Friday, 14 December 2007

nothing in particular

sweet bejeezus I'm feeling like a badgers arse today. Went out at 5pm last night, there was a free bar at the Carling Academy until 730pm (!). Needless to say I took full advantage (of the buffet also) and then moved to North Bar until midnight. Even the canteens sausage and chips hasn't pulled me out of this vegetative state. Anyway the weather is coming in super cold now, its a bitch trying to ride when the tip of your nose is blue and you cant feel your feet, I nearly knacked myself riding into work today with all the ice. Unfortunately I'm still not online at home so I continue to do these meagre updates from work. I have some spots lined up over the coming weeks to document though (weather permitting). In the meantime buy Daft Punk Alive 2007, its unreal!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007


Its likely I will be leaving my job at the end of December, hopefully in January I am going to be moving to Amsterdam to do some labouring for my step Dads company. This is mainly down to my job being absolutely shit (I'm an admin officer for the DWP) and my financial situation dire. I reckon I'll be home every 5 weeks or so and hopefully I will have my bike over there. Not sure how this will affect this blog, might just have to feature some Dutch street spots for a while! If the ones I rode in the summer where anything to go buy, that won't be a bad thing..

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Jimmy Levan update

Just a quick update on Jimmy's progress and his fund raising so far sincehis accident. The good news is that Jimmy has been progressing pretty well since he cameout his coma last week and sounds better each time I talk to him on thephone. He has been transferred from the ICU at Morristown Memorial Hospitalto the JFK Brain Rehabilitation Institute and is up, shuffling around andpiecing his memory back together. It'll be a long road to recovery but weare lucky that he is in the best rehab center for his injuries and has greatfriends behind him.The bad news is that Jimmy's insurance WILL NOT cover his rehab programwhich he just checked into. The estimated total of the rehab bills is estimated at $70,000 at least and that's coming out of his family's pocket.As you know EmpireBMX is matching donations to the Jimmy fund and nowOdyssey is matching what Empire matches, so we are talking tripplingwhatever you donate!The Empire fund match ends at the end of the business day on Friday so ifyou haven't donated to the fund already, now would be the time to do it!Here's the link to EmpireBMX to donate
-Sandy Carson

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Olly Olsen Dig advert..

A good friend of mine and fellow street spot enthusiast Olly Olsen features in the latest Attila advert in Dig issue 62, photo by none other than Jimmy Nezza. Kerb boost-table 180 POW!!

Fly reveal new Dylan Smith signature frame..

The new Dylan Smith frame is still in the testing stages but it looks pretty good and it also has a feature not seen on a frame for quite some time- the built in bash guard. The bash guard was designed by Ruben Alcantara and attaches itself to the frame with 2 bolts on the bottom bracket and on the chain stay gusset.
Here it is on Rubens bike.
The bash guard is made of some sort of super light plastic so weight wouldn't be an issue and it will probably be good for grinds too. The frame also has the removable brake lugs so the frame looks clean if your riding brakeless and saves you the hassle (and warranty!) of cutting them off. Geometry wise it is similar to a KP Tierra frame but with bigger dropouts, higher seat tube and a steeper head angle. It has all the other regular fly bike features (Guiri tabs, spanish BB etc) and weighs in at about 4.8 pounds. As with most fly bikes products this will more than likely be a winner but it will be interesting to see if the bash guard takes off, its certainly better than Rooftops frame on Hoffman with the built in metal monstrosity that weighed probably the same as a frame itself!! Surprising how it never went to production even in the realm of motorbike chains and pegs made of scaffolding...

Monday, 19 November 2007

sick of my life!!

What a weekend. Shit weather, can't ride then last night my girlfirend splits up with me (* since got back together I think?) and to top it off i've been charged £43 off my bank on top of the other £70odd they have already raped me for this month. The rollercoaster of life eh??

