Hill Bomb: community for downhill riders
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Hill Bomb is a downhill riders community.

I started this community website in 2008, as a place for all downhill riders (e.g. inline skaters, bikers, longboarders) to meet and post details of the hills they ride. The idea was to make a global website with subgroups for local areas.

The site uses the Google Maps API, as well as several modified Drupal modules to produce the functionality described below.

Despite attracting a few small communities in a handful of countries, the site never fully took off. Eventually I shut it down, but keep the screenshots and memory alive here.


Hill Bomb allows anyone to create “hills”, which are Drupal content types that contain every detail a rider needs to know about a particular hill. For example, here is a hill called “Burman Bush” in Durban:

Burman One

Users can upload KML files as part of a hill’s content, which are a standard means of representing geographic data, and are easily created in Google Earth. The advantage of Google Earth over Maps is that it allows 3D terrain view, an absolute must for discovering good hills. It also allows a user to create multiple paths, placemarks and routes that all belong to one hill. These KML files that are attached to a hill get displayed using the Google Maps API:

Burman Two

They are also easily downloadable to a local copy of Google Earth, which allows users to keep their hill collections on their local machines. Hills are given various ratings using the Fivestar CCK module:

Fivestar Ratings

Anyone can upload and attach images as well as videos to hills. Images are stored on Hill Bomb, whereas videos are stored on third party sites (e.g. YouTube, Dailymotion) but embedded in video nodes.

Users can also edit any hill they please, much like Wikipedia. This allows anybody to improve the data on any hill, and contributes to a sense of community ownership. Drupal’s revision system supports this functionality. All edits are logged and can be rolled back at any time.

The subscriptions module provides email alerts when hills are updated, or new comments are made. This allows hill creators to keep tabs on their content.

One of my favourite features of Hill Bomb is the use of the fantastic faceted search module. You can see it in action on the find hills page, where clicking any term will narrow the search for hills by location, ride type or difficulty. This method of searching is extremely intuitive, compared to text based search.

Faceted Search

For more detailed information on the features, please see the help files on Hill Bomb.

Because of the limited amount of spare time I have available, I had to cut corners with Hill Bomb’s theme. It’s currently using the standard Drupal theme “Garland”. In the future I hope to give it a completely customised look.