So I got a new sponsor the other day, which I'm really psyched on. AXO USA will now be hooking me up. Thanks Collin! I'll be getting some of the new Torque and Kicker gloves to try out and I will get back here with a review and hopefully some new photos as soon as I can. Check the link above or on my bio page, or go to www.axo.com and check out their shiznit. Nice stuff.
Hey all. I don't know how many people are left around still checking out my site but for the ones that are, I do appreciate it. You all rule! I know I haven't been updating stuff like I used to or maybe should be but that's probably purposeful on my part. There's some news that I've been wanting to put up for a while - more than a year - but really haven't come to terms with until very recently. It feels like the time is right to get it out. Instinct is king.
Professional athletes come and go; some stay for longer than others and some disappear without a trace of why. There's always a story behind the end of a career, usually more deeply personal details than what is made generally available. In the past 2 ½ years I've come to realize exactly why sometimes an athlete chooses, or is forced, to hang it up.
Two and a half years ago I started feeling the symptoms of vertigo, dizziness that progressed to being so bad that at one point I was unable to drive or even get out of bed without the room spinning like I was drunk. It also became impossible to do even one air on a vert ramp. This illness put my vert riding on a long, slow decline and bewildered me for the longest time. I knew I knew how to ride a ramp, all the tricks and knowledge were still in my head but I just couldn't seem to keep my head together and focus on the simplicity of one air.
The focus, motivation, and confidence have slowly been making their way back, but not in a way that I feel leave me any real hope of competing again. I do have my days where I feel unafraid and self-confident - I mean, I know I haven't lost the ability to still push ten feet and I've pulled tailwhips on resi since. Whatever the reasons now though, physiological or otherwise, it's been too slow and inconsistent of a process of trying to ride again at a level strong enough to enter a comp and feel satisfied with what I have to offer.
Acceptance is a difficult thing. It's taken me almost three years to come to terms with change. Some might say that's understandable, but since I'd started competing again I didn't want to think anything about what I'd be doing after no longer competing, nor did I think it would happen that quickly, or be out of my control.
Some people avoid change their whole lives.
The conclusion I've come to is that, 1. I'm pretty much retired, or semi-retired…because, 2. Maybe it will come back. Or, maybe it won't. Either way, I've reached a certain level of acceptance, which frankly helps me deal with life as I currently know it. At this point, I'm really just happy to be able to pedal, and to do two or three decent feeling airs because a couple of years ago I never thought I'd be able to ever do that much anymore. In the meantime, I'll focus on my company, baby bean productions, and begin the journey into the unknown of single parenthood with my little man, Tavian.
Whatever it is inside me that pushes me to keep going until I won't be able to anymore, I'm glad I have, otherwise long ago I'd have missed out on all these things that life throws my way. It's been an awesome journey since I started competing again in '99 and riding full-time in 2001. Even the not so cool happenings seem to make the great moments that much more enjoyable.
Thanks for listening.
Yes, another late installment of news by me. Thought I'd get something up on the site 'cause it's not like I've been sitting on my ass in front of the TV or anything. I really have been busy…really. I did put another photo today into the Gallery section though. Scroll down to the Random Photos to check the style. It's become one of my new favorites.
But I digress. If you'll read below or if you've been keeping up, most of my time over the past eight months or so has been taken up, work-wise anyway, by my exploits putting together the King of New York contest. Well, the contest finally went down, and it went off with a bang! I was super psyched on how everything turned out, even though I saw less than half the contest because I was running around making sure everything ran right. That was a strange feeling because it's usually me on the other side of the fence, riding, or being bored waiting to ride in some contest or demo. There was no time for boredom at the King of New York. It was a fun time though and very satisfying to finally see the fruits of all my efforts come together. Steve McCann came out and killed the park and comp, riding like he does every day at Woodward. It was good to see such a top level rider come to the Bronx and show the local crowd what they would see if they went to California to watch the X Games. Not that the locals disappointed though. Everyone rolled the dice, and looking back on the photos and from the positive comments I received on the event, I think everyone went away psyched that they came out to ride and/or spectate.
Shit, what else has been going on? I've still been able to do some freelance writing and did another piece for EXPN.com. I went to Cali to work for ESPN for the X Games, my fourth year as the BMX researcher. I have to admit I was quite disappointed with my schedule because I really didn't get to hang out with everyone like I was used to doing, and got stuck in the hotel most nights. At the same time, I'm really glad I got the opportunity to do it again this year for the experience and immersion. That said, this was probably my last year working in that capacity with that event. It was nice to know I definitely made a difference, especially when I heard my words being spoken over the loud speaker in the arena to introduce the athletes to tens of thousands of fans. But it's hard to respect and support an event that touts itself as the pinnacle of action sports when it's really about a TV show and not much about an actual competition. To put it another way, for those that aren't aware, there hasn't been an X Games qualifying system in place for the past three years - the ten riders that ride the X Games in each discipline are hand picked by a committee for each sport. The event has been quite a few years in decline and without going into specifics, I'll end this by saying that the back-end foundation the X Games was built on has eroded away.
It's been a long eight months or so since I last updated the news section of my site and a lot has been going on, let me tell you. The most major thing that's changed for me is that I now have a son. Yup…I know it may be hard for some to believe but I am actually somebody's daddy. His name is Tavian Daniel Parks and he was born on October 30, 2005. My girl, Laura, was in labor for more than 36 hours. Not quite a Halloween baby but as you might be able to imagine the birth experience was somewhat frightening, more for my girlfriend than me of course. He is definitely a treat though.
It's been great being a Dad. It is trying sometimes and can be a lot of work but it actually feels quite normal now. Fatherhood has come at a great time for me, as far as living things out that I wanted to do in my life before he came along. I'm even starting to forget how my life was before he came along, which is very strange indeed.
Besides still riding, I've also been involved with the event side of things a little more, other than the normal judging, writing, etc. I'll be heading up the 10th Anniversary King of New York BMX Freestyle Contest, Saturday July 29th. It will be held at Mullaly Park, about 3 blocks up from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York City. Come on out and hang if you are in the area or within 3000 miles :) We're gonna bring out a live DJ, lots of free drinks to keep people cool,hopefully some free food, and definitely great riding with a great vibe. Pros pay $50 to enter with at least a $3000 pro purse paying to 10th place. The ams will be free to enter (two classes, beginner/intermediate or expert) with some cool product prizes and giveaways. Check out www.kingofnewyorkbmx.com for more info or write me here if you want to know more.