Sunday, 28 October 2007

new spots 28/10/07 and update

Yo Yo sorry for the lag in between posts, unfortunately I'm still not online at home so my web time is limited. Anyway the clocks went back last night, extra hour in bed but one less hour of daylight for riding- not good. Exhibition park has been over run with spakka radge twats on mountain bikes with a big back wheel and a small front wheel, what better reason do you need to go exploring?
Found a couple of really good spots recently that are not too far away, so get out there and check em out. If anyone has found any decent spots around Newcastle, drop me a line either on here or on streetphire and I'll come and document it.
Winter is only round the corner and I think we need to build a ghetto park somewhere, I'm currently hunting for a spot so again if anyone has any ideas let me know.(double click the images to view full screen) -MEX

This spot is just near the flats in Gateshead, not far from the Redheugh bridge. The end one is waxed up real good and there are endless possibilities for backwards and manual stuff.

Olly Olsen- fakie bars x2

Jo Oliphant-180 curved wallride

Another gateshead spot, this time in the new apartment complex up from the Hilton Hotel. Its tight and fast, just how you like it!

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

random sesh photos...

some shots from the weekend..

New flat bank at the college..

Located down the bottom where the wedge used to be, does exactly what it says on the tin!

new spots..

these concrete slabs have appeared on the roadside inbetween Metro Centre and Cost Co in Gateshead, they are tricky to ride but are good fun. Check em out..

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Whitley Bay Skatepark plans revealed..

If these plans are anything to go by it looks like Whitley Bay will have one of the best concrete parks in the country. Work is set to begin soon and should be finished by March 2008...

Monday, 3 September 2007

Etnies Grounded finally available!

So Etnies Grounded is finally available in the UK, about bloody time too! I was really looking forward to seeing this DVD, and it does not disapoint. All the riding sections are top notch and the production is excellent, you also get a 48 page book to accompany the DVD featuring art work etc. At £10 this is a must have. H Man has copies in at

Friday, 31 August 2007

Euro trip 2007

Euro Tour 2007

Day 1
We all met up at North Shields ferry terminal on Tuesday afternoon, everyone was pretty excited about the start of the trip. After a crap May and a crapper June weather wise we were looking forward to some warm weather.
After a few pints and some plastic furniture being thrown off the top deck it was time for an early night.

Day 2
The distance from the ferry port in Ijumden to Amsterdam was around 25km, I thought this would be a breeze since Holland has more cycle paths than anywhere in the world and it’s as flat as a pancake. However when Wally got a flatty and it turned out that we didn’t have the tools to fix it, I suddenly didn’t feel so confident. We tried the age old technique of packing his tire with grass. Obviously this didn’t work and we ended up walking a couple of miles until we found a garage. The guy there was cool and let us use the tools to fix the flat and we were moving again.
On finally meeting Lewis at the train station an hour late we gorged ourselves on kebabs and falafel before getting the free ferry across the river to the campsite. We dropped off our gear and headed out to ride some street, this was short-lived as the wet weather followed us across the North Sea. Much to Joe’s delight we retired to the nearest coffee shop to get smoked out. After an hour or so of getting crab eyed the sun came out again so we went exploring and found the new concrete bowl which was a lot of fun, as well as some decent street.

Amsterdam Bowl- amazing!

Day 3
The weather today was a lot better so we headed out riding mid morning. We found some amazing hipped banks down by the river near the bowl we rode yesterday and a load of marble ledges dotted around the same area. Wally managed to get dog shit all over his leg and frame which was hilarious.
We found a massive metal vert ramp in one of the many parks in central Amsterdam, we tried riding it but you were almost blinded from the reflection of the sun. There was this guy there who was the self proclaimed ‘big boss of the streets’. He showed me the hole in his Karl Kani trakky from where he tried to drop in on the ramp the other day. Olly did a good bar spin out of a fountain there too. Then we saw this fruitcake who was dressed in a tour-de-France jersey, swimming cap and a red g-string rolling down the street on roller skates. I grabbed my camera and raced after this exhibitionist with Joe in tow with his camera too.

