Sunday, 2 March 2008

J'aime la France, j'aime des piste de BMX!

The 2008 France Roadtrip!

The guilty parties:

Our Paddy
Our Chris 
Our Lauren
Our Joey (fresh from making 2 elite women mains in Douai!)
Our Tuffy
Our Fossy
Our Tricker
Our Mike @ Dialled bikes
Our Millsy
Our Stoney
Our Johnny the Pirate
Our Scooby
Our Stevie Williams
Our Tim G
Our Alec
And Our Scott.

A mix of trails riders, park riders, street rats, race heads but all of us riders, united by the amazing mutual bond we call BMX. I was super pumped and ready for an amazing week!

Over the course of the week we stayed at the F1 Montelimar, which was reasonably close to everywhere we wanted to hit, was cheap, clean and offered a breakfast, all of that for 28 euros, you couldn’t grumble. F1 is alright but it ain’t service with a smile, far from it! You either got complete denial of breakfast goods, or a sterling amount of food and beverage with German efficiency, or a slightly easier on the eye, happier and generally friendly service, but she weren’t on top of shit!

Every morning Paddy would rally the troops for a 7am rise, and out the door for 8 to head to the first track.. We hit about 15 or so tracks that I can remember, there were that many over the week, but some of them are so awesome, or the session went off that they stick in your mind and they’ll remain there for a damn good while.

We normally started at a tame track in the morning then worked our way up, but tame in france isn’t Braintree tame, its always pretty gnarly, and always technical, the French have some of the best tracks in the world, and some of the quieter regional tracks make a joke of out national standard tracks, but we’ll not go off on that tangent!

In some ways this was the best trip yet, in others it was my worst, it was the first tme I’d ever gotten bitten, and I got bit pretty bad, taking a fall at Vitrolles in the morning session of Monday I ended up with a mild concussion, a torn up right hand side, some heavy bruising and 8 stitches in my left hand palm. On a straight that wasn’t difficult I got lazy on the final jump into the corner, and nosed into the table landing, swatting me over the bars and into the concrete turn, it was harsh, but I know it could have been a lot worse, thank you to everyone that helped me up, donated me there clothes to stop the bleeding, took me to the hospital, bought me a drink, helped tear my bread and was generally good to me, thanks! It meant that I missed out on 2 days riding, well 1 and a half as I was snapping at Montelimar the Tuesday afternoon – I ain’t scared!!

I was back on the bike for Wednesday morning and feeling alright, just taking the minimum painkillers so I didn’t end up doing myself in more than I had already, I felt okay and was stoked to be back on it and shredding with the others!

Out of all the tracks my favouries were Cornillion, the track that has it all a dreamy second straight a tech 3rd and 4th along with trails which Tuffy nailed a backflip over.. He managed to spread his S&M XLT forks out a little, but it was okay as he rammed them against a tree to get them straight again.. Sheesh.

Other notable tracks were Dardilly (look it up.. Seeeearious! The 3rd straight had a huge steped up double that Tuffy and I managed to get, I tried it twice hooked it up but stoked I had a shot, it was the biggest jump I think I’ve ever hit, and up to it were just 8 rollers to manual through to get your speed on, it was tech but felt so right!

The second straight was insane, look up Damien Godets crash this track was straight up balling, I've never seen anything like it, the locals must SHRED!
We had some awesome floodlit sessions at Carpentras and Chabiel with Our Kenny.. what a leg-end. We were hitting 3-4 tracks a day and if the session went down we'd do a couple of hours at each, Joey has some amazing photos on her Flickr that are just sick, check them out!

This year we hit a bunch of new tracks and some old favourites, it was a laugh a minute. Other favourites were Beynoist, Tarascon and Frontignan.
I loved everyone that came, just a real chilled out vibe even if Paddy did crack the whip it was for a good reason and he helped us get the most out of the trip. Everyone came on leaps and bounds Mike at dialled bikes did great and by the end of his 5 day stint he was jumping some impressive stuff, along with hooking up half of France!

Alec was sending it at every opportunity, you did god brother! Millsy was on point and between the occasional drop crank and dog legger he really upped his level and was looking good, his final session at Frontignan was sweet and he was killing it. Such a funny guy, love you man!

A to the T was doing it for 51JR and wasn't feared, good to have the loudest laugh in BMX on board, a bright spark, and his high spirits got me through my couple of days downtime, thanks man, got my back and I have yours!

Lauren was bringing the beef to the grill and rode really well all week, pushing her limits, she'll be schooling the chicks on the national circus this year. Joey, fresh from her double elite women main making weekend was up in there, busting out some big shit, she never fails to impress!

Steve Williams (38) is on it, if he packs his a game he'll be top 3 masters this year, be-lee that! Tim G was loving the French set ups and was getting his jump on, Adie, you should have seen him! Scooby was sending it and loving it, he impresses me every-time I see him ride, the quietest shredder on board, but he lets his riding do the talking!
Tricker was on the button, and between complaining every 5 minutes, was killing it! Trail boss!

Stoney who I have never met before was amazing and one of the nicest guys i've ever met, a serious trail riders that took the tracks like a duck to water and was sending himself him big. He hated the French supermarket scene though, al that choice was "killing is braincell, man" awesome!
Mooobaay, after over a year of having a messed up knee was back on it and even though having difficulty walking, was tearing it up and being his normal smooth self. One of the funniest, sharpest guys i know and a pleasure to bus with! Paddy and him are the best couple i've ever known. They even share a credit card!

Fossy was his normal chilled out, 30+ shredding bad ass self. Supping the beers after a hard days ride and eating salads, we all said we didn't like this new healthy living Fos, but that was a lie. Another 30+ contender with no fear!

Scott Waterhouse flew out with Mike and was loving the French vibe, it was good to have him in the bus and he seemed to be loving it! He was looking super fast and nailing pro sections for breakfast!

Johnny STD Pirate (heritage from the seas) was futtin' raping the place, like! A comedy metal head with serious skills on a bike, it took him 6 days and advice from Tuffy and me to get his helmet on right, but once he could actually see landings he was shredding double-ard! A reet nice bloke, who between hating listening to Genesis likes to metal it up and rape the place!
Wicked, like.

Finally, Tuffy. Words cannot describe this boy, Profile, sort your shit out and hook him up right. He does more for you then you do for him. He'll go global. The French love him, we love him, anyone that sees him ride cannot fail to be amazed, he kills it, sends it and is a sponsorship dream. You made this trip for me man, like you have the other 3 i've been on with you, an inspiration, and i wish i had what you got! Just see some of the photos/videos to see what i mean, but being there, in person, is even better.

I feel shattered, but it is worth every bit of pain!
Thank you to all the guys on the trip, it'll go down as one of the best yet! Roll on '09!


Hoppy said...

Glad you're all back safe and sound. looks a wicked trip, the riding on the photos look unreal. Count me in next yr, I need some Euro riding, this ABA BS is, is BS. Lovin' the blog. I have a cuppa and settle back for 10 mins in the morning to read whats goin on back home. Take it easy man

Mike@dialledbikes said...

Great write up Dan. Loved the trip and everyone on it.

I was thinking during the trip that it's not often you can throw 17 people from different walks of life together for that amount of time and not get friction. But we all got a long like brothers (and sisters), spirits were always high, and no cross words were exchanged.

So many good tracks were visited, but more importantly, so many good memories with good friends.

I'll never forget it.