With the vision of the contest that I wanted to do in my head, I knew it was going to take a lot of work and planning but little did I know exactly how far in advance I needed to get the ball rolling. I started putting things down on paper in January, which is plenty of time for certain things but most companies start their budget planning the year before an event so we were a little behind in that regard. Even still, we've got some great sponsors behind us this year with Scion Automobiles, Bavaria Beverages, Home Depot, Bell Helmets, Red Bull, Woodward Camp, FreeCycle Action Sports Team, Sophisticated Rider Magazine, and The New York City Parks and Recreation Department. Check out their site links I've added above when you can.
So whenever you go to a Metro Jam, CFB, or whatever, or even any of the other lesser known but not necessarily less fun contests and jams, think about the months and months of planning that goes into putting one of these things on. Say thanks to the promoters and their crews. Any one of the people who help put on these events could go and get some much easier (and maybe even better paying) gig doing something else but they stay involved in BMX because it's what they love doing and they're trying to give back some of that love or bring it to those who haven't yet experienced it.
Okay, I'm down from my soapbox now - thanks for listening. Hope to see many of you at the King of New York. Take care and have fun!
Last week I learned that Colin Winkelmann was dead. He committed suicide. I still can't believe it as I write it. I am less in disbelief as time goes on but the fact that he is no longer still perplexes me. He was the last person who I thought would go to such lengths to end their suffering. When I heard the news, the first thing I thought was a motorcycle accident, or maybe a car accident. Then I thought somehow he was killed on his bike, given the insane level of riding he had progressed to. Colin was into the type of riding that not too many people can handle, let alone think of as realistic.
And then I was told that he took his own life. I was speechless. I couldn't understand how someone who seemed to love life as much as he did could do such a thing. He had so many toys. He rode his motorcycle all over the place. I used to ride motorcycles myself and know what an amazing and adventurous feeling that is. He was really into radio-controlled cars and airplanes too. I'll never forget the time he backflipped his RC car up over the outdoor rhythm section outside Lot 8. He was jumping it over the hips and big box inside The Cage too that day. You should have heard the kids screaming. They were so into it and were having just as much fun watching as he looked like he was having controlling the car. He tried to jump it from the takeoff of one jump to the landing of the second on the resi-boxes outside the cabins - at least 40 feet. The car almost made it.
I'd seen some instances of him being bummed too, or angry, but like most everyone else the next time I would see him he seemed okay. I knew he was hurt and in pain from his crash last year but thought things were getting better. How wrong I was.
I guess you never really know how people are feeling deep down. Rest in peace, Colin.
I've been back home for a few weeks now, and boy am I glad to be home - especially after reading the last news update I wrote below! I finally got done the story for EXPN.com that would not quit, and it's up on their website. Here's the link if anyone is interested - http://expn.go.com/expn/story?pageName=dwoodward. If this takes you to the Index page click on "more stories" at the bottom of the left most column. "The Woodward Report" is part of their revamped site with all X Games features. I might have made it out to LA to check out the action but unfortunately played my cards wrong. Should have studied the poker games more closely on the Warped Tour. Ah well, I'm not feeling too bad - I live near enough to Woodward to get the preview that not many get to see and believe me...I do feel fortunate. If you get a chance to check out the action live on ESPN in a few days, you will not be sorry that you tuned in...
The fourth week of the Free Flow Tour is underway and going well, although I haven't ridden in three days - the only park in Indy worth going to doesn't allow bikes. I hate feeling like I'm wasting my time. Hopefully my skating cohorts at least had a good time. It's sad because most parks that don't allow bikes, for whatever reason they can justify, end up closing down, or allowing bikes as a last resort to try and stay in business. Good luck UV Skatepark.
I haven't updated the news section in quite a long time, purely out of sheer lack of motivation. Sitting alone in a hotel room with not much to do has proven to be my impetus. I finally put some new photos and video up in the GALLERY. Below (the 4/6/2005 update) is a story I wrote last month for EXPN.com which never made it up onto their site. I figured I couldn't let good writing go to waste. Also, below is the first update I wrote for the Free Flow Tour website which, actually, you'll probably be able to read here before it gets up onto their site. Check out the link above and see what this Free Flow thing is all about. I'll be on the road for another three months. To all my friends...let's keep in touch.
Louisville, KY Free Flow Tour
Twenty one riders came out to the 80,000 square foot Louisville Extreme Park to enter the first ever Free Flow Tour bike competition. This event may not have had the largest turnout for a bike contest but what the comp may have lacked in entrant quantity, it definitely did not lack in rider quality and crowd participation.
Eight talented riders made it to the final with Weston Pope taking the win with original transfer lines and huge 7-foot high quarter bowl airs. The crowd and the guest pros on hand to help with the judging duties, T.J. Lavin and Tim "Fuzzy" Hall, were wowed by Weston's seemingly experienced riding. Surprisingly though, this was his first freestyle contest - Weston is a seasoned BMX racer who humbly said after the comp, "I need to learn more tricks." After destroying his back wheel during his runs, he'll have plenty of time to learn stuff with the new Schwinn T.J. Lavin Pro model bike he won.
Marcus Grubbs and Zach Newman earned second and third respectively, busting 540s, tailwhips, big airs, and tech shredding. An honorable mention must go out to Ben Hinkel as well. He would have had a shot at the win in the Free Flow Finals, but never made it that far after injuring his foot and taking himself out near the end of Prelims by trying to transfer from the concrete quarter to the back of the full pipe wall. Crazy.
Finally, we can't forget the Free Flow Tour's "Junior Jam" for the younger rippers. Justin Carver held off all challengers with flow of the park like the local that he is and earned some great prizes from Ogio, Fox, and Right Guard.
See you at the next BMX competition in Orlando, Florida!
The Woodward Report: State College, PA
Starting out with two quarterpipes, a couple kick turn ramps, a dirt jump built into the side of a hill, and one indoor building with one wedge ramp - that's right, one indoor ramp - Woodward Camp has undergone some impressive changes to become the premier actions sports training facility in the world. Now featuring seventeen different parks, many of them indoors, some of your X Games favorite athletes have made their homes here or near here to be able to ride at the top of their game.
