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Tuesday, 17 July 2007
Grave Digger
Now Playing: Born Against: 9 years later

 Not too much super exciting going on here.  Lots of this

a few days ago, which resulted in this:


I never in my life imagined putting a hundred dollars worth of gas into anything besides a semi or a motorhome or a tank.  I had a rented cargo van, making trips back and forth to Detroit to get the rest of our stuff moved.  It was tough.  I did get to see Chris.  He gave me a ride and a bootleg copy of 8 minute Abs, then we ate Hare Krishna food.  I need to start using the 8 minute abs ASAP.  He's scheduled for surgery on his ankle tomorrow, so keep him in your thoughts and wish him the best.   Davey Coop helped me out in a big way, as always, and is experimenting with a new look

Thanks dude.   I haven't seen any other BMXers in almost a week, but I have been working hard on my trails.  The first set/berm combo is fun and the over/under set is well under way.  Still on the freeride MTB, but they'll be ready for the 20 incher soon.   I did ride Kzoo one day last week for a bit and it was fun.  THe White Lotus, Luke McGarry, was there, along with Nate Hoff.  Nate used to live in Jackson and take care of the legendary Jackson trails.  He used to have a job as a grave digger too.  Not just for a week or anything, either, but his job was digging graves.  Gnarly.  I was thinking about Nate as I was cutting out the "under" in my new section.  It's long and grave-like, but not six feet deep.

     Burger King is one of very few vegetarian options when you're on the road and on the cheap.  Thanks BK, for taking the bold step of offering the BK Veggie burger:


 

 

   
 

 

 

 


Posted by Deliverance Dude at 10:42 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 17 July 2007 10:59 PM EDT
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Monday, 9 July 2007
fibia
Now Playing: David Bowie Ziggy Stardust

I called Chris Hatfield today to see if his ankle was still hurting him after the trails incident a week ago.  I guess it is--he has a broken fibia!  Dammit.  I'm really bummed for him.  He may have to have surgery, even.  He's in good spirits and being positive, so that will go a long way in his recovery.  In some good news, Chris' buddy and FOD Dan Closser has an awesome shot in the new Dig BMX mag.  It was taken by Beeler Van Orman while Dan was on his 12,000 mile odyssey this past winter.  Dan is a true nomad.  He is currently in Ecuador!

    Local trail boss Kyle Kling sent over these pix of the Ball brothers, riding the legendary Ravine in Ft Wayne, Indiana



That's Jered with the headless horseman lookback and Jeremy grabbin' his knobbies.  Kyle also sent this pic of Noah, fitting right in at the trails last week....


My wife is going to love that one...

     Here on the scorching hot earth, I've been working hard on trails of my own.  I have one functioning set of doubles and I made some progress on a berm tonight.  I'm embarrassed to admit that I've only jumped them on my Freeride MTN bike though (cut me some slack, the ground is super rough).   For real though dog.   

   Also, please check www.albes.com and www.fbmbmx.com to see how you can contribute to the Stephen Murray fund (or just to see how awesome these guys are with their contributions!).  BMX people are good ones.  Congratulations to Flip from Albe's and his wife on the birth of their second baby this past weekend!


Posted by Deliverance Dude at 11:40 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 10 July 2007 12:04 AM EDT
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Thursday, 5 July 2007
Hillbilly huck fest
Yesterday, the fourth, Noah, my bro-in-law Chris, my buddy PJ and I headed back to Dowagiac, then over to Eau Claire (don't ask) to  hopefully see a dude jump his bike over a rumoured five cars.   We drove the hour  plus and  found a place to park.  Eau Clair is a little town in way SW Michigan.  They have a Cherry Festival on the 4th, apparently and there hundreds of people milling around and parade floats leaving the area as we pulled in.  My connection told me this dude was jumping at 2pm.  It was ten of with no jumps in site (I had seen the monstrosities a week earlier, so there was no missing them).  PJ asked one of the vest-equipped cops when the dude was going to jump his bike and he knew nothing.  Just as I was thinking it was a complete waste of time, a John Deere came rolling down the street with the landing ramp in tow...


