Monday, 29 September 2008

Day 16. more riding, more eating, more drinking..

Got up around midday and its piping hot outside but we decided to try and ride anyway. We went over to the local BMX Shop ‘Flair BMX’ and asked the owner if he could point us in the way of some spots. He marked out on our map the location of a nearby concrete park so we decided to head down there to check it out. When we got there it wasn’t the concrete mecca we were hoping for but we rode it for a while sweating our tits off. Wally did the most amazing 360 attempt which resulted in a comical arse slide down the landing; I was on my back laughing at him.
We rode around Litchenburg and found a few good spots but couldn’t really ride for too long because of the heat. We ended up sunbathing for a while before heading back to the hostel for a bit of a siesta before heading out on the piss. We drank in a few bars around Friedrichshain before heading to the bar where Ross works. There was a private party but we managed to wangle our way in. Ross sorted us a few nice cocktails on the cheap which got us in the mood for something a bit more lively so we went to Club De Visionaire and partied until about 4.30am, pretty weak by Berlin standards I know.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Day 15. Barack Obama?

Slept in till around 1 or 2 and woke up feeling less than well. I made it to the pizzeria across the street for some cheap grub which I only just managed to keep down, crawling back to bed soon after for the rest of the afternoon.
We woke up at around 6pm and dragged our sorry arses out of bed to do some hardcore stuntin’. Democratic candidate for the US presidency Barak Obama is in Berlin today giving a speech at the Tiergarten so we raced across town to try and see it. Hung over to death and 30 odd degree aint didn’t really help our progress and when we got to Brandenburg Gate and saw the huge tide of people walking towards us we knew we had just missed it. Even though we had missed the speech it was amazing to see so many people in one place and getting moved was also impossible. Newspaper reports estimated 1.5 million people turned out to see Obama, even more than Love Parade 1999 which saw 1.2 million ravers take over the very same streets. We left the Tiergaten and headed away from the crowds but were soon stopped by Police at the bridge as Obama’s motokade was approaching; it was at least 20 vehicles deep.

We continued riding and found plenty of decent spots, Wally did a good feeble up a double kinker ledge and we tried to find the Kultureforum but must have ridden right past it.
On the way back we tried to find a kebab shop for a good 5 miles to no avail, well actually we found a couple but they didn’t have chicken and we were both hankering for a chicken doner so the search continued. We ended up in our local Imbiss after a long search and a hearty meal of sharwarma was had.


Day 14. Lazy days..

Me and Wally slept in before going for breakfast and a much needed trip to the laundrette. We set off riding across the river to Krauzberg and rode there for most of the day exploring the back streets and courtyards of the countless apartment complexes. We had a good session and found some good things to ride although we did spend an hour in the Volkspark looking for a skatepark that didn’t seem to exist, it was nice just blasting around the park in the sun avoiding all the dodgy African fellas trying to sell us weed! After a below par falafel tea we headed back for a bit of a siesta.
That night we drank most of the bottle of Jagermeister that Mundo kindly gave us for letting him stay with us and then headed over to Watergate for some late night early morning dancing/drinking/chatting shit.

Day 13. Sun, skate park & snakerun?

I was rudely awoken this morning by what sounded like sasquatch but it just turned out to be Mundo snoring his back off, put a stop to that with a swift flip-flop to the head! We left the bikes and bags at Rattys last night so made our way over about 1.30pm. Kenny and the rest of the boys where leaving today and were already running late when they discovered that my bike was locked to theirs with my lock. In the panic they decided the best course of action was to rob a pair of bolt cutters from the nearby hardware store and cut the offending lock off and make a dash for the station for their train to Amsterdam. The funny thing was the key for the lock was in the flat the whole time! Never mind, shite lock anyway.
Today was the first day that the sun had came out properly since we got to Berlin and it was a welcome sight, it was also blisteringly hot. In the heat me and Wally planned to head up towards the airport again and find the elusive concrete rhythm that we saw on day 1. We got the train on the outer circle line to roughly where we thought the spot might be and started searching. After a while we found a BMX shop and the owner pointed us in the direction of the local concrete park with a snake run nearby, we knew this had to be it. The park was fun with a few hips and grind boxes, we rode there for a few hours in the relentless midday sun.

