Tuesday, March 3, 2009
GET IN THE VAN
Saturday night was S&M Bikes dealer night at Rays in Cleveland. I had been invited early on, but after being gone so much for the two months for work, it seemed like too much to be gone again on a Saturday. When I spoke to Solan about it last week, he informed me that the session was from 10pm until 2am--that changed everything for me. I could still be home all day Saturday, leave at 5, ride the session, then haul ass back home and sleep in the van (hence the Black Flag reference) when needed. I picked up Jason Burton along the way and we rolled in at 9:45pm. Chris Moeller was the first person I saw. One of my BMX heroes for sure. Solan, Chris Yankee, Friendly Phil Race and Dugan Neil were already there. Hatfield and Otto rolled up a bit later, Team Ripshit was in the house, featuring Holt Pro Kyle, the White Lotus, Brian Block and more. Fowlerville Pat and John from the other Town & Country were in the mix too. It was like a TRP session, only at the Rays, which is Disneyland for bike riders. There were hundreds of people there, but with the exception of the Subaru skatepark area (I never even went over there), you could take as many runs as you could handle. It was awesome. Solan pointed out this little spot on the RedBull berm that you could air on the way around. I love little jibs like that. S&M's Mike Mchue organized the whole deal and was on the mic, cracking us all up with his commentary. There were supposed to be a few different events, but the only one I'm aware of happening was the relay race. It was through the Mongoose course (of course Mchue constantly reminded everyone that Mongoose would never do anything that cool) and three-man teams raced the course, one at a time and tagged off each other (whoah!) to set the next guy in motion. The Cobras Local 77 team of Solan, Jason and myself held our own, I think, but team Ripshit was outrageous!
Brian Block, right behind Dave Patterson look-alike in this photo, was blazing around the course like he was on an MCS mini in the 10 expert class at Waterford. The White Lotus only knows one speed (wide open), but his brakeless steed made things a little rough through the loading area and roll-in,, which was the toughest part of the course to keep speed on. Team Ripshit made the finals (head to head, with both teams on the course at the same time) and though some technical difficulties kept them in second place, they took the gold in my mind.
To be honest, I felt pretty rough for most of the session. A long winter of limited riding and advancing age will do that to a person, I suppose. After the relay, I came around and the last 45 minutes were so fun. Jason drove the first half of the trip, all the way to his drop-off, while I slept in the back. I drove a while later, then stopped and slept for almost three hours with my van idling--I thought it would be an hour cat-nap at most. Besides gas, I spent less than ten bucks on the whole trip, kept it super simple and was home at 10:30 am. Stoked.
Seeing the crew was great. Mike Mchue is hilarious and just a good dude. Yesterday I was looking through some stuff in my office and found a little notebook. Despite all the technical gadgets I rely on in my every day, a simple paper notebook is still key. I decided to reuse this forgotten little journal and started ripping out the few used pages. The last one I came to said this: I thought about that quote for second and realized it was from a night in California two years ago, hanging out with Mchue himself. I'm not sure of the context, but that quote, especially if you could replay it with Mchue's rapid fire delivery, is hilarious. Mike could see the future--almost every kid rides Slams (or copies of Slams) these days...