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I finally rode the Akron park. I've skated it a couple times, but never got to ride my bike there. It used to be very anti-bike, which is pretty ridiculous considering that the park is built on a hill and it's basically impossible to get speed to hit parts of it on a skateboard. It's also next to a really fun-looking BMX track (a rarity these days). Anyway, I got there early and besides a couple kids coming in and out, I had the whole place to myself and I have decided it's one of my favorite parks. I still get freaked out by the blimp hangar back there though. That thing is just so enormous and ominous and it just seems like it could inhale the world around it. I get really tweaked out just looking at the thing and I know I'm not the only one, right Kelly? There are tons of lines, some good hips and some really fun ledges. I rode it for a couple hours and it was great. From there, I went to my shop in Kent, then, kind of the same way I just never did it with the Akron park, I finally went to the Kent State Memorial at Kent State University. If you don't know, Kent State was the site of the 1970 killing of four college students (and wounding of nine others), who were protesting the invasion of Cambodia. They were shot and killed by American National Guard. Think about that for a minute: Un-armed college students shot dead on a college campus in a small town in Ohio by United States National Guardsmen. One of the truly horrific and ugly pages of American history. Viet Nam was ugly and there seem to be a lot of parallels these days, aren't there?
The actual memorial wasn't much to see, but just being on the nice, tree-filled campus, riding around on my bike, looking for this site and then really sitting down, reading and thinking about it all was very heavy. Yeah, heavy.
I hit a couple more shops on the way home, including Rise Above, in Lorain, Ohio.
This is a brand new shop opened by Chenga legends/locals Dominic and Kerry Sayre. The shop is in the heart of downtown Lorain and it's a cool ass spot. They have tons of skate and BMX goods and it's on the come up. They will have Deliverance product on hand as soon as the new batch of stuff arrives (and there is a lot of new stuff coming down the conveyor belt).
They had some framed magazine covers laid out and about to be mounted on the wall. The relevance to the shop being that they feature Cleveland locals.
The relevance to Deliverance is that both Afro Pat (Plus!) and Anthony Cico (Dig)are both wearing the infamous Born To Lose tee shirt.
The Westland bike "trial session" was last night. I just made it for the last hour but it was really fun. I was told that the park claimed they made more money last night from the bikes than they would have in an entire week of skaters. The park was much bigger than I remembered it (I only looked at it through the fence before) and was super fun. Of course, it was a mad-house with rookie skatepark kids mixed among the who's who of the Detroit BMX scene. I hope they continue to have bike sessions, as it seemed like a very positive event. Of course, the dipshit doing burnouts in his beater car in the parking lot may be a strike against us. I don't want to be the rightous old guy, but come on, you idiot, use your head. It's a "trial" session and if dumbshits like you do dumb shit like that it may be the only time we get to ride the park. Dan Closser was ready to hunt the kid down and strangle him. The no-peg rule is a fair comprimise after having been there. Take a minute and e-mail the Westland Parks & Recreation department at email@example.com and tell them thanks for allowing bikes. Like it says on the sign "this is your life".