It was summer, although summer still hadn’t really arrived. It was one of those typical summers of your youth, where the heat seemed so tangible and real – as if you could reach out and grasp it as it bounced off the asphalt. Take hold of it and squeeze it between your fingers. Bring it up to your nose to inhale the sticky scent of baked sidewalks and browning grass. It was a summer long ago, when I was still a young pup with no job and no worries.All I wanted to do was rip around town on my Mongoose Expert Pro BMX bike. It was a dull shade of black and had shiny silver parts. Technically it was what one would call a “race bike”, one designed for groomed dirt tracks and skidding down the gravel lane behind your house. I launched mine off of staircases and up curbs. The city was an unexplored jungle to me, just waiting to be picked apart by my discerning eye and knobby rubber tires. I was not yet a teenager, so I was at that beautiful age where the world is exotic and new – I just didn’t realize it. To me that world was going to last my whole life . . . and while it has, it has lasted through the eyes of that boy. Back then a sense of wonderment was hardwired into the very core of my being. It radiated in from the world around me and I marinated in it. I still aspire to protect and enjoy that sense of wonder, but it is not a thing that is innate anymore, it is something that exists due to a conscious effort on my end. And maybe that is just the way things go as we get older. I don’t really know, I’m still figuring this stuff out. But I digress . . .
. . . that you never step in the same river twice.
This bounced back and fourth in my head as I sat next to Lithia Creek and dangled my foot in it’s cool water. A few minutes ago I had considered it’s flowing water to be too cold for dangling, but a couple of trepidatious attempts proved otherwise. My foot appeared much more pale than it was when viewed from under a couple of inches of snow melt-off. Chuckling to myself at my flip-flop tan, I gazed at the creek and it’s movement. You never step in the same river twice . . .
Wait, what? A book review on a bicycle blog?!? Did you read that title right?
Yeah . . . a book review.
It’s okay, though, because this book is actually about bicycling.
Well, if you continue reading below, you may find out . . .
The website Flat Matters says this in their About Us section, “Someone somewhere on this vast planet is progressing, we like to show that and motivate you to progress, and keep this artform/sport we all love alive.”, and that is both inspiring, but also rather astute. Someone is always progressing and I don’t just mean that in direct relation to flatland, BMX, or even bicycles in general. Bear with me . . .
Greg and I spent an hour and a half at the skatepark at Greenlake the other day and this edit was the resulting product. Gotta say that the weather in Seattle has been beautiful the past couple of weeks and I’m bummed that I am “supposed” to be off the bike for another 14 days. Oh well . . . at least Greg is making the most of things!
Oh yeah, also I’ve gotta say that Greg Tylosky is getting incredibly good. Keep an eye on this guy, you’ll be seeing A LOT more of him in the future. The dude blends flatland/street/park like it’s nothing and that sort of blend is exactly the direction that I see the future of BMX progression going . . . more on that soon.
Enjoy . . . !
So . . . like . . . remember when I posted a short piece on BMX not being allowed in public skateparks here in Seattle? Apparently it’s not just a SEA thing, because PDX is having a similar problem.
Today, I came across this headline, “Bummer. Illegal BMX track built in sensitive Clackamas wetlands”, . . . bummer . . . yeah. Big one. Why was it built there? Well, partly because there aren’t any legal BMX spots in the PDX area. Also, I hate to say it, but I’m sure that they builders didn’t realize what they were trashing when they were tearing out the plants and putting down rebar. Is it their fault? Not entirely . . .
This is just what we have to expect when we don’t give people any other options. Ride in a publicfuckingskatepark and get a ticket, or build your own place to ride and do your thing where skaters and police officers won’t bother you. The problem is when you choose the latter option, it’s not entirely legal either, so there’s not much to do in this situation.
I’m sad to hear this news, but I’m more sad that we can’t find a fucking way to get a long. Seriously people, we’re in the year 2011 . . . we’ve put humanity and this planet through a lot already . . . can’t we . . . I don’t know . . . do a little bit better? Put aside your differences, find a way to compromise, deal with it, enjoy life. Rest and repeat.
It is not okay that we still have to find a divide in wheeled/”extreme” sports. Skateboards, rollerbladers, rollerskates, scooters, and even (gasp) bicycles can actually get along. Maybe it will take a bit of time to get used to, but that’s how fucking change happens. Teach the young generation something that they can hold on to for their future, so that hopefully this stuff isn’t still happening in 2032. Or 2111. Or 3000. Etc. . . It’s not okay that bicycles aren’t allowed in a public place. Want to ban Eskimos while you’re at it?
If you want, the article can be found in it’s entirety here: http://www.clackamasreview.com/sustainable/story.php?story_id=131429871507551900
Gotta say, Matty Hunter is one of my all time favorite “big mountain” riders. There’s a lot of slopstyle cats out there these days, but the guys that shred the big stuff are more scarce. This video of Matt going on a 2 day solo MTB/camping trip really makes me want to get out there and spend some time on a trip of my own. It also showcases how he’s not just someone who collects a check to show up at races and make headlines, he’s really in it for the love of it and would be out there even if it wasn’t his job. I remember in Seasons he mentions how his mom is like “oooh, well biking isn’t a safe job for you” and Matty is all “but mom, I’d be doing it anyway so I might as well be getting paid to do it” and I think that’s awesome. Also he can fish and identify bear prints! True class.
Brandon Semenuk kills it on a bike. Fact.
I remember meeting him for a brief second at the Sea Otter Classic once, where he was competing in the dirt jump competition even though he couldn’t have been older than like . . . 14. He totally was sending it then and he’s only gotten better with time. Winning Crankworx is too often compared to winning the Super Bowl, but I guess it’s not too far off. The event is the epitome of big time.
This video by Taylor Sage really captures the energy of the event, especially if you are a participant. We don’t often get a look behind this curtain, but it’s a good reminder. These dudes put it all on the line and take that shit seriously and for that, mad props.
Also, Taylor Sage puts out some good videos. He did the Nate Riddle one that I posted earlier. Way to go T-Sage.