Wednesday, 30 December 2009

2009 - You picked me up then dropped me from a great height

This year has brought more ups and downs than a roller coaster for me. I've hit my lowest point of my life and other times I've been so full of elation I could of exploded! I think I've cried more this year than I have in the last 10 years- sometimes tears of joy but mostly of sorrow. I can't wait to see the back of it! This is probably going to be pretty bleak so I apologise now, I just have to get it off my chest.

Depression can be hard to shake off. Sometimes there seems no way out of a situation, no light coming through that relentless fog. Then out of nowhere someone takes your hand and guides you through the darkness, to me this is the greatest high when you know the deepest low. Thankfully I have an amazing girlfriend, family and friends to help me out when the going gets tough- thanks to you all.

One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was get in touch with my father whom I had not seen since I was about 3 years old and I couldn't remember any of it- I wasn't sure if he had just left my Mam or what the situation was. It was getting me down but I had always been afraid to brouch the question to any of my family- I didnt even know my true ethnicity- but rolling with Mexican John wasnt so bad I guess, ha.

I figured that I was 26 years old and he wasn't getting any younger either (it was his 50th in September) so it was about time I got in touch.

I spoke to him on the phone for the first time, I didn't really know what to say or what to expect and we arranged to meet the next day. I was so nervous! I was sure he would be nervous too.

I will never forget that moment when we saw each other and he just froze, I walked over and gave him a big hug- it was amazing. We went to a pub and talked and talked, so many questions were answered as we got to know each other again- it turns out we had so much in common- both keen cyclists with a penchant for eating! I was so happy to find out about my 2 half brothers Ethan and Darryl as well as my Dads wife Christine. I went back to their house to meet them, it felt totally comfortable and we seemed to get along great.

Once I got home I felt so good, such a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and that dark cloud was gone.

Everything was going so well, me and my Dad were seeing each other most weeks now. I was back at work after being on long term sick and I had a positive outlook on life.

What happened next felt like someone had pulled the carpet from underneath my feet.

I was on the Metro going to work on the 9th of November and I got the worse call I've ever had in my life, it was my Uncle Mark ringing with the terrible news that my Gran, Carole Bowman had died. I was in total shock. I staggered off the Metro at Shiremoor and my mind went blank. I thought I must have been having a bad dream. My Dad picked me up and took me to my Grans house.

The following 3 or 4 weeks were awful, the hardest part was seeing my Uncle and Mam so upset. My Gran was such an amazing person, its hard to believe that she was gone- only a few days earlier we laughed and joked over a Chinese takeaway. The loss brought my family together like never before as we all supported each other and remembered the good times with Gran- the way she would have wanted.

Christmas was looming and we knew it wasn't going to be easy, my Gran was head of the family and it wouldn't be the same without her there. In the morning I went to my Dads and exchanged presents, I was made up with what he bought me -a Tag Heuer watch- totally unexpected. It was great to see Darryl and Ethan open their presents and enjoying themselves.

Me and Dad went to the pub for a couple of festive pints and met up with 2 good friends of mine. It was really good craic- I felt proud to have my Dad with me drinking and joking like one of the lads.
'Dad' its still funny to me to say that word, I'd never really used it a lot in my vocabulary before! We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
I was having lunch at my Mams and it was excellent as ever- only took one fool to spoil that though..

Of all the things that happened in 2009 for me, the holidays, the riding, the partying etc ect I just cant really remember them anymore after those 2 things- sometimes it seems like you lose one great thing and gain another.

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2010-bring it on! I have such big plans and expections for next year. I've handed my notice in at work and my last day is going to be the 30th Janurary (if not sooner!) and I'm vowing never to get bogged down in a shitty office job again! Life is too short to be sat in a shit grey office wishing your life away. Trust me on that! I'm going to Thailand in Feburary for 4 months and I cant wait! No riding for 4 months is going to be hard but I'm sure I can make do with lazing around on the beach and scuba diving! ha. Berlin in the summer for defs. Then NYC for 2 weeks.. looks like next year is gonna be good- and yeah I fucking deserve it! See you next decade.


I miss you and I love you,

R.I.P

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

You can't fuck with this



This is amazing.

“Two thieves on a motor-scooter flew by and snatched a woman’s purse on a street in Wenzhou, China. Surveillance video shows a man riding a bicycle. As he was passing by the front of a hotel near where the thievery happened, he stopped, calmly got off his bicycle, picked it up, and then threw it at the thieves. The bicycle hit them, they lost control, and crashed to the ground.”