Originally from New York City, I've been coming to Woodward Camp on and off since 1988 and I've experienced firsthand some of the evolution over the years. I moved here in 2001 and the off-season can be longer than in some parts of the country like Southern California or Florida. It's been a long, cold winter in Central Pennsylvania and with not a whole lot to do besides ride, there was a lot of other indoor activity happening as well. Three of the Pro residents have become expectant fathers…
Jamie Bestwick and wife Kerry are expecting their first high flying bundle of joy at the end of June. Or maybe Jamie will simply air out of the ramp and personally take the stork delivery? "Samuel David Bestwick. We pretty much knew (the name) the minute she got pregnant. Samuel is my old nickname my grandparents and parents used to call me years ago. That's a long story. David is Kerry's father's name." Whether or not he'll ride BMX like his famous daddy, Jamie says, "It's really up to him, I wouldn't force anything upon him. I'll take him riding with me if he wants to go. I'm not going to use him as an extension of me. I'd be quite happy if he was captain of the England soccer team (taking them) to victory in the World Cup." With the new baby coming, Jamie's been traveling quite a bit to England for an anticipated move back later this year in order to be closer to family. "It (their current State College digs) will be on the market by the time this story comes out." The Bestwicks are serious about moving and have already bought a place in England "in Notinghamshire, close to both our parents. I'm going to buy a place in State College and do the whole backwards and forwards thing." Between riding in contests and his commitment to sponsors, he says, "I'll be here quite a lot" Riding a ton of park lately, he entered the Backyard Jam in October at the Darby Skatepark near his hometown of Heanor. Don't sleep on Jamie, because if he decides he wants to take Park contests seriously - look out! No-handers out of the wallride and blasting higher than anyone on the ten-foot quarter, he qualified second and ended up third in the finals. Van Homan ended up taking the win with Mike Escamilla right behind in second. Don't worry, Jamie's not quitting vert anytime soon, and took the win on vert at the 2005 UK Bike Show held on April 1-3. He downplayed the possibility of more park comps in 2005 saying, "There's a lot of vert contests this year so - I don't know. The first two qualifying events for the Dew Tour are around when my baby's born so I might have to dash off if I need to."
As opposed to the bachelor, party lifestyle oft-associated with the original "Pro Town USA," Greenville, NC, State College has become family-guy central. John Parker made the move to Woodward in mid-December along with wife Jolene, son Jack, and their two dogs. With four vert ramps, two vert resi-ramps, a vert foam pit and most importantly, seven other dedicated vert riders here the reason for the switch should be obvious. Oh, and John's in-laws are just a few hours away now in New Jersey. Forever the entrepreneur (he's worked with the ASA running the bike portion of the Mobile Skatepark Series and also has some investment properties and a show team - The Stunt Masters - back in Arizona), John is also starting up a new quarterly magazine called "The Sophisticated Rider." Covering "action sports and lifestyle for the diverse and complex rider," check out www.sophisticatedrider.com and look for the first issue at your local newsstand in July.
Kevin Robinson and wife Robin are expecting a little one as well in late November to join their first child, 6-month old Shaye. Imagine if you were to make a left out of John Parker's driveway and go to the end of the street down the block…keep going. You would literally drive right into Kevin's new house - but he would be really mad and probably hurt you so pull into the driveway instead please. A two story colonial, four-bedroom, 2800 square foot home - when the basement set-up is complete he'll have a bar, stage, and dartboard for endless nights of Karaoke madness. Let's not forget about the weightroom either. Nicknamed "The Dungeon," Kevin is serious about training and says, "You come in there, you better leave in pain!"
Your friendly neighborhood writer/pro rider Danny Parks and girlfriend Laura are anxiously anticipating the birth of their first child in mid-October, nicknamed "the bean." Myself, along with Chad Kagy, have been named the first Athlete Representatives for The United States BMX Freestyle Federation.
The Lodge at Woodward Camp East hosted the second board meeting of The United States BMX Freestyle Federation on February 12. The USABMXFF is the newly formed domestic BMX Freestyle sanctioning body dedicated to help organize and manage the sport further, and excited in anticipation of the possible inclusion of BMX Freestyle in the 2008 Olympics. Additional appointees were Steve Swope (President), Ryan Nyquist (First Vice President), Brian Kachinsky (Secretary), and five Vice Presidents, Kevin Robinson, Mat Hoffman, Dennis McCoy (VP/Treasurer), Allan Cooke, and Gary Ream. Go to www.usabmxfreestyle.org for more info.
John Parker wasn't the only top rider planning on moving to Woodward over the winter. The rumor mill was buzzing - no, make that screaming - with news that Dave Mirra was leaving Greenville for more northern climates, namely State College, Pennsylvania. The news was a bit premature though as he did spend some time looking for property to build a house on and the like but decided North Carolina is still where it's at, at least for the time being. Judging by the photos circulating on the internet of his 360s and superman seatgrabs almost 15-feet over the new ten-foot box jump set-up outside his private warehouse, he may be staying in Greenville for some time to come.
Australian transplant Steve McCann is calling Woodward home now too. Lack of motivation in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia and simply needing a break from last year's grueling contest season schedule, he's making up for the previous three months lost time of not riding by burning up the skatelite in Lot 8. He's even got flairs pretty well dialed from a healthy dose of airing the Cloud 9 vert ramp. Even though he says, "It's so hard because I'm doing two other classes (Park and Dirt) that I'm good at - a third would be a lot of work," could a run at the vert class in 2005 be not far off?
Another rider contemplating a change of scenery was Alistair Whitton. With much warmer weather climates, a great riding scene, and just a bit more to do to pass the time, he was seriously thinking about heading south from his State College, PA base to Orlando, Florida. Riding during the winter at one of the best indoor facilities in the world does have its advantages and he recently earned two third place finishes in Pro Street and Pro Spine at the 2005 UK Bike Show on a new, bright green Pro Signature frame given from his longtime sponsor MacNeil Bikes to show for his successes over the years.
Kevin, Chad and computer geek/pro rider Keith McElhinney did demos at Rye Airfield Skatepark in New Hampshire for a park renovations fundraiser on April 1-3. The owner of the park is a retired American Airlines pilot and flew down to State College Airport in his own private plane to pick up the crew. The guys got to take turns sitting in the co-pilot chair, which provided a very unique view of the "mild-chop" turbulence and sideways landing because of the stormy conditions. Among other amusing obstacles, the park has a six foot high box jump (the same height ramp that Dave Mirra pulled the first double backflip on in competition) and a 22-foot tall vert wall. The weekend saw some unexpected crashes and a few minor injuries but according to Keith, "except for the trips to the hospital, it was a fun time."
Tony Hawk's Boom Boom Huck Jam Tour BMX crew has been confirmed! New recruit Chad Kagy will team up with veterans Mat Hoffman, Dennis McCoy, and Kevin Robinson on the 55 day, 31 stop tour. "I can't wait to jump it. Guinea pigging the first time is going to be the scary part. As long as I can clear the damn thing I can do whatever I want on it," said Chad, referring to flipping the new jump, which will send him a distance of 42-feet, over the chasm of the halfpipe. You heard it here first!
The GALLERY section was updated today. I was going through some old photos and ran across some ancient flatland shots. Check it out and go to the "Random Pics" section.
Back home. I haven't been here in PA for about a month but it's good to get back and sleep in my own bed again. I was in NY before Warped Tour, then did two weeks of Tour and came back to NY for another week. Rode at Mullaly Skatepark last week and was surprised at how small the 8-foot quarters feel after riding a thirteen-foot halfpipe for two weeks straight.