Olly Barspin out of the fountain

wally wallride

Day 4

It was wet when we woke up and reluctantly packed up our shit and rode through the rain to grab some breakfast before catching the 10.38 to Berlin. After arriving in Berlin I gave Ross a call as he had been living here for just over a year, he gave me the names of some decent hostels that were bike friendly and finally found one with vacancies. We got a rough map from the woman in the ticket office and headed off in the general direction. Having a crap map and no Berlin street knowledge between us we got lost pretty quick and it was pissing down. Just as we were all about to cry, God smiled on us and a bicycle messenger appeared and just happened to be travelling in the direction of our hostel. Halleluiah! After the obligatory showers (for most) we headed out with the general idea of getting smashed.
Bramas had flown over from Newcastle for a few nights so we met up with him in the city centre. Ross had recommended a bar called ‘White Trash’ so we headed there on the U-Bahn (underground). When we got there it looked more like a restaurant from outside but inside it was a sprawling 1930s boudoir with a guy on stage belting out the blues and many people eating and drinking. The bar was cool as fuck but downstairs was better, ‘The Diamond Lounge’ was literally a cave with a bar and a stage at the end. A few bands played, we got pissed then danced when the discothèque kicked off. On the way home we nailed 2 kebabs each and passed out once we got into our bunks, probably waking everyone up on the way.

just cos its raining doesn't mean you can't have fun!

Day 5

I was up first and headed down to the breakfast area in the hostel. 3 € all you can eat? You don’t have to tell me twice pet! After an hour or so of that I got showered and waited for the rest of the crew. It was drizzling a bit this morning but it looked good by about midday. Wally is sitting it out today cos his wrist looks fucked.
Just as we got the bikes out and fixed a flatty, the heavens opened once more and dashed our hopes of a sesh. At least there are a million free magazines in the hostel and the coffee is free! We eventually got out riding with a break in the rain and rolled around the city, it was too wet to ride but just checking out the sights and sounds was cool. The Museum Island and huge statues are amazing.
On the way home Joe hooked up trying to ice pick a handrail and put a hole in his chin. Nice. He looked like a contestant on Mallets Mallet after sticking an oversized plaster over the gash.
When we got back to the hostel we had been moved to a new room with a communal kitchen/diner area. The people sharing were cool, the 3 girls there were Rachel, Linnea & Finn were already halfway through a bottle of Jack and a guy called Adam from NYC who was travelling on his own. Of course we joined in with the festivities and had a party in the kitchen and smashed in as much booze as possible until 12.30am when we left for the nearby Watergate club for the Poker Flat Records night. Ross had sorted me the guesty so I was in for nixy, however Wally, Bramas and Joe weren’t so lucky and were not allowed in for looking too touristy. The club was class, spread over 2 floors with an out door bit right on the river. Finally meeting up with Ross was really good, hadn’t seen him for over 5 years. It makes you feel old having ‘old friends’! Had a mint night, ended up losing everyone and staggered home alone at about 530am.

Party time in the hostel! L-R, Rachel, Me, Wally, Linnea & Olly

Day 6

All of us felt pretty ropey from the night before but the sun was blazing and drew us out from the comfort of the hostel. We set off over the river and just cruised around looking for stuff to ride. We rode lots of good stuff; in particular the Kultureforum area was class with lots of different obstacles in one place. We also did wall rides on the remains of the Berlin wall after searching for it for about 2 hours, turns out it was about 2 mins from our hostel! By the time we got back it was 9pm and it was food time. We nailed the falafel in no time at all so Joe went back round to get more for round 2. A few beers were sunk tonight then everyone went to bed.

Day 7

We got up reasonably early and made our way to the base of the huge TV Tower in the centre of Berlin which had a massive ‘V’ shaped flat bank that met the ground at the point. It was good to ride but dangerous with the big drop either side. Olly did a good tailwhip nose pick on it which was good. Bramas had stayed up all night drinking and as such managed to fall asleep and miss his flight back to Newcastle. He looked like he was still mortal as he dragged his Samsonite case towards us then he went straight into a bar and came out with a German version of Baileys and began swilling it to console himself. Soon after he got on Wally’s bike and pedalled around in his Prada loafers which in itself was a sight to behold. Later on I ripped my jeans and added another school boy scab to my collection.
We headed to Mitte and locked the bikes then strolled around for a bit and checked out some shops then sat outside a café for a lunch of burgers for me and Wally and taco’s for Olly and Lewis. Ross arrived on his Euro shopper bicycle and showed us some spots that we never would have found on our own, in particular a small school with a really good metal hip. After fixing another flat tire we headed back to the hostel after picking up the ingredients for a pasta dish.
The girls from next door had switched rooms but were still in our kitchen getting pissed up and this guy called George from the states who was in his 70’s was there too. He was really cool and spoke about being in the air force being stationed in Berlin after the war and about his son who is currently serving as a tank engineer in Iraq. He even drank with us and listened to techno for a while.

