Now Playing: some damn good jazz
YouTube is awesome. Mark Gonzales is the greatest skateboarder of all time and this is his finest video part
I take some satisfaction in immature acts such as this. Believe it or not, there are new Deliverance tees in the works. Here's a shot of Noah sporting a vintage prototype.
I discovered a new station on Sirius satellite radio called "Punk". They play mostly old (and a bit of new) punk music. Go figure. This is a new station for Sirius and it is awesome. I guess I'm officially old because my favorite radio station is technically a "classic punk" channel. Weird. Besides great songs from Black Flag, Sham 69, Fugazi and Radio Birdman, they even throw in some oddball/cornball stuff like the Vandals song that was playing when I started this post. Reminds of being in my friend Lew's mom's basement, listening to the latest records we had just bought at Boogie Records. Yeah, I am old.
Speaking of old, a lot of the Cobras have been at the recent Modern sessions and it has been great. The last half hour of the Tuesday session had a few of us in a heated session on the mini that was so much fun. I supposed because the mini is fenced off and you have to make an effort to go ride it, it doesn't see a lot of action during a regular session, but Tuesday was tits. I said it.
That's Billy, hamming up a no-footer, then asking if it looked awesome.
the legendary Jason Suchen, with a 360 X box game of BMX.
FatAss McGillicutty, trying to impersonate one of my teen idols, John Crews.
Omni-present local, Jeffrey Tabb. JT is awesome. I love that kid.
Here's a photo of me skating the bowl at Modern GR to make up for my incompetence. Or is it incontinence? Photo by Mark Flipowicz.
Sometimes I take a while to post on here because I don't have a lot to say, sometimes I'm busy and once in awhile, I'm so overwhelmed by what has gone on that I have to save up energy to proceed. The latter was the case for this one. Last thursday, over twenty of us made the trek to Rays MTN bike park in Cleveland for what was to be one of the most memorable days of my BMX life. Twelve of us from Michigan, four dudes from New York and Cleveland locals like Pat Schreader, Jim Hill and Lurch made the scene and it was incredible. A lot of the Cobras had never been to Rays and were just blown away. Naturally, the New York contingent hadn't been there yet, but Kelly Baker, Jeff Collins, K-Mart and Snake went right to work. I still can't believe all of these people were in one place in one time. Some of my best friends, old and new, all in one amazing skatepark, hanging out and riding bikes. On the way in, some of us stopped to see Ken Schneider. His shop is literally around the corner from Rays and it was great to see him. By coincidence, our visit came just within a day of the one year mark of when he was violently attacked. He has come a long way in his recovery and was happy to meet the crew. Ken is awesome. The vibe at Ray's was amazing. It was like a bunch of little kids cut loose in a toy store. We were all over the place. Phil Race was flipping into the foam. Todd Britton was landing on his head in the foam. Davey Coop 360ed the Red Bull box that most of us were barely clearing. Chris Yankee was in full ninja mode, going as high and riding as well as I ever seen him. I can't remember ever seeing Solan so happy about anything (and he's a positive guy!). It was apeshit. We all started getting hungry and ordered a bunch of Pizzas. Most of us were standing around eating and I will clearly remember the following sequence of events for the rest of my life. I was thinking, "This is so fucking awesome! This Pizza is awesome and after I eat it I'm going to go back out there and it's going to be awesome". Just as that thought was ringing through my head, Davey came riding up and said "You have to come here right now!" At first I thought he was excited to show me something, but no: "Kelly is really hurt. He hit his head and he's bleeding like crazy. I think we need to call an ambulance". As awesome as Rays is, it's an old building and has some flaws, like low-hanging beams and rafters. Kelly actually hit his head mid-trick and broke his helmet, which cut his head open and caused him to bleed all over the place. It was gnarly and scary and one of those moments of panic where you don't know what to do next. Fortunately, it was the toughest guy in the building who got hurt and he was more or less unphased. We went outside for a bit and he was saying how he was bummed about breaking his helmet. I knew what he meant--he was bummed because he didn't have a helmet to continue riding with. Bad ass. Afro Pat gave him one to use and after donning a tee shirt around his head and under his helmet, he looked like a wounded soldier and commenced to ride like nothing ever happened. Saving Private Kelly. We all kind of calmed down after that and continued the session. I know I wasn't the only one that started feeling my best at about ten o'clock, five hours into the session. The energy was ever-flowing. At the end of the night we all locked into seek and find mode to locate some missing keys that weren't really missing, said our good byes and headed for home. Pretty much a six hour session with a time out for Pizza and Kelly's drama (always gotta steal the show, don't you Baker!). We got back to Detroit around two AM. Kelly and crew hammered it all the way back to Central New York and got home before the rooster crowed.