Yesterday, I drove straight back to Woodward to meet up with the guys from Warped. They had a day off and rented a van to go hang out at Woodward and do some riding. You know people love to ride when they choose to ride on their days off. So me and Mike Mancuso met up and rode. I couldn't find Rick Thorne - I heard he was sleeping when I got there and ended up riding with the skaters somewhere else later on. It was a fun and relaxing day. Mike and I stretched no-handers over the spine-resi and grinded around the mini-ramp in Cloud Nine.
So, let's see…I guess I promised to write down some Tour stories. I have some stuff in the journal but just have to compose it. My photos didn't come out too well but one of the skateboarders, Dan Ehara, took some good ones - he and Jon Comer drinking beer out of Jon's prosthetic leg at a bar in Nashville, me standing on the field at Minnesota Twins stadium hitting baseballs…I'll update the GALLERY with my best and his when I can get in touch with him.
Hmm, let's see, what else? I didn't do any band interviews because there weren't really any bands that I was interested in interviewing. Not that they weren't cool personalities everywhere…the drummer from NOFX was hanging on our bus a lot, I talked to Matt Hensley from Flogging Molly a couple years ago and he was out again this year, and Lars Fredericksen from Rancid/The Bastards came over and hung out with Mike Frazier to play Poker. I lifted weights one night with Jake from The Casualties. He has a very tall, orange Mohawk. I guess I just didn't feel like breaking out the tape recorder. Sorry. It was just nice to chill out and see everyone in a regular day-to-day environment. I do need to learn to play poker better though, that's where all the action was.
My favorites bands to watch were NOFX and Bad Religion, they always sounded great. One band I'd never heard of who were great was Tiger Army. They had a really different sound to them…a guy playing a stand-up bass, instead of bass guitar, and a drummer playing a weird sounding drum - sort of like he was playing the snare and hitting the edge of it at the same time. I still don't know how he made that sound but it was cool. Go buy their CD.
Below are some random Warped Tour ramblings and excerpts from my journal…
*7/16 - Vans has waited until the last minute to book my plane ticket and decides it's too expensive to fly me out of State College. I was in NY so I drive 3 ½ hours to PA to get my stuff and drive back the next morning so I can make my traffic court date. It was worth not missing it since the cop didn't show up and my ticket was dismissed. I fly out of JFK two days later, having to miss my first day in Montana and fly into Salt Lake City instead. I am disappointed because I really wanted to see some Moose and drive on the US version of the Autobahn.
Check-in at the airline desk takes more than 30 minutes because the agent can't seem to make friends with the computer. And I'm not even disputing the $80 they are charging to ship my bike like I usually do. Now I'm hungry but airport food is damn expensive. I see a Ms. Pac Man machine and five quarters later, I have the high score. Still hungry and now bored, I give in to my stomach and buy overpriced junk food. The only thing playing on the airport TV is CNN. Martha Stewart gets 5 months in jail. We'll see. Obesity is now officially a disease. George Bush speaks on the campaign trail and lots of people clap and cheer in the background. Scary times.
*7/17 - On the plane ride in last night, I got to see the salt flats as the sun set. Definitely not a New York skyline but very cool indeed. I like it out here - clear skies, beautiful snow-covered mountain views, and friendly people.
I meet up with the rest of the riders on tour - skateboarders Jon Comer, Tony Alexander, Dan Ehara, and Darin "Cookie" Jenkins, as well as the "Athlete Wrangler," Shannon Toglia. I'm the only bike rider on the ramp today but it doesn't matter. In a few days, Neal Hendrix, Mike Frazier, Paul Zitzer, and Anthony Furlong will be back and eventually Rick Thorne, Mike Mancuso, and Dennis McCoy will join us at one time or another, too. There's instant camaraderie between everyone. The best part of tour for sure.
First shows of my stint here go well. This is good because I promised myself I wouldn't fall and dislocate my shoulder in the first show like two years ago. We hang out on the bus afterwards. It's hot and I'm sweaty from riding but refreshing, clean showers are difficult to find on tour sometimes. That much I remember. It starts to rain and Tony decides this is better than the indoor showers offered us. I learn Jon's motto for tour is, "Hygiene is for pussies!" He keeps the odors at bay surprisingly well.
*7/18 - Denver, CO. We're at Mile High Stadium and boy does it feel like it's a mile high. Actually, it is. Being up in this altitude is strange…it really does have an effect. My riding is the worst it's been in a long time and I feel confused and disoriented half the time afterwards. I can't focus on things - my head throbs and chest aches. I wish I smoked because then I would have a real reason for feeling this bad. I know I'm exaggerating a bit but the only excuse I can think of is that I'm in poor shape.
*7/19 - We have a day off today in Omaha, Nebraska. I do laundry. Me, Cookie, and Shannon go to the mall. I know…really exciting. Last time I was here, two years ago, we all went to a strip club. Much more fun, especially for Pat Channita and Mike Mancuso who, hours after the rest of us left the club, ended up needing a ride back to the bus from a waitress because their taxi didn't show up. The bus had left by then and she drove them something like 60 miles to meet us at a truck stop. They barely made it.
After we get back from the mall, we find many people have gone bowling so we go next door and have the best meal of the whole tour. Cookie scarfs down the New England clam chowder - he orders four bowls. I couldn't decide which glass of wine to get so the waitress brings me 3 glasses to sample. What great service. Ordering asparagus with my meal, I learn later that it really does make my piss smell funny.
*7/20 - "12:33 am. Somewhere in Iowa. Where are we?? I woke up a little while ago after 1 ½ hours or so of sleep. Lots of noise in the coffin. Bumps. Tommy (the bus driver) rolling over rumble strips. I got a little anxious because I thought of crashes and not being able to escape the inside of the bus. Gotta learn how to open the windows from the inside."
That's what I wrote that night on the way to Milwaukee. "The coffin" is the name I've given to my bunk, which I don't fit too well in. Actually, a coffin would realistically have more room. Two years ago while on tour, I woke up to the sound of the tires below my bunk exploding in the middle of the night. "BOOM!!! CLUNK, CLUNK, CLUNK, CLUNK…BOOM!!!" I braced myself for impending doom, but we never did slow down. So I stumbled cautiously to the front of the swaying bus and said to Ted, our driver at the time, "Ummm, I think the back tires are flat. They just blew up." His quizzical response was, "Oh. Was that what that was?" Ted is a funny guy. I'm sure he'll add that one to his plethora of great stories. After we finally pulled over, one of the drivers behind us commented how he saw the wheels throwing sparks. I guess we were lucky. Read about the FUSE TV/AOL RV crash here. Go to the August 1st entry.