Me, Berlin-Wallride
Day 8

When we got up Joe and Bramas had not returned and we had a train to catch plus we had to check out the hostel at 11am. They finally arrived off their tits on pills carrying a yellow football. Random. After saying our goodbyes to Bramas who had another flight today (costing him an extra £350) we headed for the train station.
Our original plan for next weekend was to go to the BMX Masters in Köln but there was a music festival going on the same weekend called Melt. I thought that this would be more fun and decided to get tickets along with Wally and Lewis. Olly and Jo would still go to the Worlds.
When our train to Prague arrived it didn’t have a designated bike carriage and at first we were told we couldn’t get on but after some running about and negotiating with conductors we finally got on and found some seats. We left Joe to sweat it out with the bikes in the last compartment of the train. We passed through the mountains into the Czech Republic and got into Prague at about 6.30pm. On arrival the two Korean girls we were sitting next to were so impressed by Wally’s boyish good looks that they asked if they could take his picture; ever the gent he duly obliged for a photo or 3.
Since I had been to Prague before I was sure that I could guide the group the short distance from the train station to the city centre. I was less sure of my navigational skills when we got dropped off in the ghetto miles from the centre. After trying our best we admitted defeat and decided to get the underground into the city centre. When we tried to buy a ticket we quickly realised that you can’t use Euros in the Czech Republic and they still used Koruns. So we decided to jump the fucker anyway and we were all papping our scats when the checkys got on, as luck would have it we made it to our destination scott free. Finally somewhere I recognised! We ended up renting a plush apartment right in the centre of Prague, a bit more expensive that we were hoping for but we were all happy to relax in the new pad after the traumatic journey. We had a few cans then went looking for a restaurant. You would think this would be easy in a capital city at 10pm but seemingly not, we finally found a small eatery and ordered about 10 dishes between us after 30mins of searching. After that it was back to the pad for more beer then bed.

Day 9

I was up first again and went around the town for a bit as I was in dire need of some new skats, I got 2 pairs of ‘Smog’ briefs for only 300KR, bargain. Then I bought some breakfast stuff and headed back to the gaff. The sun was shining and the birds were singing so it should be a good day. We headed out riding and found a nice marble ledge that was pretty long so you had to hit it really fast to get off the end. After a few goes boy wonder Wally nailed it. Next we found some bigger marble ledges this time down more stairs. I didn’t think Wally fancied it but some tourist got his camera out and gave him the 3, 2, 1 countdown so he just went for it and pulled it first go. When he tried to do it again for our cameras and he slid off the end slamming his thumb straight into the ground causing it to bleed, go black and swell up. Fans of the Mighty Boosh will appreciate the level of hitch hiker jokes that followed for the rest of the day. Then we rode a really good war memorial which was basically a marble pyramid with a statue on top. That was really fun and we rode that until it pissed down so we retreated to the nearby steak house for a couple of pints.
The rest of the afternoon we searched for some more stuff to ride and eventually found the spot that Steven Hamilton rides on the Federal video. Unfortunately the security there was on point and we didn’t ride the flat banks but we did get to ride the tight transitions round the back of the building.
Later that night we went to the ‘Red Hot & Blues’ restaurant that I had been to a few years back, it serves up New Orleans/ Tex Mex style scran. Everyone was well fed and enjoyed the bait. Somehow I managed to get my belt loop caught on my seat and when I stood up the chair came with me and I was stuck like that for a few minutes. The two fat ladies on the table adjacent to ours found this particularly funny.