A few minutes later, "Psycho" and his sidekick were doing manuals and 180s to warm the crowd up.    Their flatland skills were pretty minimal but the ramp set up was impressive.  The take off was 8 feet tall with a super steep tranny.  The landing was just as tall with a flat bank landing and short "safety deck".  It looked so sketchy, but not as sketchy as homeboy's bike

The Fit frame is legit but I can't imagine the thinking in not having a seat (or why you would need four pegs to jump ramp to ramp).  No brakes either, making it even nuttier.  He walked up the ramp and got the crowd pumped, no PA or anything.  Lots of bro-hugs and hand shakes and he was off.  Psycho's first jump was so hairball!

He over-shot it by a long way, landing about 3/4 down the landing.  He kind of buckled, but held on.  It was nuts.  He jumped again and over-shot it again, but still pulled it.   He kept moving the ramps further apart and the jumps actually got better. 


 

I was thinking an awful lot about his forks and how old they might have been, but the hillfolk didn't care none....

I was super-impressed by the ballsy jump, but his announcement to "comeback at 7 or 8 and I'm gonna jump 60 feet" was bullshit.  We drove all the way down there to see his warm up jumps!  I got a call later on that he was going pretty big, but 60 feet seems like a stretch (no pun intended).  The kids were pumped....

PJ Danhoff took the jump pix...

 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted by Deliverance Dude at 4:18 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007 10:13 PM EDT
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more wine

This is a long post, so I decided to break it up (there's a post below if you haven't seen this yet).  

Chris Hatfield, Fro Ardelean and Matt Carmichael came to town on Sunday for a little camping/riding adventure.  They ended up way south of here on a wild-goose nest chase Saturday night, but made it in on Sunday morn.  We headed down to the Dowagiac park and as always, had the whole place to ourselves.  This is a weird, poorly built park that is really fun, despite the shortcomings.   The weather was perfect and the boys wasted no time...

Matt pulled this hang five on the first try, about ten minutes after waking up in the back of the van and 35 minutes after eating a ham sandwich from a gas station.

Fro was on a mission.  He had lines and jibs all over the place, including this gnarly spine wide-side transfer.  Flyin' blind and bombin' in.  Nice.

No, Fuzzy wasn't there.  It's Fro again.  Tweeked!

Matt is more pro than the guys that built this sketchy ass quarter.

It was nice to see homage to a lost friend...

R.I.P. Glenn Seals.

   Hatfield had some sick whips over the hip (and a couple hefty bails, natch) and I even pulled a couple things I hadn't before.  We called it and hit the road. 

    We got back home for a home-cooked dinner by Mrs. Towne.  We were all starving and it was awesome.  Afterward, we took Noah and headed up to the KyTy trails.  Noah had a great time and thanks to Nick and Hatfield for hanging out with him while daddy took a few runs.  That night we had our first fire in the pit out back and the boys camped.  They went to the beach the next day (only about 45 minutes to Lake Michigan from here) while I worked, then back to the trails.  We were having an awesome session until we heard Chris yelling.  I've seen Chris crash hard a hundred times and never make a sound, so when he was screaming profanities it was really scary.  He rolled his ankle really badly after bailing out of a three over the last set.  I just talked to him, and it's not looking too good, but, in his words "that's the life of a bike rider".  Here he is being wheeled out of the woods.

That was a bummer end to a really fun couple of days.  Carmichael got it on tape but no one needs to see it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted by Deliverance Dude at 3:33 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007 4:34 PM EDT
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box of wine

   Road Fools one came out right when I started getting heavily back into BMX in 1997.  I managed to find a copy and was blown away.  I had not been paying much attention to BMX and the things that were happening in this video were amazing.  More than that, the crew aboard that motorhome made BMX seem fun to me again.  Maybe even more fun than it had ever been.  I spent a lot of late nights watching Road Fools in our little apartment in Kalamazoo.  For whatever reason, we used to buy cheap boxed wine back then and I drained the bag from many while my enthusiasm for BMX was being renewed.

