Saturday, June 23, 2007

More From 6/22

The shot above is an artsy long-exposure jammie from the Manhattan Bridge skatepark. Quiet night. (It wasn't entirely empty—the exposure time knocked all the people who were actually moving out the frame.) We rode there until dark, then went off in search of sustenance.

The rest of these shots are from the earlier Banks session, and shall be captioned appropriately. Enjoy the weekend, peoples. Next update on Sunday! Hopefully.

• Nigel Sylvester at speed. Obligatory sponsor shot (holla at ya 6.0s). Note the lack of pegs.

• Nigel again, 180 to fakie up the bank to bars. And yes, actually, Nigel probably could throw the bars with his head cut off.

• And again. 180 to fakie up the bank to halfcab bars.

• Hussani (spell check before next time), fakie bars on the shiny new S3.

• Myron with the footjam held a bit too long.

• Dominican Dave, tiregrab. Give Grease his wheel back, man. And his chain tool, damn. Ha.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Don't Believe (All) the Hype.

That photo above is of the Brooklyn Banks. Looks calm, right? No police tape, no d-tecs, no fights, no news crews. And that was taken early this evening, at just another mellow session at New York's finest spot. Coincidentally, we ran into Steve Rodriguez earlier, the founder of 5Boro Skateboards and THE reason the Banks are open in the first place. He's in continuous talks with the City and the Parks Department to keep the spot open, and to make it better—for skaters AND bikers alike. He's got all of our best interests at heart, so let's not allow the illest spot in the world to get shut down over something stupid.

The word of the day is RESPECT. Gotta give it to get it.

(All the same, be careful out there.)

And here's all that was poppin' off today: Nigel Sylvester, MirraCo/6.0/Animal/Skavenger (apologies if I forgot anyone), 180 to rollback up the bank to bars. On repeat like iTunes.

Blast From the Past

Seeing that I don't have anything new at the moment, here's some shots I took (with a crappy point-and-shoot digital) at the King of Dirt (Core Tour!) at South Street Seaport back in 2001. Riders include T.J. Lavin (of course), Corey Nastazio (ditto), Todd Lyons, Mike Parenti and John "Superfly" Skvarla. Among others. I suppose Ruben Alcantara may have been there, but I disremember.

One thing I DIDN'T get a photo of took place in the am prelims, when Grimaldo Duran borrowed my brakeless STA (after he flatted on his bike) and tried to backflip the second set. Things didn't work out so well—I was banging reddish dirt out of my grips and pegs for weeks.


20 - 10 = ?

With the Mongoose out of commission, Joey hits the East Village in search of a new ride.

Pink and white, coaster brake, padset, chrome bars, dropout-less straight-leg fork, peg- and caliper-free? Looks like we have a winner.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Last of Fox.

Two sequences and a couple of random shots. I suppose there's a chance that I go back through the photos again later and pull a few more, but for now let's assume that this is the end and we can all go on with our lives.

• Sequences. Yet another Mike Aitken wallride (I definitely should have moved off to the side for one set) and a garden-variety Chase Hawk manual-to-wallride-to-180-to-backwards-carving-manual-to-back-in kind of thing. He tried a few different things before coming up with this finished product.

• Other shots. It's funny I just got the one of Allan Cooke. A bunch of dirt-jumper types were there—Cooke, Corey Bohan, Heath Pinter—but I didn't really shoot much of them. Oh well. Joey Piazza showed up on his Mongoose Villain (since retired for fork replacement). And Jimmy LeVan just decided to trip down from Louisville for the occasion.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Time is Nau

What the hell, I might as well keep posting the Fox stuff now in order to maybe get to new flicks someday. Here's a couple more of those Darryl Nau bikeflip attempts (note the position of the bars—it would have been a bikeflip half-barspin) and another tabletop shot. I love tabletops. (I also re-ran the bikeflip shot from the previous post just because.)

Darryl grew up as a racer on Long Island, now he's just...awesome.

Just Another Mike Aitken Wallride Sequence

I realized, as I went through all the photos I shot at the Fox jam/demo/whatever, that I probably stood in one place for too long. It's a good thing I'm not a professional photographer, or I probably would have gotten fired. (As a professional writer, which I actually am, I probably shouldn't have used the word "probably" four times in this paragraph, but oh well.)

Anyway, I shot this particular sequence with my still-relatively-new fisheye, which I'm still getting used to. Obviously I wasn't close enough—until Mike bailed, at which point I jumped out of the way (missing what would have been a classic last frame of him looking back over his shoulder at me with a big grin on his face). He eventually did pull this particular maneuver, but i like the crash sequence better than the pulled one. Go figure.

Afternoon Sequence

I'm not sure if Ruben Alcantara was banged up or just didn't like the Banks much, because he didn't really ride on Saturday. He mostly took part in the impromptu T1 reunion (along with Joe Rich and Garrett Byrnes), got his photo taken for a RIDE bike check (prototype Fly everything!) and sat and watched alongside the rest of us. I don't think he even did a single tireslide.

However, he did hit Aitken Pillar™ a couple of times, and I caught one of them. An ordinary wall carve by an extraordinary rider.

Even More Fox (Morning Update)

So I finally got through all the photos—all 359 of them (why I didn't shoot one more frame to make it an even 360 I'll never know). This isn't all the rest of it—I prefer to keep stretching it out for whatever reason—but there's some good stuff worthy of further explanation. I suppose.

• As stated earlier, Mike Aitken OWNED this wall. Pillar. Whatever. This was one of his early attempts (when the light was still good), a basic carve that I would cut off my right arm to be able to do. (Of course then I definitely wouldn't be able to do it, but that's beside the point.)

