of year. Grooving in Winder to Dippys with Stauff.”
On Monday June 12th 2023, everything changed. According to the Posh Woods Instagram, “A few days ago we were notified that the large quarry renovation project next to the trails would be expanding and that it will likely encroach into the Posh trails area. For contractual reasons, our landlord has had to suspend our access to the property. We are working closely with the landowner and while they are making every effort to preserve the trails in their current state, it does not look good. They have expressed sincere interest in continuing our relationship if possible when the scope of the renovation work is complete in the next few months. We will know our fate at that time.”
Many saw the caption, the “Trails Closed” sign next to the “No Loud Brakes” sign and thought Posh, the legendary East Coast trails in existence for 29 years, were done for good. Landlords, contracts, suspended access, it didn’t sound good, but many held out hope that it was just a passing project. Just in case, an impromptu jam was held on Sunday, with a good number of riders in attendance.
“If it is the end, it was one hell of a run,” said Lonergran.
Tuesday, a John Deere excavator had leveled the trails. It honestly doesn’t feel real to even type that. A photo of the leveled trails started to spread on Facebook, Instagram. Soon, everyone was paying respects to the most legendary set of trails to have ever graced the East Coast scene.
Started in 1994 by Mike Gentilcore, Mike Walker and crew (Jay Lonergran would join in a few months later), Posh was the product of a few Lehigh Valley scenes colliding into one location that would soon revolutionize the world of BMX trail riding, which wasn’t really recognized at the time within BMX. Part race, part dirt, all do-it-yourself, Posh helped to spawn a new discipline within BMX: Trail riding.
“Posh has been the holy grail of trail riding since day one,” said longtime visitor and trail riding pioneer Robbie Morales.
POSH Trails simultaneously evolved alongside DIG BMX Magazine almost since the very beginning, making its first appearance in issue 5 in 1995, featuring photos of Posh and a Keith Gower interview. POSH would go on to be featured in what feels like almost every issue of DIG after its inception, creating an East Coast focal point for BMX trail riding that pushed the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania into an internationally recognized destination for trail riders the world over.
In many ways, Posh Trails was largely responsible for the rise of East Coast “trail riding” that burst onto the scene in the ‘90s. Alongside streamlined bikes such as the Standard Trail Boss and S&M’s trails and race frames, trail riding became its own scene within BMX, less about commercialized dirt jump competitions and more about quiet innovation in the woods. It gave rise to the art of constructing rhythm sections and helped push trail riders to become full-time dirt jump construction artists. In many ways, the act of creating the jumps, berms and dirt sculpting techniques became just as much of a passion as riding the finished product.
And while riders from all disciplines share a bond with the land that they ride on, the riders and dirt sculptors that kept Posh running for 29 years formed an almost symbiotic bond with the land that Posh was built on. Specifically, the bar tap tree:
“It was a tree your handlebars always bumped into walking up to the starting hill. After a while it became customary to tap your grip end on it. Over 29 years, the tree slowly formed around the riders hands over thousands of laps at Posh. Tonight I made my last tap, or so we think for now, and got to ride my last train on Chillers. God bless everyone I ever took a lap with, the memories and camaraderie will last forever,” said Mike Gentilcore on Sunday.
Working quietly in the woods, Posh Trails and the many riders that built the trails created a DIY revolution that lasted almost three decades. Though the trails may be plowed, the legacy of Posh will absolutely endure.
“I can proudly say, it’s that I gave it my all for 29 years, for myself, BMX and anyone who shared a lap and a smile.” - Jay “J-Bone” Lonergran
John Lynn - POSH - November 18th ,2012 - Printed in DIG issue 93 - The Photo Issue