    Fast forward almost ten years and Road Fools is near my new home with live bands performing along a crew of the best guys in BMX.   The Modern park in Grand Rapids is a little small, but with the bowl opened up and good vibes everywhere it was an awesome event.  Thunderlip played first and they were great.  I felt kind of bad for them.  They are definitely a "let's get drunk at the bar and go nuts while this band gets nuts on stage" kind of band, but they were playing on the flatbottom of a mini ramp in a mall skatepark at 7 pm.  They jammed regardless.  By the time Lucero played, the crowd had either figured out how to loosen up or the stashed drinks had started taking effect.  

 

Lucero was great.  I was up front, taking photos and checking out the chaos as they rolled through their "hits".  There were random, drunk people (not bike riders), careening all over the "stage". It was awesome.  I had to leave stage right and go get my bike when it took a weird, frat-boy like turn, shirts came off and arm-in-arm singalongs started going down, but I suppose Lucero is used to that.  They are good sports and continued with their brand of country-twinged rock and roll.   It was a pretty casual session, which seems impossible when shit like this was happening:

Watching Mike Aitken destroy the bowl was incredible.  I could watch him ride that every day for a year and still have the same "OH MY GOD!" reaction every time he aired the hip or cranked full speed across the deck to roll in.  It was great. 

Here, my new hometown homie, Tyler Deshaine airs the corner pocket while Lucero Ben looks on.   The dudes from Lucero are genuinely nice guys.  This was the second time I've had the chance to talk to them and they are super friendly and sincere.  Makes me like their band even more.  So much good stuff went down and anyone that wanted to got to take runs all night.  It was great.  It was good to see some Eastside boys in the house as well.  Jason Burton was still riding at 11:45 pm, before driving all the way back home, then getting up for work at 6 am the next day.

I feel like I hang out with Crandall and Catfish all the time, since they are on TV every day (which my son Noah insists on watching constantly "B! B! B!" he says when he wants to see bikes), but it was even better to see them in person.  Crandall rules.  I hope he's still okay after this whole trip is over....

Lucero anc Crandall pics by me, Riding photos by Sean Newton. 

More later... 

 

 

 

 


Posted by Deliverance Dude at 12:21 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007 1:09 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 27 June 2007
feebles
In upstate New York, Benny Baker just learned feeble grinds. He is six. His dad is stoked. I was 34 when I learned feebles and they still feel kind of awkward for me. That said, I did do a feeble to manual into the bowl at the Dowagiac park today. I sweated it out for about 45 minutes and it was brutal. Fun though. I also rode Charlotte yesterday in similar conditions. Being in Vegas last week made it easier to tolerate the high temps.
Props Rock and Roll Road Fools hits town tomorrow. It's gonna be awesome, I think.
Kris K sent me this sweet photo of Otto from Modern in Novi.


Otto holds it down. Funny choice of words since he is not holding on in this shot.
Dane sent over this photo, taken at the Glen Memorial jam in Kzoo by Kyle Kling back in January.


Dane lived five minutes from me in Detroit and now Kyle lives 8 minutes from me here. Small world.
Here's another photo I have no particular reason to run, other than that is a great photo of a great dude, taken on one of my greatest BMX days ever.


Jason Burton at Rays in Cleveland, during the Cobras Rivival, March 07.