• Brian Foster walking his bike back up the bank after either a) riding the back wall, or b) carving off that little wedge and airing into the bank. BF is like the Tony Hawk of BMX or something. He's pushing (or is ) 35, but still absolutely kills it. And has a great time in the process. Hey, at least in this shot he's in focus.

• Scotty Cranmer, flair attempt. Yes, I probably should have used a flash—or at least gone to manual mode to wash out the sliver of white and bring everything else up. But I didn't, and as it turns out I think this shot looks kind of cool. Or maybe I'm just telling myself that. Regardless, Scotty's flair may have been THE most ridiculous thing I've ever seen at the Banks. More attention, please.

• Towards the end of the day, Darryl rolled up to me and said "I think I've got something I want to try." When I asked him what it was, he wouldn't tell me. "I don't want to call it out and then not do it." Not five minutes later he's speeding up the bank to try this—a bikeflip flyout. He never did catch it—a lip would have helped—but it made for a rad series of photos anyway (more to come later). Yes, I learned my lesson and used the flash.

• I knew Robbie was gonna be on this trip, and since I'd recently built up an old Trail Boss similar to the one he used to ride (and knew I'd be shooting more than I'd be riding) I figured I'd bring it out and let him see it. Obviously he was stoked (as was Russ Barone in the background).

Monday, June 18, 2007

One More Sequence Today Because Waiting Until Tomorrow Sucks

If you go back through the archives of this blog, you'll find a post titled "Josh Stricker is a Sick Motherfucker." Something like that, anyway. The point of it was that he'd done something never-before-seen—wallriding the back wall of the Banks out of the Banks themselves. It's a 10-12 foot gap to get to the wall, and you need to be going roughly nine million miles an hour to hit it. I got the sketchy sequence, and Scerbo got the footy (which, if I remember correctly, appears in the new Etnies video that isn't even officially out yet).

Now, late in the day of the whole Fox thing, Brian Foster started looking at that same back wall, only closer to the stairs. There was this little triangular wedge up against the wall, and his thought was to ride the back wall, then use the wedge to roll off. Two or three bitch runs just to measure up, and he was ready.


It didn't look like he was going as fast as Josh was, but BF flew off the bank, connecting with the wall at least a foot or two higher than Stricker did. He dropped off the wall—missing much of the wedge—and hopped back into the bank. Easy. Afterwards, he joked about calling Stricker that night. At least I think he was joking. BFF, man.

(Stricker, for the record, is still a sick motherfucker.)

Of course the next morning, when most of us were fighting brutal hangovers, Scotty Cranmer came back to do the same exact thing—and tailwhip out. Riiiiiight. (They at least HAD footage of it on the RIDE site.)

More Fox.

Single photos today. And just some general comments/observations:

• Darryl Nau, he who brought the world Blacken and "Seek and Destroy," is the mayor of BMX. Dude knows EVERYBODY (and has the, um, most unique sense of style of anyone on a 20-inch bike—sorry, Sean Burns). He can also still ride like a man, as evidenced by his 40" showing in FBM's bunnyhop contest (in the rain...on a 35-pound STA with 44/16 and 14mm 48s front and rear) and something else I'll post later. I'm sure Darryl has heard about technological advancement, but wants no part of it. Darryl is awesome.

• Joe Rich had a bad back (and apparently jacked his ankle up riding trails later in the week), so he didn't actually ride the Banks at all. But it was still like royalty showing up. If that sounds gay, call me Sally.

• Mike Aitken (as evidenced from the sequences I put up last night) would have been well within his rights to uproot that particular pillar and take it back to Utah with him. Brian Foster killed it as well, but Aitken's on another level.

• Had someone chosen to blow up the Chipotle all those bikes were stacked in front of (photo above—name all the pros bikes and win nothing!) it would have been the worst day in BMX ever. At least since Standard went out of business.

• Wait, Standard's still in business?

• Robbie Morales is definitely at mayor status as well. Not sure if I understand his riding an Edwin with a slammed seat and wide bars, but hell, I think he's earned the right to ride whatever the f**k he wants. Always good to see you and the Long Island crew.

• Besides Aitken, Brian Foster and Chase Hawk KILLED it. Scotty Cranmer was ridiculous as well—maybe even a step above everyone else—but I feel like his riding is so out of reach and so impossibly dialed that it's impossible to even judge it against anyone else's. With BF, Aitken and Chase, you're like "oh yeah, I see how you could do that." With Scotty, your brain just shuts down. Flair off half a tire laid on the bank? Whip to footjam to abubaca? F**k outta here.

• Enough from me, here's some more flicks.

Holy Crap, It's An Update!

So, uh, hey. What's been going on? I've been meaning to update this thing for a while now, but you know how it goes.

Anyway, this is the start of what will probably turn out to be a week-long series of updates chronicling the Fox field trip to the Brooklyn Banks on June 2nd (as mentioned in a little preview post over on defgrip—thanks, fellas). Since you've waited long enough, figure we may as well get straight into some of the photos—the sequences shouldn't need much in the way of explanation (if you're looking for stories, the whole trip was covered pretty thoroughly on the RIDE site—although I'll tell some tales as the week goes on). Enjoy. We* apologize for the delay, and hopefully will be updating pretty regularly throughout the summer. Holla.

(And you know what? Let's just go with all sequences tonight. Four of Utah's Finest (sorry, Fuzzy), and one of Scotty "What, No Tailwhip?" Cranmer—which is right at the top just in case you missed it.)