Wally- before and after in Prague

Day 10

Up earlyish again to catch the train back to Berlin. Olly and Joe were going to continue on to Köln for the Masters and we were going to stay another night in Berlin before heading to Futurepolis for the Melt festival. Jonny Hammond was flying over for the festival too so we had to meet him around 6pm in Berlin.
When we checked the map we realised that the train station was only 10 mins from where we were staying. I had to laugh really otherwise I’d cry! On arrival back at the shit hole station the conductor made it clear that we couldn’t get on the train with 5 bikes as there was no specific bike carriage. When his fat ass was turned we rushed the train anyway, but he sussed our scheme and chucked us off. Fat git. We were told we had to make reservations for the next train but upon making enquiries we were told that you had to book 24 hours in advance. We decided that the best option was to dismantle our bikes and take them on as luggage. This was a right fuck on but it worked and we all piled on the train without any problem.
The train journey back to Berlin seemed to take forever but once we got back it was like going into the future after being in the shit tip station in Prague.
Joe had stashed some pills down a drain before we left for Prague because he was on skitz, but somehow he and Wally managed to fish them out with 2 plastic forks, impressive especially considering Wally’s thumb looked like a bell end at this point!
We said our good byes to Joe and Olly who caught the ICE train to Köln and met up with Jonny.
We made the short trip to out new hostel ‘Heart of Gold’ situated in Mitte; it was a lot swankier than the Sun Flower hostel. After showers we headed out for some tea and beers then met up with Ross. We sank a few in a Russian bar then Ross tempted me and Lewis to an underground club spot while Jonny and Wally retired early. The spot was nuts, we had to walk down this dark path to a tennis court sized corrugated iron enclosure, inside filled with sand slightly resembling a beach. There was a beach hut serving cocktails and a DJ spinning techno. We got mortal and headed back about 330am.

Day 11

We all woke up hungover, myself and Lewis fairing worst and got ourselves sorted before heading down to the train station. I was super excited today as we were heading to Melt Festival but was slightly worried as it was pissing it down as we left Berlin. By the time we got to Dessau the sun was bleaching down. We crammed on to the shuttle bus and sweated our very breasts off.
The festival was situated in a unique location, it was once a huge mine and some of the huge cranes and earth movers remain and it is all surrounded by a lake.
We pitched our shady tents and headed into the festival, started drinking at 5pm and finished at 8am, highlights being Michael Mayer, Tiefschwarz & Richie Hawtin who was playing as the sun came up. Jonny was a bit worse for wear to say the least, unable to walk from a combination of drink and blisters on his feet. I practically had to carry him back to the campsite and then he wandered off and apparently got toothpaste on his cock at the water trough were everyone gets washed and brushes their teeth! GO HAMMOND!

Day 12

We got around an hours sleep before the heat became unbearable so we headed down to the lake to have a dip and cool off, after which we sunbathed and all got burnt in the blistering heat. In the afternoon we managed about 3 hours kip then it was time to get back in the mix around 8pm with another amazing night of music. Highlights tonight were Digitalism, Booka Shade, Simian Mobile Disco (all playing live) and DJ HELL playing until 8am…Too hot to sleep so straight in the lake again, believe me it felt so good!
We decided to pack up our shit and decided to leave there and then and what followed was a hot, sweaty, painful trip back to Berlin. We finally made it back to Berlin about 3pm, Jesus it was so Goddamn hot! 38 degrees in Germany?! After waking up at about 830pm we went for kebabs and pizza then back to bed.


We said our goodbyes to Jonny and then we tried to get a reservation on the train to Lyon to meet Joe and Olly but it was fully booked. Ross had recommended an excursion to Krumme Lanke, a picturesque lake on the south west side of Berlin. Since it was 36 degrees and we didn’t want to spend another night in the hostel we decided to head up there to camp for the night then catch the night train to Lyon the following night. When we got there it was not the idyllic setting I had imagined from Ross’ description. It was a beautiful park don’t get me wrong but the place was jam packed of people sunbathing and swimming and most of them were naked! All of a sudden our camping idea did not seem like such a good idea.