Posted by Deliverance Dude at 11:29 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 26 June 2007
shit motherfucker shit
It never fails, some component of this website "expires" when I'm out of town. Vegas sucks still, in case you were wondering, but we stayed kind of off the strip and the meetings were good. We got to skate a couple times, which is awesome, although it was, no exaggeration, 105 degrees. Like a blow-dryer full power to your face. You have to drink a lot of water when it's like that. I'd wager that I drank upwards of four or five gallons over the course of the week.
Props Rock and Roll Road Fools is coming this week to Modern in Grand Rapids, which is pretty close to here. There are some skeptics regarding the size of this park (it's a lot smaller than the Novi one was), but between Lucero and Thunderlip playing live and the cast of riders signed up for this thing, there's no way it ain't gonna be good. I understand the bowl will be rideable (maybe only for the pros?), so that will add a nice element. I hope some Detroit folks show up--I miss you guys.
I rode downtown Kalamazoo tonight and it was great. There is so much stuff to ride in a small space. The two places in Detroit that I lived didn't have anything to ride. Sure, there were a few spots, but they were really far away and you couldn't really cruise around on your bike and hit different shit. I'm not talking about downtown Detroit, there is a ton of stuff there, but in the suburbs it is slim pickins. Believe it or not, I've progressed (as has BMX) since I lived here 8 years ago and a lot of things I wouldn't have considered riding in the past are all right here, waiting to be shredded. There has been some new stuff built as well.
The Dew Action thing was on TV this weekend and I saw most of the BMX events, except vert, which Jamie Bestwick won. Jamie is awesome. Park was rad and as you probably know, dirt was not rad with a horrible accident. We can only hope for the best for Stephan Murray but I haven't heard or read anything good about his condition. Tragic.
On a positive note, I got to see the full version of the Etnies video, Grounded. It's still not out, officially (there were some music clearance hold ups), but the bonus material is unbelievable (and even longer than the already long video!). The regular video has a couple more parts in it as well (John Heaton has a part, which is great. I love that dude). When I first watched the premier copy last month, I sent Dane Wild an e mail, letting him know that even though his name was in the credits, he didn't appear in the main part of the video. I didn't want him to be dissapointed at the end when the credits started rolling and he hadn't shown up. Not to worry, he has a solid ten tricks/lines in the "Etnies Family" part that are splendid. He's in good company, too, dudes like Justin Inman and Dave Freimuth didn't make the main part of the vid, but have sections in the bonus. Dane is stoked!


I think he's wearing the same Deliverance shirt in the vid. Kris K. photo. I even saw Dane crashing on Fuel TV. I gotta say that it is really weird to see guys I know, like Crandall


and Catfish, on TV every day. They ran that FBM trip from last year a couple weeks ago and showed all the clips with Kelly BAker, sitting there with his whole family, talking about the trip. I'll bet his kids are superstars at school. This is my favorite pic from that trip...


It's Cameron Wood, KB and Mike Corts. Three way attack on a wet ledge. What a fucking blast.

Posted by Deliverance Dude at 12:34 AM EDT
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Sunday, 17 June 2007
sky blue
Now Playing: canned heat going down to the country


I like bicycles. THis is my quiver of "riders". I also have a bunch of BMX bikes from the '70s and a couple from the early 80s. I'm stoked, I finally have some place to keep them. At our old house, bikes were hanging from the ceilings and packed in the most random places. Left to right we have my Diamond Back Freeride (I think that's what it's called) mountain bike. Gears on the rear only, hard tail, suspension forks, sprocket guard, disc brakes, etc. THis bike sees the least amount of action. My FBM Stairmaster. I love this bike! The tires are dirty from riding trails and let me tell you, that is some exciting shit. I used to paint my bike all the time and it will be easier now with the barn and everything, but I really like the way this bike looks and rides. It's awesome! My flatland bike is behind it. A Fly Suelo it is. I rode flatland last night in the pole barn and it was really fun. The floor is perfect in there. I ate shit really hard, which I seem to do more riding flatland than anything lately. Next, my old PW Moto. I recently rebuilt this with front brakes and a freecoaster. A really fun bike to ride and I can't wait to work the hip set up at Kzoo with some fakie antics. The only problem is that I only have one freecoaster hub and it is seeing double duty right now. The big light blue bike is an SE OM Flyer from the early 90s. It's a kind of reproduction of the early 80s OM Flyer, but it's still really old and the geometry is pretty awful. It's impossible to wheelie. Jumps good though. This bike sees a lot of action pulling that red thing, which is a baby trailer. Noah digs it. The last bike on the right is an S&M RV 24 inch cruiser. THis bike is pretty dialed but it never gets ridden. It's really a race bike, but it would be fun at the trails. In fact, I think the last time I really did any riding with it was at the trails we had at Solan's parent's house a couple years ago. I'm sure I'll ride it more as my trails start to develop. Cruisers are perfect when the ground is still a little rough and the jumps are still soft. The bigger wheels float right over it.
That's a lot of bikes! I barely have time to ride any of them, but they all see a little action. I rode flat last night, then took Noah for a long ride in the trailer today while Gail pushed Chilly Dylly