Get that man a drink!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Keep on searching

Looks like we have found an opening..

What have we here?


Need to come back here when its a bit dryer, looks like it could be fun with a bit of work


This is a few doors up from my house. the driver of the silver car decided to drive straight into the front of the hair dressers. I think he was the only one that was hurt, not seriously though.



New whip


The skate park empty? Must be winter. Have a nice Christmas fuck bags x

Monday, 7 December 2009

Sunday Session

I got out of bed about 10am and the prospect of riding today didn't look too great since the ground was sopping wet and the sky was black. Marty came down to mine and we chilled for a bit to see if it would clear up and by 12 the sky was blue, result! We planned to scout about the fish quay area of North Shields for a disused or derelict warehouse to build some ramps. Its been years since we've had any ghetto ramps near the coast and the success of Dyno's ramps has spurred us on to get some built.
It may have turned into a sunny day but it was still cold as fuck so we were well wrapped up when we headed out. Marty wanted to get a hat to cover his lugs so we headed to Poundland and was kitted out with a stylish woolly hat for cheap as well as Toblerones and Lucazade to boot. After we were fully kitted out we went on the hunt and rode a few bits and bobs that we found on the way.


We had a good look around the quay but didn't really find anything with much potential unfortunately so we went to grab some lunch at the chippy to console ourselves. At least it was it had dried up so we could ride some local spots now.

Off the stairs to manny on the grit bin

We found this total dead man gap at the top of the quay, Austin Church gap style. Down hill take off where you have to swerve in to hit it as the stairs are narrow, pull up like a beast, hang on and hope you have enough speed to make it to the other side. Obviously neither of us did it! It is definitely possible though. If Sean Burns comes through Shields anytime soon I'll take him down there haha.

Fancy it?

From here we found a gap off some stairs to Ruben-esque wallride on some white temporary boards that had been put up. Marty took care of that in no time.



We checked out the back of this run down building and found a few pallets and sheets of wood so we made a wall ride on the side of the wall.





It turned out to be pretty good. We messed about there for a while then headed home as the darkness fell. No warehouse found but it was a good days riding.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

For Those About To Peg Prem // P5 Dub Jam weekender

The excitement had been building for sometime on the 'Phire as the next P5 jam was to be in Newcastle at a secret location and the night before Pete Greaves was to hold the premier of his new vid 'For Those About To Peg' at the Tyne Bar. The secret location turned out to be a huge warehouse in Gateshead which had been commandeered by Dyno a couple of months before. I went up there on the Friday to check it out and it was clear that D and the rest of the lads had been really busy. The ramps were just as good as a standard skate park but the set up was far better. I was impressed to say least.
We spent the day shifting some wood about and making a few repairs before the big day. Quite a few people turned up in the afternoon and it turned into a pretty good warm up session.
The driveway and sub box set up

Jump box and flat banks over view

Vert Wall

Quarter to wallride

videoIrish Ben with a gap over the driveway


videoJump box warm up session

Liam Oakes was eyeing up something from the drop in off the roof and it looked like he wanted to land fakie into a wedge ramp some 7ft below. He decided to go for it and everyone reached for their cameras. He spotted the landing perfectly and he was about to roll away clean but as he made contact with the ramp his bank wheel went straight through the wood sending him shooting off the back of the bike onto his back just managing to keep his head up missing the cold hard concrete floor. He had the wind knocked out of him but it could have been a lot worse.

The gap

The moment of impact

Thats someone pulling Liam's bike out of the ramp (!)

..and the hole it left

At about 4pm its gets pretty dark in the warehouse so we left to start the drinking for the evening. After a couple of cans in Dyno's house I headed into town to check out the (free booze) exhibition at Electric Sheep and met up with Rob, The Count and the rest of the lads. By the time I got there it was heaving and I couldn't be arsed to wade through to the warm cans of beer so I bought 4 Red Stripe from the shop instead, thought I was gonna have to pay with one of my eyes when I heard the price; £6.40! Wish I had just queued for the free shit instead.




guess who?!