*7/21 - "St. Louis, MO, or as the locals have named it, St. Loser, Misery. It's pretty fucking boring right now. Most everyone has resorted to drinking. I'm in the back of the bus watching "Donnie Brasco." Good movie. Riding is going better each day, thank God. Did a no-hander today that felt like a dream. Like someone else's hands came off the bars and I was only a spectator along for the ride, looking down. The hands came off, bars sat in my lap, held it, and then the hands went back to the bars and I came in. Smooth too."
*7/23 - This day in Cleveland, the halfpipe was under a huge tent along with the main stages. It was LOUD. Yes, I guess I am too old because I am complaining. I wore earplugs during the demos. That helped with the noise plenty but totally threw off my riding. It felt like riding in outer space or something. I never realized how beneficial sound and vibration are to riding a metal ramp. Whatever it was, I took out the plugs halfway through the second demo but it was too late. Anyone who knows me knows how disappointed I am when I don't ride well.
To try and cheer myself up, I went and walked around looking for something to eat. We were right near where Gravity Games has been held for the past two years so I was familiar with the area. I ended up finding this cool blues bar/restaurant. The salmon was pretty good but the band sounded even better. Nothing like live music to soothe the soul. Michael Locke and The Repeat Offenders was the featured band. They rocked and turned out to be cool guys too. The drummer even used to ride way back when. Check them out at www.michaellocke.net.
*7/26- "I'm staring at the chessboard watching Furlong and "MexiDan" playyyy…so far for an hour and five minutes and there are still half the pieces on the board. Yesterday was cool. Riding didn't go so well again - I was fucking tired - but we were at the Minnesota Twins Stadium and I got to go out onto the field and walk around…hit some balls at home plate…pitched from the mound. Got some good photos I think. Today…they didn't put up the ramp because of the terrain set-up. It is so hilly at this venue (Bonner Springs, MO) so the ramp scaffolding went up, looked jacked, and came right down again. Bummer in a way but I'm not gonna cry about it. I could use the day off. So now we have two (days) in a row (off). It's almost lunchtime. Time to go stand in line. Blah."
*7/27 - Here in Nashville I am feeling too sick and tired to do much of anything so I lay around in bed most of the day trying to fight off a sinus infection. I muster up the strength later on to go out with Furlong and some of his lady friends to Outback Steakhouse. On the way back, we drive by Vanderbilt University. I didn't know we were so close. Funny how thoughts and energies of ones past and loved ones can cause spontaneous events to transpire.
Ah, but I digress. Back on the bus, Justin from Sessions, Dan, and Jon Comer tell stories of going to a bar and drinking beer from Jon's prosthetic leg. I guess he got drunk, took off his leg, slapped it down on the bar and said, "Fill 'er up! I need a refill!" and the bartender poured beer in it! Frazier's classic response was, "If you've got the leg, we've got the beer…"
*7/29 - "6:35 am. I just woke up twenty minutes ago. We're here at the Orlando Fairgrounds waiting to get in. I didn't sleep well last night for some reason, compared to the night before when I slept in the coffin and slept really well. Surprisingly well. I have a bit of a cold which didn't help much. I took some decongestant last night which I'm sure made it easier to sleep but not enough. My chest hurts a bit and my throat as well. It seems like I'm getting over this cold a bit compared to a few days ago but I know yesterday wore me down a little. Yesterday (Atlanta) was rough. Had to search all over as soon as I woke up to find the trailer, get my stuff out of it and lug it back to the bus. Then it was scorching hot during the shows, especially the second. I thought I was going to pass out. Very weird. Definitely a day I would not have ridden because of the heat."
*7/30 - "2:37 am. Not the greatest shows today but tonight was cool. Dave Brumlow was supposed to take me around town but his girlfriend decided otherwise. He's whipped. So Phil Hajal drove Mike Mancuso, Cookie, and I to a restaurant called Tu Tu Tango where we met up with the guys doing the Universal Studios shows - Page Hussey from Hoffman Bikes, Jay Eggleston, Zach Shaw, Dave Voelker, and Matt Wilhelm. Mike proceeded to take everyone's money in C-Lo as soon as we got there. You can't mess with Greenville! I drank wine, ate Tuna appetizers and gourmet pizza, and got a little tipsy. It's always good to hang with the crew."
St. Petersburg, FL. As soon as I walked off the bus in the morning, I got a good feeling. We were right by the beach and the pier. ESPN held the X-Trials there a few years ago and I had a great time then too. That year I hung out with Pat Miller and the Austin Texas crew (Ruben Castillo, Steve Orneleas, and Kevin Guiterrez) who are about as close to my good friends back home as I could get. The demos were fun again here, although were cut short by the heat in the first and the rain in the second. There was a girl who thought I was the hottest thing since sliced bread. After talking to her, she wasn't my type, but it's the thought that counts, right? That night I went out and had sushi and flirted with the beautiful Japanese waitresses, which always makes for a good end to any day.
*7/31 - If you don't like the weather in Southern Florida, just wait five minutes. I've heard that line many a time and in Pompano Beach it held true. The first demo only went on for about 10 minutes and the second demo was totally cancelled due to rain. It was a mud fest! The kids loved it though…I saw some TOTALLY covered! So I mostly hung back at the bus with a good friend of mine, Jodi, who came out to hang. Taking apart my bike and packing my bags sucked because of the inclement weather but I was upbeat because this was my next to last day.
*8/1 - Jacksonville…and I was out! Said my goodbyes and off to the airport. My plane was delayed and so the car service left me to fend for myself at JFK. $120 later I was back in the Bronx and had gotten my car from Westchester. Time to relax.
Much thanks go out to Steve and Kristy Van Doren (thanks for the shoes too Kristy!) at Vans for giving me the opportunity to ride on the Vans Warped Tour again and to Mike Mancuso for giving me the hookup. Thanks! For more on Warped Tour life check out http://warpedtour.com/pit.html for some pretty cool stories by the WT Pit Reporter, Meghan.
Not a whole lot to report today. I did update the EVENTS section again and added the Vans Warped Tour to the mix as I'm scheduled to do the midwest leg of the Tour. I'm excited about that as I wasn't able to go last year because of schedule conflicts. I've also added an event date in D.C. that I don't quite know the name of yet. It was the "Thrash At Rash" in Baltimore last year but they've added two more dates and so I'll be doing the one in D.C.
The Yellow Mongoose school bus frame that I recently got has turned out to be great. It took a while to get used to it but after I finally did there was no looking back. I have a picture of me on the Cloud Nine vert ramp going about 8 or 9 feet out but it's too dark to post. Hopefully, I'll get some good ones soon enough.