Day 14.

We woke up at around 8am and started to pack up the tent and surveying the extent of the mosquito bites. We all got it pretty bad but Wally clearly had the tastiest blood, it was so bad it looked like he had been whipped with poison ivy. We staggered down to the lake to get a morning wash, again among the early birds (naked) doing the same thing- except they hadn’t spent the night 50 yards up the hill. We went back to the hostel and ate as much as possible from the 3 Euro all you can eat.
Our main task for today was to find the socket bits necessary for me and Wally to dismantle our bikes for the night train since between the 5 of us we couldn’t organise the simple task of bringing the correct tools. We decided it would be easier just to go to the bike shop and use their tools so that’s what we did. Then I went to cruise around town for a bit while Wally and Lewis went to chill in the park. Later on I met up with Ross who provided me with 2 bananas and a bottle of water, much needed after being dehydrated for the last 48 hours.
After that we headed down to the bar where Ross works for a quick pint, there was no-one in the bar so he gave us all Russian Mules instead. Nice. He also gave me 8 tabs and a roll of Duct tape to wrap the bikes with for our journey. Thanks to Ross for that he really sorted us out. We said our goodbyes and made our way down to the station.
When we got on the night train we thought we had scored a sweet cabin with plenty of room and comfy beds. We quickly discovered that we were in a disabled carriage and were asked to leave. Oh well. When we finally found our 6 berth cabin it was already occupied by 3 Japanese girls, much to Wally’s delight! We dropped off our bags and on Ross’ recommendation we headed to the bar to check out the characters and have a pint. After half an hour or so of taking the piss out of the barflies we headed back to the sardine tin to bed.

Day 15

I awoke to the sound of the Swiss border control checking passports as we made our way into Basel where we had to change trains to Geneva. An hour later and we’re moving again through the beautiful lakes and mountains of the Swiss country side.
Everyone is itching from the mozzie bites, trying to sleep but its too uncomfortable, Wally and Lewis didn’t seem to have any problems though.
As we travelled into France the scenery was equally as impressive, by this time we had been on the train for 15 hours and I could have eaten a scabby rat. We finally made it to Lyon and met up with Wally and Joe once again and exchanged stories from the last 4 days or so. We checked the train times to get to Tarragona in Spain (1 hour south of Barcelona) early the next morning and set off to find a hostel for the night.
Lyon is a very nice place but the cobblestone streets and one way systems were a nightmare for the tired traveller. We had heard of a YMCA across town and upon asking a policeman for directions Joe was met with laughter before the cop drove off on his chopper. We finally found the hostel atop a very steep hill, not the YMCA but a hostel none the less. If anyone happens to come to this hostel be warned: the guy on the front desk is a grade ‘A’ knob- rude as hell.
For the gruelling hill climb we were rewarded with amazing views of the whole of Lyon. After cooking some food in the hostel we went out riding for a bit and met a couple of locals who were really cool, and after nearly getting knifed at the local skate park over a football we headed back to our hilltop retreat for some much needed sleep.

Day 16

Up at 6am to catch the 7.20am train to Avignon then onward to Spain. The hostel had a free breakfast bar so we murdered that for ten minutes and stuffed some bread into our bags for the journey. While waiting for the transfer in Avignon a train pulled up with a priest on board blessing people as he went. One carriage was converted into a sort of open space and people were playing instruments and singing hymns. Not something you see when waiting for 16.56 to Durham.
We travelled along the south east coast of France towards Port Bou with the Mediterranean on one side and the Pyrenees mountains on the other. The time had passed quickly up to now as I had read a book that I had knicked from the hostel in Berlin but when I finished it a wave of boredom came over me. I managed about 5 minutes sleep and dreamt of the beach that I would be on in 24 hours time and awoke with a crooked neck.
We waited for our next connection at Port Bou, happy to be in Spain at last. Onward to Barcelona then another train to Tarragona – our final destination- where Joe’s sister Catherine lives. On arrival we dropped our gear in Catherine’s small studio apartment and locked our bikes in a garage till Sunday. Suits me fine I thought, after travelling like Phillious Fogg this week all I could think about was the beach, the sea and sangria. That night we went to a fine Spanish restaurant and then out for a few drinks.