From here we headed along to the Tyne to check out the prem. The video was excellent as was Cookie's Berlin edit which was shown before. Most of the riding comes from Scott Taylor, Pete Greaves, The Count, Olly Olsen, Dyno, Rax, Robin, Dchum and a few more besides. Scott Taylor is out for a long stretch after shattering his heel trying a hop over rail drop in the video, he's pretty done in and its gonna be a while before he's riding again. At least he can be happy with the riding he put in for the video as he was a real stand out for me. Get well soon Scotty T!



For Those About to Peg Trailer - Premiere Friday 27th November from Pete_G on Vimeo.

If you would like to get a hold of a copy Paypal £6 to pete.greaves@gmail.com with your address. Bargain.

It was an early start on Saturday to make best use of the natural light in the warehouse so the meeting time was 10am at 5 Bridges in Gateshead. Quite a few were nursing hangovers from the night before!


There was a lot of kids out and dying to get to the warehouse. We split up into groups and went over one at a time to try to reduce the amount of attention as we got into the building. Once inside it was clear it was going to be a class day, so many people here and wanting to ride. Shit got done pretty quickly.



videoNikki Croft just getting warmed up

Unfortunately I had to leave the jam at about 2pm but up till then I had a blast. The riding was amazing and everyone was having a good time. I saw Nikki Crift destroy pretty much every ramp in there, going higher and bigger than anyone in the building. Well done to Dyno, Mute and everyone else who invested time and effort into the event, cant wait for the next one.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Spot homage - Whitley Bay's 'Black Park'





Before Whitley Bay skatepark was built the spots down here on the coast were few and far between and most of them were shite to say the least. One spot that did get sessioned is the park near Rockliffe School in Whitley Bay. It has a large concrete hump/flatbank thing in the middle which you can hip or jump like a jumpbox or whatever. It also has a pretty decent curved wallride in the corner too.
With it being a kids play park there swings and a whole lot of other crap to avoid/use with the latest addition being a climbing frame and some large rocks which can be used for abubaccas if your still into that sort of thing. Legend has it that there used to be another hump where the see-saw used to beback in the day and Tom Dorneys brother did a 360 over it..
I think i started riding here about 13 or so years ago and still ride there now and again to this day. I first learnt barspins there and probably how to fakie. The spot is a good session spot as long as there are not a load of familys in there and there are plenty of lines to be had if you are being creative. Its situated on the seafront inbetween Whitley Bay town centre and Cullercoats, check it out if your in the area.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Xtremeties

For the second year running North Tyneside council has laid on an 'extreme' event imaginatively named Xperience. It was held on the last weekend in October to coincide with the annual Surf competition in Tynemouth, not a great time of year for the weather usually and not surprising it pissed down just like last year. The BMX side of things was taken care of Team Extreme and this year they brought their vert ramp and questionable 'street' course along for everyone to have a crack at and to do a few demos. Sure the course was a bit shit but it was OK for something different to ride for half an hour but it soon got pretty busy and the course was over run. If BMX wasn't your thing you could have watched the snowboarding big air or even some Mountain Boarders jumping a van when it wasn't pissing down. I think there was a circus tent or some shit and for some reason a beat boxing showcase. Down with the kids man. The best thing about it all is that I've won a session for 2 to go paddle boarding in a random competition, cant wait to take wor lass down to the sea and watch her try her hand at the zimmer frame of the water sports world.







Monday, 19 October 2009

Sunday Factory Session

There is this factory near Wallsend that has one of the best spots around hidden inside it. I first stumbled upon it while living near Hadrian Park Metro station many moons ago. Inside the factory yard there is a long bank to wall ride, a concrete hip and a few other bits and pieces. Part of the wall is curved and the end part has an elbow so you can wall ride to wall ride as well. The best thing about this spot is that once your inside you rarely get bothered by anyone, no security or nosey busy bodies questioning what your doing. Nice and quiet.
The wall used to be really shady in places and there was a battered old billboard sign in the way of one part. The brickwork was recently redone and the sign removed. The barb wire has been removed as well on that part of the wall so its easier just to jump over from the road side rather than crawl under the gate round the front.
Yesterday me, Joe, Marty and Sean headed up for a session. Joe brought his home made kicker ramp to make things a bit more interesting!

Joe pegs the wall out of the shady flat bank! Massive


Marty getting real on the wall ride



This spot is just in the nearby Burnside school, we got kicked out in seconds though..

Marty fakie to whopper

Marty lays it down flat with a little help from the kicker

Marty took it hard on the first attempt at this gap to wall but he got it done after a couple of tries