I went ahead and updated the EVENTS section. The Target event in NYC got cancelled...I was really looking forward to doing that too. In the meantime, I'll be spending much of this summer riding at Woodward Camp, and on Wednesday's will be riding in the vert demos in Cloud 9. See ya there...look for me on the bright yellow Mongoose. Pictures soon...
A couple days ago a friend from the Philly area came down with his wife, who is a PhD student and who is studying the effects of head injury on us bike riders. I volunteered to do the testing...and I still have a headache from it. Just kidding, I didn't get bashed over the head in the name of science but there was a lengthy process of answering lots of questions and participating in many, many tests. I can't go into detail because I don't want to spoil it for anyone else but it was at least two hours long. Between not eating for hours and finishing late, I actually did leave with a headache from all the intense thinking I had to do. Seriously, it was that in depth! I also had to add up all the concussions I've had over the years and realized to my dismay that I've suffered at least ten since the age of thirteen. I don't know whether to be thankful, comparing myself to Mat Hoffman or Kevin Robinson who collectively have had WAY more than a hundred, or feel like I need to be more careful like most people who may knock their head once or twice on the bottom of the sink while fixing the plumbing or picking up the toothpaste cap. It was cool to feel like I participated in something unprecedented and hopefully helpful (this is the first study of its kind on this type of athlete) and either way, I'm still in good shape, even if my recall memory is not nearly what it used to be. I'd probably do it all the same again anyway. Except for running into that metal door while playing football in junior high school. I'd catch the ball for the touchdown next time.
Today was the first day at Woodward that many of the staff started to arrive. When I got to camp around 5:30, there wasn't a soul riding though and I ventured down to the Barn to see who was out and about. Steve McCann was hanging out and while we were talking he offered me his old prototype frame. A loud, bright yellow Mongoose. I figured I'm due for a change and graciously accepted. Thanks Stevie. As I walked back up the hill with frame in hand, I got a few "school bus" comments and other taunts…but I don't care, I welcome the attention. Ha.
It was strange because usually everyone is just getting off work and starting to pad up by this time. But no one was around. I padded up and was having a grand ol' time on my own but within 5 minutes, rear hub issues brought my session to a screeching halt. Damn Profile cassette. Sort of like the calm before the storm because less than an hour later, riders started showing up in boatloads. Thankfully, I was able to get my wheel rolling right again, albeit not without a dose of frustration along with a sprinkling of cursing. More than a sprinkling actually, but that's beside the point. So I rode with the young spry ones for another couple hours and ended up with a pretty good session. There are a lot of talented riders out there to help keep me inspired. I've concluded that the staff are just as excited as the campers to be there, proving this by throwing themselves everywhere with no regard that it's their first day.
I've been working a lot on new stuff myself: tailwhips, 360 stuff both ways, 720s, opposite lookbacks on big ramps, and various other fun things. There's lately been a never ending flow of ideas. I was commenting to someone tonight how great it is to finally have a place again where I can think of something - anything that comes to mind, no matter how possible or stupid it may seem - and try it for as long or short of a time as I want. The best thing is that I can come back the next day, or next week for that matter, and try it again if I don't get it right the first time. Anyone will tell you how depressing it is learning or getting close to something and not being able to get comfortable with it because you don't have the opportunity to try it again for weeks or sometimes months. It's been a long time for me since I've had this environment and I want to keep doing this for as long as I can.
This past weekend was busy. Myself, Brian Cunningham, and Tom Stober all piled into my car and headed off to Ohio for Jamie Bestwick's Goodtimes contest at The Flow. It's always good to hang out with friends in a non-riding situation like a road trip because you get to know them better and talk about stuff you would not normally if you were only at the skatepark riding. Stuff like open-heart surgery, running your own business, the state of riding today ("sheep"), imported European project cars that take years to complete, and prototype knee pads.
Have you ever been to Cracker Barrel and tried to solve that peg puzzle they have on the tables? Every time I stop in there I try and get down to one peg, and this trip, with Brian's keen analytical ability and persistence, the code was cracked. It was a good trip to Columbus which flew by pretty darn quickly. Except for the part where we got lost for an hour at midnight trying to find the park. That wasn't too bad though. Watching some guy's car burn to ashes on the other side of the highway will put things into perspective.
We finally arrived at The Flow and what a place this was. The park is huge and has most every imaginable ramp and line you could think of…there wasn't much lacking, from big to small and everything in between. It was late and Jamie was putting on the finishing touches for the comp the next day so we ventured off to find the hotel and crash out for the night.
The next day I checked out the park again but I knew the place would be packed full of hungry amateurs eagerly waiting to show what they had. So I hung out without my bike for a couple hours during practice, saw some friends I hadn't seen in a while, and headed off to Cincinnati to visit family and ride the ASA Mobile Skatepark Series contest. I definitely have to make my way back to ride The Flow during off-peak hours and I highly suggest you do too if you're anywhere near. I think it's not too far from Cleveland and ChengaWorld too. See the link above in the first paragraph for more info and tell 'em Danny Parks sent ya.
The MSS contest was thankfully not as stressful to me as most and I actually had a good time hanging out on the deck riding with my friends. One refreshing thing I have to say about this comp was that the riders in each class, in my opinion, were judged correctly. Steve McCann won street and Koji Kraft won vert. Now I've watched Koji ride many times before and he is always great to watch, but there was a level of maturity in his riding here that I've seen only a couple of times previously. He absolutely amazed everyone with control of his bike and the ramp. Many times he is on edge (or over), or clowning around and can't keep a run together but here he put the bike exactly where he wanted it without hesitation. I don't think I'm explaining it too well, you really had to be there to see it but Koji blew minds this Memorial Day. If you're near Washington, DC this July Fourth weekend, come check out the next MSS stop and say hi. Go here for details.
So I've had these Poorboy shinpads for I don't know how long. They were worked...been through hell and thorougly tattered but saved my legs many times. Luckily, my friend Brian Cunningham is sponsored by a company called Pryme and he was cool enough to get me a brand spankin' new pair of their shinpads. Very nice stuff. Check them out at www.prymegear.com. Much thanks.
I was perusing the web the other day and came across this photo from the 2002 MSS contest in Cincinnati. Funny what you can find when you're bored and tired of looking at internet porn.
Hey everyone. Well, here I am another month or so later and I still have boxes in my living room to unpack. No, I haven't been that busy…just lazy. I'm getting to it.
Really though, to my own credit, since coming here to Pennsylvania I have been hard at work on resumes and cover letters; making phone calls and self-promoting trying to add some new sponsors for 2004 and also expand my consulting work base. There are some promising things on the horizon but nothing concrete as of yet.