On Friday I was totally depressed. I almost felt like I should just quit riding after that. It was too good. Too much fun. Too many good people all together at once. One of those days that you know isn't going to happen again any time soon. It was truly an amazing day. Here's a slide show of pix, taken mostly by James Brichard. You can click on the photos to read the captions. Kelly has a piece about the day on his site too.
Besides that monumental day in Deliverance/Cobras/Master Blasters history, some FODs scored new rides. King Crimson Crandall is rolling tough on 1100cc of Japanese steel
while Noah Simon Towne is super stoked on his first two wheeler, courtesy of his uncle Kelly Baker.
The quote at the beginning of this post is from Chris Yankee...
The Cobras Local 77 met in it's O.G. Sunday Morning formation for the first time in years. Although this event occurred on a Thursday night, the stars aligned and it was awesome. The three adults in this photo are Phil Rase, Chris Yankee and Solan SF Foster. Three of the greatest.
This action shot depicts one David HK Cooperwasser being served by Sean Rakos. Davey was once the underling of Sean at those early morning TRP sessions and Sean felt the need to confirm his alpha dog status.
Davey's taunting from beneath the chokehold of Sean was classic little brother smartass action. I can't put into words how good it was to have all these guys together, even if only for a couple of hours. It will happen again, soon. It was good to see Hanaan from VeteranBMX.com back on her bike after being out with a broken wrist as well. She and Buc-E are honorary Cobras for sure...
Mad Dog is a shredder! Flairs, nose-dive 360s and even a backflip over this same spine! Insane. He is so good. That's his dad on the deck right there. Dave Moon didn't bother to ride in the contest, but he did pull this wall-ride early in practice.
It looked like the Kennedy assasination the way that kid's head snapped to the side as Dave grazed his shoulder, scaring the crap out of him and all the skaters on deck. Bob Hammond set this contest up, along with Shane from Modern, then proceeded to tear it up. Yeah Bob.
Jeremy Ball won the last GR Modern event. Part of his winning run then was a 360 from the mini into this quarter.
He knocked himself silly trying it this time when he bonked his head on the rafters and then crashed really hard. He got up and limped out of the building. I hope he's okay. Long Tall Kevin Beachamp has been on a mission lately and he continued his ripping ways in Grand Rapids.
He later intentionally slapped the vent above him in this shot with his hand and had some really scary crashes trying a huge transfer. Brandon Dosch has been progressing like mad and learning all kinds of stuff. He still has the racer speed and style to make huge gaps but the bike control to pull shit like this.
Brandon took the win while Flip documents it all. DAne Wild won best trick with a ridiculous ice pick that went up, over and down a seriously 20 foot long grind box. I should also mention that the intermediate dudes would have won pretty much any contest a few years ago. BMX is out of hand.
I went to the Detroit Autorama on Friday and it was awesome. I learned that my new paint job on my bike isn't really all that new. A few different "Rat Rods" had the same kind of deal going:
. At the GR contest, Jamie Martin was asking all about my bike paint job and telling me how hard it was to do that kind of paint. He called it "Batino" or something like that. He said he works in a paint shop for cars and only a few people can do it well. The way it happened with my bike was basically an accident! I like it though. Maybe I'll start painting hotrods. Ha! They had some sweet m/cs at the Autorama as well.
I want to thank Sean Newton for all the contest pix. Sean does a kick ass job and might very well be my new neighbor, which is kind of a weird, cool, coincidence...
It may not be in 2007, or 2010, for that matter, but I vow that this Honda Haulin' hybrid will see the streets eventually. I already have the motorcycle, it's just the sacrificial Civic that may be hard to find. Anyone have a '78 Honda Civic they want to get rid of?