Thursday, 31 July 2008

Day 1. Duct tape, flights and tents..

Got up at 330am to get to the airport to make our flight to Amsterdam at 5.55am. We had packed our makeshift bike bags to the brim packing the bikes, clothes, tent etc all into a bag designed for carrying a bodyboard... hefty doses of duct tape was then applied to reduce the chances of it giving up the ghost after 5 minutes. 
The baggage allowance was 20 kilo for each bag and a surcharge of €12 for every kilo over that, I think we all started sweating it when we lumbered up to put our bags on the scales. Mine was 25k but luckily the wife put it through without any charge, Wally's and Jo's being way over too. 
When we went to pass through security things didn't go as smoothly, as soon as Jo's bag went through the x-ray machine the security neck started twitching, little did we know that he had all of his tools taped together like a makeshift cluster bomb as well as 2 full size bottles of sun tan lotion! He had to run back down and put the stuff through in his luggage and we made the flight on time. 
We waited for our connecting flight in Amsterdam and arrived into Berlin TXL airport for around 11 am. Once we pitched our tents we got our heads  down for a couple of hours. The first thing we did when we woke was locate the nearest Imbiss (kebab house) and promptly ordered a chicken doner each. The doner was invented in Berlin by a Turkish immigrant in the 80's and the city has the largest Turkish population in any city outside of Turkey so you know the 'babs are second to none! The heavens opened soon after and rained for most of the day, we mooched around Mitte for a while and ran into Ratty and the rest of the lads while we sat drinking outside of a restaurant. 
The evening involved more drinking from bar to bar, met up with Ross and went to the local techno beach bar until the wee hours. After finally getting back to the campsite everyone was done- long and tiring day. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2008


It has came around so quick I cant believe it, seems like yesterday that we started talking about the summer and now its here (well the season is but not the weather). We fly to Berlin via Amsterdam on the 5.55am flight tomorrow and unfortunately the weather aint looking much better than it is here- rain is forecast until Monday at least. Looks like riding will be off the cards for the next few days then :-(. Meeting up with Kenny B and his lot tomorrow so if there is no riding the activities will more than likely involve boozing... well we are on holiday after all!
We're in Berlin for 3 weeks and hopefully will do a lot of street riding, in the short time we were there last year we found some amazing spots. The city is about 40km across so who knows what we will find. Not sure if I'll have internet access for the first week as I'm camping but I'll try and get an update sorted as soon as I can and share some of the spots we find.  

Oh yeah, Whitley Bay skatepark apparently opens to the public on the 21st July, went down tonight and it looks amazing, I know I've said this about 10 times but it really does. Enjoy, I'll be there as soon as I get back on the 31st!

Monday, 7 July 2008


Located in the Primary School at the top of Sandyford, the bank has been tarmaced  and is pretty good- better if you carve right to left though. There is a curb at the bottom that makes it good for manual into/out of wallride too. The school is easy to get into you just have to jump over the stone perimeter fence and bobs your uncle. When we were in there this busy body knob head kept trying to take our photos, think we were a bit old for him though, creepy nonce twat.
'1 up!!' Scott Taylor, Wallride to table in between rain showers

Friday, 4 July 2008

Sandy Carson Photography

If you have never seen it you should definitley check out Sandy's website. It showcases his considerable talents as a photographer and he also has a blog on there too which he regularly updates. This photo of Andy Martinez from a recent Dig is a good example of his skills:

Carson just celebrated his 36th birthday recently, good to see him still riding good too:

photo from T1 site

Thursday, 3 July 2008

We have a Bowl

Yep as you can see the concreting of the park in Whitley Bay is well underway, the contractors started spraying the transitions on Tuesday. The bowl looks very impressive and that oververt section should be intersting! It is sort of kidney shaped with a channel and 2 hips leading from the 5ft into the 6ft sections. The rest of the park is nearing completion too and I reckon it should be around 2 weeks for the rest of the concrete work to be finished then maybe another week for the landscaping. Me and Wally went down there tonight to try and test it out as the flat bottom had been finished but a gang of rats on bikes and boards had already tried jumping the fence and the rent a cop was phoning the law, then it pissed it down so we retreated back to Wallys for chicken pie and peas. Very nice it was too! That bowl will be ridden before the week is out.
Heres the plans for a reminder for what it will look like:

Cleggy has posted a Ruben Alcantara thread on the Attila blog, not sure how many times I've watched those sections but they never get old. Check it out.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

The Count gets blogging

The Chris Lee aka Sky Heed aka the Count has started a blog focusing on partying in Newcastle with a bit of riding thrown in too- sounds good to me. Its called Vampire Attack and there is a humorous post on there about his house mate Scott Taylor and his rise to infamous Heaton tattooist extraordinaire . He did my leg and it came out pretty good, not sure about some of the others though!!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Berlin trip..

Last summer I was fortunate enough to go traveling for about 4 weeks around Europe, hitting up Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Melt Festival, Lyon, Tarragonna and Barcelona. I had the time of my life and rode so many amazing spots and went to some brilliant places, but the one place that stuck out for me out of everywhere was Berlin. There are so many good things about it that I struggle to even think of a negative to describe that place. The vibe of the whole city seems chilled and people seem to move around at there own pace, cycle paths are in abundance and the roads are wide. The people are friendly and it is far cheaper than other capital cities such as Paris, London or Amsterdam (kebabs and Turkish pizza less that 2 Euros!). The music scene is large and varied, with the city being most well known for its love of techno (& the techno viking!). And it goes with out saying that the street spots are unreal. .
In short I love Berlin and have been longing to return since soon after I left last July. So now the plane tickets are booked, festival tickets purchased and money has been saved.

As we are flying this year instead of getting the ferry and trains we have all bought bodyboard bags to pack our bikes and gear in for the flight, once you take your wheels, bars and pedals off there is enough room to pack your rucksack as well so you only have to take one bag onto the flight saving on baggage costs. They are cheaper than buying a proper bike bag and when you land and unpack your bike it rolls up pretty small and can be strapped to the side of your rucksack no problem.
Bodyboard bags do the trick for an inexpensive bike bag. £20 on Ebay

For the first week myself Wally and Jo are staying at this campsite which is only 5 mins walk from the main train station. Aside from hosting bands, Dj's and BBQ's on an evening it also boasts an empty pool with flatbanks in the deep end that you are able to ride, does it get any better?

On the weekend of the 18th we are heading to Melt Festival for 3 days, we went last time and it was an amazing weekend. Aside from the music there is also a huge lake that you can swim in which was handy last year since Germany was experiencing one hell of a heatwave during July.
There are a load of other riders heading over at the same time including Kenny B, Cookie, Ratty and Benson so hopefully some good sessions will go down and good times will be had. Here's some photos from last year-

Roll on the 10th July!!!!!