The site has also been updated with new video. Go here to the "Gallery" section to see the latest. In the meantime, I've been riding a lot putting in my time on as many of the ramps at Camp as I can. With the new additions in the Lot 8 bowl, riding there has taken on a whole new meaning and that to me has been the most fun to ride as of late. But I did also ride outside in The Cage recently and it's always fun to come down the 15-foot tall roll in and jump the big jump. Love that thing.
There is a local skatepark here in town, part of the Tussey Mountain ski resort, and they just started letting bikes in last weekend. Me, Kevin Robinson, and Chad Kagy went there on Sunday and it was pretty fun to ride and just hang in a regular skatepark and ride with the locals. Most of the ramps are pretty small, probably no more than 4 feet tall, but there is a cool wall ride and a nice looking six-foot mini-half. I say nice looking mini because it wasn't finished yet. It seems that they were waiting to sheet it with Skatelite but with the demand from Woodward so high this time of year, there was no more left. There are more changes to the park planned but when it's done that will be the most fun thing to ride for sure.
It's still always a little weird to hear and see people's reactions when you show up, especially since I was with Kevin and Chad who are such big names. Kids get so nervous, stare a lot at first and stop riding to watch you. It can be a bit intimidating at times. I think it's funny though because after the first half hour or so they get over themselves and you meld in with the rest of the environment. Things get back to normal real quick as everyone goes back about their business.
Bright colors. That is the easiest way to describe some of the new prototype frames coming out of the GT/Mongoose/Schwinn fold. Tom Stober's new Schwinn is a bright, electric red, Steve McCann's new Mongoose is Sunkist orange, and Jamie's new GT frame is, well…grey. Someone had to balance things out, but the 2005 Bestwick Pro looks awesome too and hopefully yours truly will be getting one in the near future. So Jamie, if you're reading this…
Last night, I rode at Woodward for the first time since I officially moved back here to PA. It was a good session and from the looks of things, it's going to be a great summer too. On the deck of the Cloud Nine vert ramp with me were Jamie Bestwick, Kevin Robinson, Tom Stober, and Keith McElhiney. Zach Shaw from England showed up too but sans bike...I think he had just flown in. Also riding below on mini-ramp and the new resi-spine/rhythm jump area were Steve McCann and some guys that Steve Bartholomew from Clicked Video Magazine brought with him from England. Over in Lot 8, Axel Jurgens and Ashley Hoffman were hammering away, working on the new vert ramp. Did you know about the new vert ramp? Well, the old 11 3/4' tall ramp is gone (the only guys that used to ride it anyway were me and Jamie) and in its place is a smaller, more beginner level ramp that's 9 3/4' tall at its highest. Should be a lot more fun and easier to ride for you little guys. Oh, and can't forget the bowl addition behind the vert ramp. Three words - curved wall ride...
Well, it's official...I'm moving! Well, actually, I've already moved...but that's just details. Where have I gone, you may ask? To State College in Pennsylvania which is right near Woodward Camp. I'll be spending a lot of time at Camp this summer so expect lots of photo updates and the like within upcoming months. If you happen to be attending camp, come up and say hi...I've got new DannyParks.com stickers that I'll be giving away lots of. See you there!
News of The Frigid Temps Tour was featured recently on www.fatbmx.com and www.lifelounge.com. Click the links and get an insiders view of the European BMX and Action Sports scene and lifestyle...
My good friend, Rick Thorne, was cool enough to put a link to my site on his new website. Check out Rick right here, boys and girls!
While I was in Orlando on the Frigid Temps Tour, Rob Nolli told me that he would be in NY to do a half-time show during the Knicks game and could get me tickets. Of course, I couldn't refuse...Basketball is my next greatest love next to riding. A few hours after I arrived home from Tour, I went to Madison Square Garden to see the Knicks play. I didn't know what to expect except for Rob, Mike Parenti, and Trevor Meyer to drive the fans wild! If you've never seen a Giant Bikes half-time show, you'll be surprised at how little stopping room the guys have after they land off the jump. Rob and Mike don't hold back on jumps and go big which makes it that much more exciting and also difficult to stop without going out of bounds into the crowd! Much respect due. It was a great show that was accentuated by a big win from the Knicks. Go NY!
The Frigid Temps are GONE...or so I thought! Click on the links below to check out the stories and photos from the Frigid Temps Tour. I'll be updating each day with the previous days hijinks. Enjoy!
DAY ONE 1/19:
What a day to leave NY and start my trip. Along with freezing rain, it was snowing and sleeting and...
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DAY TWO 1/20:
Today started off S-L-O-W. I was in a little bit of a fog from the night before because...
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DAY THREE 1/21:
Maybe it was not warming up enough in a cold warehouse but after jumping the box...
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DAY FOUR 1/22:
I left Atlanta in the Rocket, which was still dirty, but I felt confident about my riding and the...
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DAY FIVE 1/23:
I find myself jaded already by the temperatures with only one day in Miami. It's 69 degrees but...
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DAY SIX 1/24:
My spirits were high today along with the shining sun and temperature of 74 degrees. The original plan was...
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DAY SEVEN 1/25:
I forgot there isn't much dirt in Florida. This afternoon we went to the backyard trails in Kendall where...
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DAY EIGHT 1/26:
It's my birthday today…happy birthday to me! Part of the reason I planned the trip was to do...
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DAY NINE 1/27:
The first day of rain on the whole trip. The storms had been threatening all day and it was during my daily...
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DAY TEN 1/28:
I got up this morning and still smelled like smoke. I hate going out to clubs for that reason. Don't...
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LAST DAY 1/29:
One thing I've learned along this journey called life, is that the only thing that stays the same...
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I've updated a bit some of the dates and stops for my FRIGID TEMPS TOUR. Keep checking back for more info. If anyone would like to send suggestions of additional spots to hit, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, just to remind everyone, the second Hackettstown skatepark contest is coming up this Sunday (1/18) in New Jersey, so if you can make it out, definitely do 'cause it will be fun!
THE FRIGID TEMPS TOUR, coming to a skatepark, vert ramp, or trails near you! That's right; I'm going on the road again, this time to get away from the horrendously cold weather that has been plaguing the Northeast as of late. I'll be heading down south all the way to Miami to spend the next couple weeks hanging out with friends and riding with the suntanned locals! Of course, you'll get to read all about it here in the news section of DannyParks.com. There will be journal entries, product giveaways, and photos posted daily. Here are some of the tentative dates and spots so far:
Monday 1/19 - Atlanta, GA - X Games Park
Tuesday 1/20 - Newnan, GA - The Factory
Wednesday 1/21 - Snellville, GA - Deuce Skatepark
Thursday 1/22 - Orlando, FL - Vans Skatepark
Monday 1/26 - Miami, FL - Control Skatepark
TBD - Longwood, FL - Mission Skatepark
TBD - Merritt Island, FL - Paradise Funplex
TBD - Cooper City, Fl - Brian Piccolo Park
TBD - Pompano Beach, FL - Pompano Indoor Skatepark
The full list of spots and dates will be posted soon in the EVENTS section on the site. If you're in the area of any of the spots I'll be, come out and ride or just hang out. See you there!