Day 17

Although I had been travelling for over 2 weeks at this point and had been to some amazing places, this was the first day that I felt like I was ‘on a holiday’ in the stereotypical sense of the word. I woke up early and the sky was overcast and the eerie stench of feet and body odour has subsided slightly from the night before. I had another few hours and at last the sun had came out.
We spent the day on the beach in Tarragona, there was a nice breeze blowing from the med and the sky was blue. We soaked up the rays and the sea was a greeny blue. Hard to believe that 4 nights previous I was roughing it in Berlin! It was a great day apart from Wally had his bag knicked off the beach from right under our noses – thieving bastards. Needless to say Wally was pissed; his wallet, cards and money are gone but worst of all, his phone. Photos and contacts gone. Gutted.

Day 18

Weather was gash, not happy. Pretty much lazed about and tried to catch up on some sleep to no avail. Hardly slept the last week, 4-5 hours at best – head was fucked. Got some beers about 7ish then me Wally and Lewis got the train to Barcelona to see Tiefschwarz play at the Apollo. Surprisingly we found the club in no time at all and got in without a hitch. The club was a converted old theatre, a really cool place. The only gripe I had was that they had the same visuals on all night –bot! We got ripped buying some dance enhancers, we were ‘touristas’ after all to what do you expect?! After that we raved our tits off and Wally pulled a Spaniard called Carla, amusingly Wally called her Bella all night ha ha. Tiefschwarz smashed it in and the massive stage invasion near the end of their set topped off the night.
Waiting for the train home Lewis fell asleep sitting on the floor in the most comical of positions, we couldn’t contain our laughter as frustrated commuters stepped over his sweaty body!

Day 19

After rolling home at 9am I couldn’t sleep longer than 4 hours so I got up and surfed the net for a bit then ate 4 boiled eggs. Weather still overcast but went down the beach and swam for a while but the sun never came out. That night Olly cooked us a tasty pasta dish and we chilled the rest of the night.

Day 20

Everyone had to be up early to pick our bikes up; gutted really cos it was the first proper sleep I’d had in ages! Went out riding, found a few fun things around Tarragona, Joe dropped the feeble on this ledge and I double pegged it, some good blocks nearby there too. At about 1pm it was too hot to ride so we retreated to the beach. Amazing weather, got back about 7ish – Wally looked like a lobster! Ha. After another pasta dish for tea we hit the sack.

Day 21

Olly and Lewis left today to go to Barcelona for a couple of nights. The situation in Tarragona had been stressful due to a number of factors so they decided to leave Tarragona early. Another good day weather wise so the three of us went down the beach all day again and lazed around. The night time was chilled too, just cooked some good food and went out for a few drinks, feeling the Spanish vibe.
Everyone was stressed today and it was up in the air if we were leaving the next day or the following day. After some discussion between Joe and his sister is was decided we could stay the extra day and we would leave on the Thursday to make our way north to our final destination, Amsterdam.

Day 22

We were up early again as Catherine needed to get on with her work in the flat. We decided against going to the beach as both Joe and Wally were sunburnt. Walked into town with no real aim or direction, trying to kill time until we are able to get our bikes out of the lock up and head to Barcelona for the day. I didn’t think that we were going to be able to get to Barca and ride this trip so I was glad that we were going and I was itching to ride.
We had left the flat before 9am and I could barely keep my eyes open as we wandered around Tarragona aimlessly trying (and failing) to make the 4 hours pass quickly. I had a cup of the shittest coffee ever followed by a shitter breakfast bought from Spar. We found out that we can’t get our bikes until 2pm that afternoon so we had another hour to kill. It was at this point that I realised that working around somebody else’s timetable was no fun; things seemed far too complicated and stressful. I needed some time to myself so I took off on my own for a while to chill out. While I wrote this I was sitting on a secluded cliff overlooking the beach and it was about 32 degrees. That’s all it took to put things in perspective for me as I realised in a week from that moment I’d be sitting at work dreaming my life away. I also realised that I should have packed some sun block that morning!
I ended up strolling along the sea front until it was time to collect the bikes by which point I had cleared my head and felt much more positive. We made it into Barcelona by train at around 3pm and set off riding towards the port area. We rode the transitioned plant pots that I had seen a thousand times in videos and magazines, they were really fun. The city centre was super busy and it was really humid making it difficult to get anywhere. We made it to MACBA and a few other little spots nearby.
The girl that Wally had pulled at the club on Saturday night, Carla (Bella) had told Wally to call after 8pm when he was in Barca. He was game as a badger for going round after she asked him to stay in town that night but his conscience got the better of him when Joe laid on the guilt trip because it was our last night in Spain and Jordie was cooking us a curry.