Wally x2, smith grind across the sub

The ‘snake run’ around the corner did turn out to be that spot from Day 1 and even though we were knackered rode it for as long as we could. It was fun to blast through and ride it like a set of trails, so many possibilities.
If you go through the lot trust me your fucking knackered by the end!

shit camera phone vid! (heavy breathing by Wally!)

A really good session today made even sweeter by the excellent weather that was also forecast for the next week.
Its Mundos last day today before he heads north to Sweden before returning to Norway for graft so we headed out to the excellent Vietnamese Restaurant we went to last week. We said our goodbyes to anther and we made our way back to the hostel for bed. A good day.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Day 12. street riding in the rain..

It was good to sleep in a proper bed last night but still felt like I had only slept for about 5 minutes, probably have more than a few hours to catch up on after the weekend’s action. Pretty slow day, rolled down to Alexander platz mid afternoon to meet Ratty, Cookie and Robbie. We sat for a while discussing Brammers getting sucked off by 2 whores for €150 not far from where we were standing a mere 12 hours earlier..
The weather was looking pretty shit (again) but we headed out to a few spots and made the best of it. Found a good spot last week with a load of slippy flat ledges in the middle of an apartment complex which we revisited and sessioned for a while.
Cookie, feebs to hang 5

These kids were cool and funny as fuck! Check the skin on the left.

With Berlin being such a huge city we had barely scratched the surface of what could be found to ride even in Mitte. There does not seem to be a lot of local street riders and with less video/magazine/web coverage than cities such as NYC or Barcelona I’m sure there will be hundreds of spots waiting to be found. After a few more spots nearby everybody wanted to ride the pool at the campsite but not surprisingly it rained as soon as we got near it, it didn’t look like stopping so we called it a day.
We all reconvened a few hours later and went for some Vietnamese food. After a good feed I was ready for bed but Benson was flying home in the morning so my arm was twisted for a few beers. We said our goodbyes after a few ales in the bar next to our hostel then hit the hay.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Sean Burns

Sean Burns. No caption neccessary, proper BMX.

Pole Jam and infiltration

Got up to town at a reasonable time and rode exy for a while and waited for the boys to turn up. Me, the Count, Jim, Scotty T and Pete headed over to a few spots in Longbenton for the afternoon to escape the masses at the skatepark. We rode this spot behind the Sage offices which has a few benches laid out facing different ways with a short gap to path, Scott did a wicked short mani hop-180 off the bench and over the gap and Jim did a hop over the bench to mani-180 the bigger gap to the road, good stuff lads.
After all the cars had shifted we had a short sesh on a pole that some unfortunate soul had backed into after picking up some bits and bobs from Wickes.

Who's that?!

Scott quick boost to table

Next we checked out a primary school not far away, we had to climb over a vicious looking fence to get in to ride some shit flat banks, as soon as we did it pissed it down trapping us inside the school for half an hour or so. We sat in a doorway to one of the buildings and looked up at some of the artwork in the window and decided that some was good but most was shit. We realised the climb back to freedom was going to be more dangerous than it was when we came in thanks to the rain but we all eventually made it over unscathed, just!
Bike ladder

Watch oot for the onion bag!
Pete mid flight!

The rain showed no sign of letting up so we ended up sitting in Buff House all day watching videos after that, I braved the weather at about 9.30pm and made the sorry journey home to sunny North Shields.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Day 9, 10 & 11. Melt Festival

Woke up early and started packing up the gear as we are leaving for Melt Festival this morning. We decided to lock our bikes up and leave them at the campsite and put the rest our gear in one of the lockers located in the mens shower room (Barrymore's bucking room to those in the know).
We got to the festival without any problems and found the spot where the rest of the lads and lasses were staying and set up camp. Benson ('98) also arrived on the solo mission and quite soon drinking was underway to mark his arrival.
Base Camp..

