I’ve been trying to get out and ride Ron Mercer’s backyard paradise, the ‘Woodyard’ whenever I get a chance. It is absolutely amazing, and one of the only opportunities to ride a wood ramp anywhere in the Lower Mainland – your only options are concrete or dirt, so this really is something to see. Here’s an overview photo of the ramp from on top of that wedge quarterpipe. This ramp has pretty much every kind of element on it including the new 9-foot bowled-out corners and hip on it. Scary, but super fun.
This is an editorial I wrote in late 1991, and much to my surprise, was published in the February 1992 issue of Go Magazine. I was originally just going to run this little story in my ‘zine, SToKe, but I was feeling the vibe of the story, and thought I’d send it over to the guys at Go Magazine and see what happens. About 6 months before I’d sent the magazine editor a photo I shot from a contest I went to in New York City. They ran that photo in the news section of the magazine (you can see that below) and that kinda blew me away. I figured if they didn’t run my story, I’d just use it in my ‘zine, so I really had nothing to lose. I was pretty shocked a few months later when the magazine hit the newsstands – and there was my piece in the coveted magazine editorial intro space. Holy shit! This completely blew my mind.
I posted this story on the Chase BMX Magazine website back on Jan. 11, 2001 – it seems so, so long ago. And to put that into perspective, two days before I put that on the website, we broke the news that Ruben Alcantara had just signed with MacNeil. Wow. Here’s the post of what I actually put up – this time I was digging through digital archives when I came across this, and thought I should probably archive it on my site. We’re packing up the house, moving into a townhome we just bought, so looks like I’m moving those several boxes of old BMX magazines one more time.
I was digging through one of several boxes of old BMX magazines (ranging from the present back to 1982) at home the other night the other night when I came across this old editorial I did for Go Magazine waaay back in the day. I totally forgot about it. I mean, I wrote in more than 9 years ago, so I sat down and read it. It got me thinking… as cliché as it is – the more things change, the more they stay the same. BMX has gone through some pretty crazy changes over the last decade, but it all comes back to that first rush you got when you pulled that first trick, cleared that set of doubles, or finally got above the coping on a vert ramp. Another thing that hasn’t changed – I’m still a horrible writer…
Well, at least I’ve worked on the writing a bit now…
Here’s the cover of that issue… Dave Clymer roasting the stairs at the Nude Pool (I’d have to dig out the issue to confirm that was the Nude Pool, but I’m pretty sure that’s what the stairs looked like).
This is the photo I sent in from the Mullaly Park contest in New York City (South Bronx actually, right by Yankee Stadium). I have to admit I was pretty stoked at the time to get this photo of Jeff Harris’ barrel roll attempt published. Today that photo would never run, because a magazine would never run a photo of an un-pulled trick. At the time this trick was completely unfathomable, and now 22 years later I think you could count on two hands how many times it’s been landed. Looking back at the rest of the photos that ran for the coverage of that contest, I should have sent more of mine in. This was just supposed to be a smaller contest, and the magazine probably didn’t have to budget to have one of their pro photographers there to cover it. But the quality of riders there made this a pretty large contest. I would have to say that this was probably Taj Mihelich’s breakout contest. His style still stands out in my mind, hitting that super small jumpbox (most certainly by today’s standards), his Grizz airs over that thing were legendary.
Photo shot by Paul at MuffinAndPedal.com. Click the photo to see a larger version.
A riding photo of me shot last weekend at Ron Mercer’s backyard slice of heaven, The Woodyard. Pretty stoked on how this one-footer over the hip turned out. This was shot at the end of a long riding day, the ramp was starting to get busy with some fresh young’ins that had just shown up, and I was pretty tired. I think this shot is from my last run of the day… Psyched. Thanks for the shot Paul. I’ll be poaching this for my Facebook profile pic for sure.
You can read more about the Hell Track race here…
Dustin Guenther pushing through the first berm in first place, with Morgan on his left, and John Knowlden hot on his heels.
You can see a video of the race here.
When Ride On Again’s Hell Track flyer hit the internet, I don’t think too many people were sure what was happening – was somebody actually building some kind of a Hell Track down at Vanier Park? (on the location of the freshly approved Dirt Jump Park). Then a few people figured out that it must be a ‘qualifying style’ race. If you remember in the movie RAD, the qualifying race took place in the town park, not on a race track, just ripping around through this park. This seemed to make more sense, seeing that a few people had gone by in the days leading up to the race, and there wasn’t much going on down there.
There wasn’t much hype about the event, you just knew you had to show up. So that’s what a bunch of people did. Being a Ride On event, you know you have to show up with a few beers in hand, and with it being a beautiful fall day, what better way to spend it? I checked the online flyer just after noon to see what time it started. Oh shit, it started AT noon. Well, registration was at noon, and the racing starting at 1. So I rushed to get out the door.