Day 23

After 5 hour’s kip we were up and packing our belongings into our bags. My bag by this point had 2 straps snapped and was held together by tying the remaining straps to one another, bloody E-Bay snide!
We said our goodbyes to our hosts and boarded the train to Barcelona, strangely bumping into a sweaty looking Lewis and Olly who were catching the same train as us to Cerebre, the first town across the Spanish/French border.
We arrived at Cerebre around 2.30pm and proceeded to make enquiries at the ticket office about the quickest way to Amsterdam. We decided to wait for the night train to Paris which departed at 8.30pm so we had a long wait ahead of us. Me and Joe had a walk into town in search of food and water then came back to kick it in the sun. Olly and Lewis left for Lyon en route to Geneva.
There was this crazy drunk Frenchman sitting with us for most of the day, he spoke to us in French all afternoon even though between the 3 of us we couldn’t string a sentence together. He was humorous though and shared his beers and cigarettes while playing keepy ups with the ball Joe has had since Berlin.
When the train arrived Joe decided to pay 20 Euros for a bed while myself and Wally opted for the recliners, a snip at 1.5 Euros. The seats were basically dentist chairs but beggars can’t be choosers.

Day 24

Woke up about 630am in Paris, pretty stiff and crooked but I didn’t sleep too badly all things considered. We made our way on the Paris Metro system not as easily as hoped as a few run in's with electronic turn styles proved difficult for 3 Englishmen brandishing bikes and 70 litre back packs. We made it to Gare Du Nord station and waited for our connection to Brussels then on to Amsterdam where we arrived at 2.30pm. Today was our last full day so we decided to do some riding before we went off to get wrecked. We rode around looking for the spots that we had ridden 3 weeks ago but we couldn’t find Jack shit! It’s weird because we were rolling around town recognising the surroundings but because we had been in so many different towns and cities it was impossible to remember where certain spots were. We found a few new things then bumped into a local rider called Denziel; he was cool and showed us a different bowl and a vert ramp not far from our campsite that we would never have found on our own. The bowl was sick but a bit slippy and I knacked my shin trying to grind up this weird curvy rail.
For tea it was Turkish pizza and lamb sherona (honestly amazing!) a few beers and spliffs then we crammed into the modest 3 man tent. A shit nights sleep ensued, unable to sleep due to cramp and being in such a tight space. I awoke to Joe sleep-stroking my hair, creepy puff! It pissed it down all night too.

Day 25

We packed up our shit around 11 and headed into the town centre so Joe could buy some more weed. We set off slowly towards Ijumden with a constant head wind all the way which was made more difficult since we lacked the enthusiasm riding the distance compared to when we made it in the opposite direction at the start of the trip.
All in it took about 4 hours for the 25km trek. We finally got on the ferry, totally exhausted and retired to our Commodore Cabin (with sea view!).
The remainder of our time on the ferry was spent eating and visiting the duty free shop and buying crisps, sweets and nuts. Oh and the occasional mid night spliff out on deck.

As we made it up the mouth of the Tyne it felt good to be home but sorry that I wasn’t travelling anymore.
Those 25 days were some of the best of my life without a doubt, the highs and the lows, the sights and sounds and the people I’d met made it such a memorable experience. Even the roughing it at Krumme Lanke, given half a chance I’d do it all again in a heart beat.