Rain clouds :-(
The wicked lake with the festival site in the distance. Those crazy metal structures are old mining machines that form the backdrop for a unique location.


After a few hours of getting merry we began to walk down to the festival entrance, along the 1.5km or so of path that follows the edge of the huge lake that spans the entire festival site all the way to the next town in the distance. After getting to the point where I exchanged my ticket for wristband last year I was told that had to walk all the way back to a white marquee located on the edge of the campsite, 30 minutes walk back along the path. A minor hitch we thought, clicking our heals as we walked back against the tide of people who seemed to be more clued up that we were, sporting freshly adorned red Melt wristbands.

Once we got back to the spot near to the campsite we discovered that the white ticket marquee was about the size of a tennis court and literally thousands of people were trying to get in through the tiny entrance. Inside it got worse as the visionary festival organisers had placed metal stadium barriers zig zagging in a vain attempt to stem the flow of frustrated revelers. People pushed, shouted and jumped barriers while ramming the security jocks out of the way to get to the 4 ticket kiosks at the front. A few times people got lynched for jumping the barriers but there were too many to stop every opportunist jumper. How many fish can you catch at a time with one rod? I fell on my arse and still got away from the rent-a-cop dick heads, disappearing to victory next to the kiosk.

Apart from the shambolic entry process and the heavy showers throughout the evening it was a great night with everyone having a skinful and dancing their cotton socks off. One of the personal highlights for me happened not at the techno stage but actually at the gravel path just outside the toilets. I witnessed someone so off it they believed that the gravel path was actually a stretch of water and he was swimming along it. Before long he was strapped face down to a stretcher and held down by 5 paramedics. Simply amazing!

Got back to the campsite at about 7am and went straight into the lake then lazed around chatting shit until around midday when I finally managed around 2 hours sleep, most didnt even bother trying..

Kenny B throws the towel in
Brammers heart beat drops to 25bpm..

The rain got worse during the afternoon and every hour it would be sweltering one minute and pissing it down the next, pretty annoying but you just gotta make the best of it.

We got into the festival a bit earlier today since we already had our wrist bands and we watched a few acts before the heavens opened (again). We made our way into one of the only covered up areas just before it started to come down heavily, we shimmied our way through the crowds and managed to snag a few choice seats on the raised balcony part of the room so we could watch everyone else stuggle to get in like cattle.

Highlights tonight were mathias kaden, cobblestone jazz, Boys Noize and Mr Oizo who completely tore the roof off with an amazing set. I crashed out at about 8am and managed about 2 hours kip before everyones drunken chat drew me from the tent. Bramers and Wally looked a little worse for wear but were still glugging neat sambucca like there was no tomorrow. They both eventually passed out on the grass outside the tents, Wally was dead to the world. Within about 10 minutes Wally had half of the campsites left over food hanging off his face and body, kind of like a christmas tree but less festive and pepperoni instead of baubles .

I know, its hard to believe this is not a photo of a tramp laying in a bin.
Cheese head

Cookie caught in the act!!
Dragon fruit nips!
sweet corn makes a welcome addition 
Street Piss!
We sat and laughed at his miserable plight for a while until suddenly the beast rolled over, lobbed out his Johnson and dropped the street piss right there in front of us.. What a knacker!
Our bus back to Berlin was picking us up at 2pm so we started packing up at around 1.15pm so we had amble time to catch the bus. Everyone except Wally who after several attempts to wake him failed. So we picked up our gear and made our way to the pick up point leaving Wally in his tent to get on with it. We waited and waited and still the bus didn’t turn up. Wally even dragged himself to the supposed rendezvous point by the time we realised we had missed it or were standing in the wrong spot. The tickets clearly stated that they would pick us up from the same place they dropped us of, dicks. Fuck 'Cool tours'!

We made it back to Berlin and collected the bikes and bags from the campsite which were all in one piece thankfully. We headed across town completely shattered to the Odyssey Globetrotter Hostel where we will stay for the next 11 days….sleep