Writing
Jul 22nd 2015 | Posted in: Blog, BMX, Photography, Writing 0
I was pretty surprised to find out that I was on the cover of the Vancouver Courier. That never really came up when we were shooting the photos.

I was pretty surprised to find out that I was on the cover of the Vancouver Courier – that never really came up when we were shooting the photos.

Overview of the Hastings Park Empire Fields pumptrack.

Overview of the Hastings Park Empire Fields pumptrack.

The Vancouver Dirt Jump Coalition launched our second bike facility at Hastings Park in Vancouver this past weekend. I’m really proud of this one because it really caters to riders of all ages and abilities; dirt jumps have a little steeper learning curve than a pumptrack, so this really opens it up to everybody. This being a pump track, it requires less maintenance as it doesn’t take the same kind of abuse that dirt jumps like we launched in 2010 in Vanier Park.

A rider cruises around the lower berm to build speed to get back up to the top of the track.

A rider cruises around the lower berm to build speed to get back up to the top of the track.

It was determined after several meetings with different users that dirt jumps at this location wasn’t going to be the best fit. Given the large open space where they’d be much more exposed to the sun and rain, which means the jumps would break down much faster if they’re just baking in the sun without proper water systems and an existing community in place to maintain the jumps over time.

Continue reading “Pumptrack at Hastings Park Empire Fields opens” »

Apr 11th 2012 | Posted in: Blog, BMX, Writing 0

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.  Continue reading “Go Magazine: Intro Editorial in the February 1992 Issue” »

Oct 4th 2010 | Posted in: Blog, BMX, Photography, Writing 0
No-hander over the hip at the Vanier Park Dirt Jumps grand opening.

No-hander over the hip at the Vanier Park Dirt Jumps grand opening.

This past weekend was the grand opening of the new BMX/Mountain Bike Dirt Jump Park, centrally located in Vancouver’s Vanier Park, just a few steps away from the beach. This is a project I’ve been working on for the last decade with the Vancouver Dirt Jump Coalition, ever since the dirt jumps at Oak and 37th were torn down when the City of Vancouver redeveloped Oak Meadow Park. With all the work I’ve done with the Vancouver Skateboard Coalition I’m very aware with how long the process is for these parks from initial discussions to the ribbon cutting event. So I’m very glad to finally be cutting the ribbon and getting this park finished.

Sarah Blyth and myself with our opening speaches.

Sarah Blyth and myself with our opening speaches.

The guys at Earth Ramp Bike Parks (Facebook page) were brought in to design and build the jumps and pumptrack and they did a great job. Certainly the big and intermediate lines are respectful and pretty authentic to what you would find at private trails, including real gap jumps and not just pyramid style tabletop jumps which is often what you see at city-built dirt jump parks.

Continue reading “Vanier Park Dirt Jump Park Grand Opening” »

Jul 15th 2010 | Posted in: Blog, Writing 0

updated: August 26, 2010 – link to part 2 added

A little while back Bob Kronbauer from VancouverIsAwesome.com hit me up to see if I’d be interested in contributing a short series about the Vanier Park Dirt Jumps – something that could explain a bit of the process that happens behind-the-scenes of getting a project like that to become a reality. I’m always keen to get the word out about these kinds of projects, and Vancouver Is Awesome is exactly the kind of platform that’s perfect for this series. I’m really down with the VIA concept, so I’m quite happy to do put some time into this. And, maybe somebody will learn a thing or two and be inspired to make something like this happen in their neighbourhood/town/city. I’ve got over 15 years of experience working with city councillors and park boards on skateparks, so I’m happy to share some of my ideas.

I’ll admit it’s quite a challenge to edit down the past 10+ years of this process into a digestible (short), interesting story. People aren’t likely to sit down and read a story like this on a blog, so this series will merely skim the surface of the process, but maybe people will be interested in knowing a bit more about how much work goes into getting a skatepark or dirt jump facility made. They just don’t magically show up one day. Public projects like this drag on for years, and are mostly uninteresting, so I’m interested in what kind of feedback we get on this.

I’ll be sure to come back and add links the other parts of the series as they go live, but for now, you can start here:

In The Dirt Series! Part One: Vanier Park History

In The Dirt Series! Part Two: Coming Together

This is great timing for this series to come out – fresh off the very successful launch of the Vancouver Skateboard Coalition’s Kensington Park skatepark/pool (the last 2 pictures shown here), we’ve had a lot of momentum as of late, and a lot of the projects we’ve been working years on are all coming to completion by end of summer.

Sep 23rd 2009 | Posted in: Blog, BMX, Photography, Writing 0

VancouverIsAwesome Vanier Park Dirt Jumps story

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.

CBC-Radio-IMG_2020-sized

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 Vancouver Dirt Jump Coalition Facebook page.

 

Jul 6th 2009 | Posted in: Blog, BMX, Writing 0

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 (the article is no longer online when Dig updated their website in Oct 2014).

Here’s the original story, text only (for my archives)

Continue reading “DigBMX Mag: Paul Buchanan Solo Mission article” »

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