in the stroller. It ain't chilly here! We live right by the "Kal-Haven" trail, which is the old railroad line, converted into a nice, smooth, bike/walking path. It stretches from Kalamazoo to South Haven, where it dumps off a cliff into Lake Michigan. Not really, but that would be awesome.
I leave tomorrow for Vegas, a.k.a. "Hell On Earth" for a sales meeting, so the bikes will be collecting dust while I'm gone, but we're going for it when I get back.
In other news, the sky is really clear out here in the country...



Posted by Deliverance Dude at 10:35 PM EDT
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Thursday, 14 June 2007
breaking ground
Now Playing: Embrace Dance of Days
We're finally starting to get settled in here. The dog's diarrhea stopped, we're all getting more sleep and we have less and less boxes in front of us now. This house has a big tub with those hot-tub jets in it that I didn't even think about. Couldn't have cared less, in fact, but my wife suggested I try it out and it was awesome. Of course, two days ago, before we signed up for almost Two grand worth of work on what we thought was a functioning water softner/treatment deal, the water was too rusty to even wash your hands with. But not now, the water is clear and that tub was awesome after a session at the trails...


Not my trails (yet), but Kyle Kling, Tyler Deshaine and Sean Newton have some sweet jumps up and running. It's been over two years since I've ridden trails of any kind and the last time I did, I hit my head and seperated my shoulder really badly, so I was more than a little scared. These jumps were perfect for me to ease back into though. Not too steep, not too far, just perfect. They are going to be even more awesome as they progress.
When I last lived here (in Kalamazoo, at least), there was literally one dude that rode bikes and I didn't like riding with him all that much. There is a solid little crew in place here now and it's really cool. Of course, I have a few years on them, but that's how it always is when you're my age (unless Otto's around). In fact, Chris Bevins, the tall dude on the right--his dad used to hang out at our bike shop and he is younger than me, which is really weird, but cool. So yeah, trails. So stoked to get through some jumps, even if it took a handful of wuss-runs to do it.


Noah and I broke ground on the trails here at the house last night. It'll be awhile before there is anything rideable, but the dirt is good and the land is there. Noah got pretty dirty in a hurry, which was kind of a landmark event. When you're kid starts playing in the dirt, you know he's on the right track.


This is my friend Brian Miller and this photo was taken right near where we live now in 1982. Roots.
It seems like we've been gone from Detroit for a while now, but it's only been a week. Last Wednesday night, a few dudes showed up at TRP for fun little session. Davey Coop, Joe Gall, Dane, Hatfield and a couple others. It was real chill and fun. I hadn't been riding too much and was super sore from moving, but it was a nice send off. I even pulled a weird little line that I've wanted to do for a long time, so that was a good note to leave on.
Money is tight now, but I've been brain-storming on some new Deliverance Project stuff. Dan's Comp just placed an order for more Bar Bags and belts too, so I'm psyched on that...

Posted by Deliverance Dude at 10:22 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 13 June 2007
Buried
Dig it! Kelly B. pointed out that the Deliverance bar bag is being featured on the Dig site. I knew nothing of this, but it is awesome. I really believe in that product.
We are moved. Kalamazoo. More specifically, a small town north of Kzoo called Otsego. It's right next to the town where I grew up, called Plainwell (I know that sounds made-up) and our house is literally right down the street from where I grew up. It's really weird and kind of crazy to be back here after so long. Every time I go into town I'm afraid I will see someone from high school or something. Not that HS was so bad, but I would just rather not deal with any goofy reunions, you know? The towns are the same, mostly, save for a Home Depot and Walmart and the usual, pasturized, off-ramp, big-box super stores. Joe's Pizza is still here and it is better than ever. K-Zoo Skate Zoo is ten minutes away and I finally got to ride it last night. I love riding the outdoor set up in the summer with the trees and everything around. It is awesome. I'll post more later....

Posted by Deliverance Dude at 12:28 PM EDT
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