Hola. The weather surprisingly has been holding up as of late, at least on the weekends. I rode all day this past Saturday at Mullaly Park and then went and hit up some local trails in Nyack. What a blast! Those kids up there have a pretty cool scene going and definitely know the meaning of fun when it comes to riding. I had so much fun jumping through one of the sections they built...I definitely have to ride trails more often!
It's definitely wintertime here in the Northeast. Every once in a while temps during the day get up into the high 40s and low 50s...which wouldn't be so bad if it didn't rain. I know the snow is coming though. My bones tell me so. When it's dry, it's way too chilling outside to ride. And it's just a matter of time until the frigid low temps and condensation combine to bring in that lovely phenomenon called snow. So me and The Rocket are looking to move to more rider friendly climates for a while. More on that soon. I've been going to Woodward quite a bit in the past few weeks but if anyone has any other suggestions...
Click here to see my reply to a www.FATBMX.com editorial regarding organized Freestyle...
Last night was the BoomBoomHuckJam at Nassau Coliseum in Long Island. Kevin Robinson was nice enough to get me tickets, so I took my brother again this year. For me, the surprise of the night was getting a few shout-outs on the mike from the riders. Nothing better to make one feel like a rock star than hearing your name spoken in front of 10,000 people. Like last year, this show was off the hook! If you get a chance to go...go! Not only was Kevin going off but so was John Parker, Dennis McCoy, and Mat Hoffman. Unfortunately, Simon Tabron was still in a cast healing a broken wrist but he should be back riding soon. Mat was on that night and blasting, which was nice to see since the last time I saw him was at X Games where he was hobbling around on a cane with a back injury. He was killing it here though. It was a great show.
Wow. So it's been quite a while since I've been able to update my site. First off, I want to apologize to all the people that have been complaining to me that the site hasn't been updated. Very sorry. I didn't mean to go so long without a news update but I didn't have the software to get it done. Long story, but the important thing is I do now. Thanks Thaniya. Anyway, I know you all don't care much about that...you want to know what's new with me! Right?
As I sit here typing, riding out Hurricane Isabel, all I can think of is (besides the floods in North Carolina-you guys down there are really hating it)...I wish I was riding. About two months ago my local skatepark, Mullaly Skatepark in the Bronx, was torn down to do a rebuild. Completely bulldozed. In the middle of summer, the height of the riding season. Not very smart planning on the part of the NYC Parks Dept. but I'm not surprised. With $100,000 donated from Snapple you'd think they would be thinking about who's actually going to be using the place and use the money efficiently. Give me that money and I'll show you a skatepark! Finally, on September 12 the grand re-opening occurred. The Huna ramps they brought in are hardly rideable and the wooden ramps are steel sheeted...and painted white. There's nothing more distracting than riding a white ramp outdoors in the midday sun. Should've bought Skatelite. To their credit though they sent in their professional construction crew and built a brand new 5 1/2-foot tall spine mini-ramp and 8-ft tall quarterpipe section across from it. Those actually came out really good and have been fun to ride for the past couple days. I guess I should be happy to have anything to ride at all though. I am, but I'm just sick of seeing the NYC Parks Dept. do things half assed...
In sponsor related news, I want to welcome an additional supporter. On again, off-again sponsor 661 products have come back into the fold and I am glad to have them back. They make quality stuff! Check out their link elsewhere in the site, or click here for www.SIXSIXONE.com. So show some love and go check out them and all my sponsors. See all the links on my BIO page.
If you've been checking out my EVENTS page, you'll remember that I did some shows at the Three Rivers Regatta in Pittsburgh back in the beginning of August. I'm told the 3 Rivers fest is one of the top three highest attended events in the country and there sure were a lot of people there to prove it. The Saturday night fireworks display was awesome and the shows were fun and laid back. I rode well excepts for the double peg grab that didn't want to be. That trick is not as hard as people think and I'd never crashed one before but in the first show, first day I proceeded to land flat and sideways and slid out. What would normally be an uneventful crash turned into anything but. Somehow I twisted my left leg under the bike and I swear the pain felt just like when I broke my fibula in two places a few years back. Since it couldn't have been any worse than that (I didn't have to have surgery in '99 or even a hard cast and by the way, the fibula isn't a weight bearing bone anyway) I decided not to seek professional help. By the next day the pain subsided enough to ride and I wasn't going to let that trick get the best of me. Or so I thought. So I went for it again and this time I missed my hand coming back to the bars and hung up. Hate when that happens. The last time I missed my bars on an air my head rocked the flatbottom. This time I got lucky and only got a bar end to the right thigh. That night I felt SO old...pain will make one feel that way. At that point with my bad luck all I wanted to do was survive the next two days of shows. This is the ramp and event where last year Koji Kraft destroyed his shoulder and I was barely able to walk at this point, so... Between the weather cancelling some of the shows and some better luck I was able to hobble away to ride another day.
Most recently I just returned from Cleveland where the Gravity Games were held. I didn't make it in this year but what a good time I had anyway. The riding there is always amazing and I got to see many of my friends and party like a rock star. Ha! The highlight of my trip had to be Jane's Addiction's live show. Now I've been fans of theirs for years but never took the opportunity to see them. What a dumb ass. If they were half as good live then as they are now, it would have been worth it. And they probably would have played "Three Days." They ruled, and played many of their great songs including "Ocean Size," "Stop," and of course "Been Caught Stealing" among others. Even "Just Because" and a few off their newest album came out. But they didn't play "Three Days." Go see them if you have a chance and pick up their newest release, "Strays." I definitely am.
It's been a crazy busy month and I've been traveling a bunch! Just got back from doing a weekend of shows on the Red Bull vert ramp in Baltimore, MD at a festival called "Thrash at Rash." Click here to see me and the crew! It was cool to ride a big ramp while having the bands HED PE and Powerman 5000 playing behind you. There were other cool bands that played but I can't recall the names because I was riding. Speaking of music, I just picked up some new CDs. Check out Orbital "The Altogether," Anthrax's latest, "We've Come For You All," or Radiohead "Hail to the Thief" if you're looking to broaden your musical horizons. Keep checking the GALLERY section of my site for photo updates and the EVENTS section for my schedule of where I'll be next.
Hey all! This is my first official update for the website. Although it says below that it was launched a month ago, that's really been wishful thinking. It's been a long time coming but we're getting close. Have patience and the website will be up before you can say, "What the dilly, yo!"
Website launched. Stay tuned for the latest developments...