Saturday, 23 May 2009

Holding it down with the hazardous...

Thats Philadelphia, where the American flags crack in the summer breeze and American people come together to stand united over the birth place of American Independence, and 4 lads from Yorkshire come to take the piss..

It was a good day out though, running up the rocky steps, buying an "infamous" Rocky Ice from a man that took his job far too seriously, i was like, cool cart man, he was like, yeah, i didn't build it, or make the ices, but i made the sign... No shit, i said.. He wore a bow tie and the illest shirt i've ever seen, regardless of all that though, he was good at his job.

Taking in the scenery of the city where the declaration of independence was first signed, seeing the liberty bell which was really small and nothing short of a disappointment, it even had a massive crack in it, what a load of tripe.

The way they were banging on about it though it was like the world began in 1776. But i'm a cynical Englishman who finds getting patriotic about my own country difficult at times, let along reveling in that of others!

Not unlike this guy though, this must be Americas most patriotic citizen.


Friday night I was pooped so i chilled and watched Notorious, which was quality. I was never a fan of Notorious, not for a long time and i certainly never felt all that west coast/east coast bull, but recently i've been appreciating him a lot more, so watching the film seemed like the next step. He was a rudebwoy! Get me! Even though he was a banger, a womaniser, a drug dealer, he was I suppose a product of his surroundings and no doubt, one the greatest rappers out there and it was all cut short over nonsense. Shame really.

Saturday I had a blast of a day, I got up early ran a few jobs, had an incredible breakfast, then headed to the trails, i planned on having an hour but i got in the flow and there was a good vibe, so i ended up being there for over 2 and a half, it was cool, met a dude from Jersey who has some private trails, pictures on his phone looked great, so i got his deats and think next few weekends i'll be on that!

Afterwards i rode to the park and got my climb on at worthless, there was a couple from Holland and they were sick, plus super cool, they showed me a ton of stuff i'd never even thought of, so i had a quality session there. After about 90 minutes i fancied a change, so i rode to Rat Rock, it was such a beautiful day i thought it'd be chocker, but i had it to myself almost - Crazy. I had another hour there, but my hands were ragged, so i called it. Good pump, got some new problems under my belt and it felt good to be back in the rhythm.

Saturday night I went to dinner with Kate and her folks, they were in NYC visiting and Kate asked if i wanted to meet them and grab dinner - I was a bit nervous, representing Queen and country is a big deal.. I'd heard a lot about them both, and I had a blast of an evening. They were super cool, easy to be around and laugh with, I think it went well, everyone seemed ot have fun sand the food was wonderful. Stoked! Afterward I went and met Justin, had a few beers then rocked out on rock band, which i still suck at!

On Sunday it was another awesome day in NY I got up and thought i'd try another spot up in Queens, in a place called Cunningham park, this is a bit of a mission, riding across town and south to Lexington and 63rd to grab to F train all the way to the end of the line.. Riding down Lex on the BMX!

From there its like a 20 minute ride through Jamaica , which is a pretty sweet area, I was expecting it to be kinda rough (Eddie Murphy did nothing for it in the hit movie - Coming to America) but from the subway to the trails it was all good! The trails are legal so part of me was expecting something like Highbridge where the jumps are pretty steep and short, but all filled in, but what I found was super steep, long jumps, the middle half heartedly filled in to please the man, lovely bowls, hips, turns, the sun squinting through the canopy onto the most perfectly formed dirt i've seen in a while. I thought I was dreaming, i never thought for a minute i'd have something like this so close to Manhattan. I was buzzing, i got my helmet on and had a few runs around the pump track which has more lines than Daniella Westbrook, and it was super fun, then to the trails to get my flow on, they felt awesome. After about 6 or so runs i was getting into and made it through the pack which has 10 sets in it. I was absolutely buzzing!

The guy that builds them is this sound dude called Rob Campbell who i recognised but couldn't place, there were some guys there that worked at Brooklyn Machine Works, we got chatting and they were like yeah, he's a pro skater, runs his own shop and wheel and deck company, this guy was so damn humble and grounded it was a bit of a shock, he was super cool about us all riding and we got the trains going on and it felt good to be sending it.

This is a video i found by some MTB dudes (there's a bunch of XC singletrack type stuff in the park too) Rob is the bad ass with the dreads and the camo shirt - Legitimate Bruv! The trails have been extended to come back up, bowled out a ton more between jumps and a lot of the dirt taken out from the middles to make them a bit bigger and steeper.. But you get an idea!

Love Vimeo, hate 5 minute long videos of mountain bikers being gnarly

I headed back to the City and grabbed a lovely dinner with Kate, we were going to hook up with Justin and those cats, but it never panned out. Oh well, we banged heads over some connect 4 which i owned and then i got owned at Jenga over a few beers. I had a lot of fun.

Monday we got up to another awesome day and i was kinda stuck for ideas, i was thinking of heading out to Shoreham BMX track so i called ahead and the lady on the phone was a complete prick and completely unhelpful, so i jogged it on and went to the trails at Cunningham again, i expected to shred an hour then call it a day, it ended up being a 6 hour marathon, of riding, shooting the breeze with my BFF, eating (amazing) cookies, digging a new jump and getting it dialled in, and more riding, it was intense!

I subwayed back and then held onto a taxi to give me a ride uptown, i was pretty beat! But so, so stoked on what had been an incredible weekend.

3 day week (psyche!) as I'm shooting off to Maryland with Kate to go to a wedding - Sheeeeet, call me integrated or what!?

Definitely gonna be calling in on my boys Avon and Stringer and seeing what's good in B-More! No doubt!


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