When we got down there, it was a pretty chill scene, most of the people were taking runs at a dirt jump that was built just off to the left. It was almost unridable… Soft, wet, and of course a terrible run up to it – yet that didn’t stop a few people from throwing 270′s, 450′s and some whips over it. There was a few guys actually charging the ‘course’ and practising. I knew I’d find Steve Calette down there for sure… He’s the dude for this, and he was on his MacNeil race bike – pretty sure he was the only guy on an actual race bike.
I only saw one guy with a vintage RAD era bike… I think he even lead through a couple of the motos, which was pretty good on that bike, even though it looked like they were one-piece 165mm cranks, pretty short for any kind of racing.
I gave the course a couple of goes, but wasn’t really feeling it myself, as I’d ridden for several hours the day before and was sore as hell. I figured I’d sit the race out and shoot some photos, and maybe some video.
Once the races got underway, things got hectic pretty quick. It was pretty evident that the first turn, a hairpin with the smallest of built-up berms was going to be a bit of an issue. And it was in almost every race. More than a few guys got tossed, or tangled up in pegs. I guess there wasn’t an official at the starting line checking for pegs? For those that got through the first turn, it was right into the trees where you had an option of lines. You could go over a small pit, or go around and head straight for a tree than another quick turn. One guy hit the pit, and clipped his front wheel tossing him pretty good. I actually got that one on video.
I won’t give you a play-by-play on the races, but I think everybody has a good time. Even John Knowlden who probably got worked the most of anybody. He went down 2 or 3 times, and one of them was a high-speed torqued out spin that sent him down into a shoulder roll. Wild times.
In the end, here what the finals looked like between the two divisions – Bro and Pro.
Ride On Again’s Hell Track 2009 Winners
Elliot (won Bro… then entered Pro, taking 5th place)
I think everybody that showed up probably walked away with some kind of prize too. I ended up with an S&M beer cozie and a t-shirt, things I can put to good use.
You can find the original story on VIA here.
Monday night the Vancouver Park Board voted unanimously in favour of the Dirt Jump Park proposal for Vanier Park. I’m pretty excited this has finally happened, as this is a project I’ve been working on since the original jumps at Oak & 37th were plowed when that park was redesigned. That was 2004/2005… It’s been so long I can’t even remember exactly when it happened. Couldn’t have done this without the help of Commissioner Sarah Blyth, and the rest of the Park Board Commissioners. And, of course Mark Vulliamy and Park Board staff. Mark V kicks ass.
Tuesday night I was interviewed live-on-air at the new CBC Radio headquarters downtown. It was a fairly brief interview with Stephen Quinn on the On The Coast Show at 5:50pm. If I can get an .mp3 copy of it, I’ll try to post it. It went pretty good, as I was pretty prepared going in.
Quick pic I fired off at CBC Radio while waiting to go into the sound booth. New offices look good.
Here’s the text of the VIA press release here:
“Last night the Vancouver Park Board Commissioners voted unanimously in favour of the proposed Dirt Jump park in Vanier Park. With the Park Board office beyond capacity with BMX and Mountain Bikers, the group listened in on delegations presenting in favour of the park, with no parties speaking against. One-by-one the Commissioners expressed their positive thoughts about the project, and thanked those whose hard work has made this possible. Opinions were expressed to ensure that the park will be designed with elements for all levels of riding, from young children right up to advanced users. And, that the park should be designed in such a way to fit in with Vanier Park, which could be done with landscaping. The project was given the blessing by the Vancouver’s Bicycle Advisory Committee.”
“One of the delegates, a mother who came to express her thoughts commended the Park Board on the approval process. She was impressed, and expressed how pleased she was with the inclusion of the community, Vanier Park stakeholders, and interested parties all were heard on this proposal. Multiple generations were in the room with her to see a positive outcome, which will hopefully inspire more youth to be involved.”
“Very special thanks go out to Commissioner Sarah Blyth for her dedication to this project, and the rest of the Park Board Commissioners for keeping their promise of engaging the youth and keeping them active as one of their platforms. Mark Vulliamy and Park Board staff have also been vital to making the Dirt Jump park a reality.”
You can learn more about the project on our Facebook page:
A few years back I helped contribute a story to Ireland’s DigBMX magazine about Paul Buchanan, a somewhat elusive rider that shied away from all the magazines and media back in the day. He’s originally from London, Ontario, so I’ve known him since he was a kid. Dig just recently posted the ‘Solo Mission’ story onto the classic archives section of their site, so it was good to see the article again… I’d completely forgotten about it.
You can check it out here: www.digbmx.com/mag-archive/classics/dig-archives-paul-buchanan
Here’s the original story, text only (for my archives)