This was how we spent our thanksgiving. The road is a dream in a dream in a dream. Thanks to all the sponsors that made this trip happen.
We’ve been skating this road since at least 2009. I myself have a history of near death experiences when drifting into the other lane on those rights. Luckily no one ever got seriously hurt. Take a look back at our exploits from one of our first NC trips as a group:
Well you’ve been patient (or had no choice in the matter) and here it is, the first video from our trip. Gotta love mobbing those easy runs with huge packs over 50mph. Good times were had and Nino nearly died. Also once again a big shout out to Phat Dean for hosting all us fools again. Thanks again to the sponsors: Comet, Kebbek, Rotule, Landyachtz, Rayne and Sector 9
If you haven’t read the blog posts we put up during the trip it’s alright, the video is coming so you don’t have to read. Keep your eye on SkateHouseMedia and Team Quebec to see the good stuff.
What you should know about this trip though, is that it’s the third year we’ve taken a Thanksgiving trip. This year we got help from companies but in the past we’ve spent every cent we have to go travel and skate. Regardless of our sponsors and whatever other responsibilities we may have or had we made this trip happen because of our love for skating and for skating these spots. These are my best friends and the people I trust my life to in way more situations than you probably should. These are some of my favorite roads in the world and I know I’ll always come back to them. This trip is entirely about freedom and is probably the most ideal situation I could imagine. So go out and live your passion otherwise you’ll end up like everyone else with the same problems and same desire to do nothing.
I LOVE DOWNHILL GRAND PRIX OF NEW YORK SKATEBOARDING AND STREETLUGE RACE COMES TO WINDHAM MOUNTAIN
WINDHAM, N.Y. (December 5, 2011) − The community of Windham, Windham Mountain and Dean Events are teaming up for the I Love Downhill Grand Prix New York Skateboard & Streetluge Race ( I Y DH GP NY 2012) on June 23-24, 2012.
The race is set to take place in the heart of the Catskill Mountains in Windham, NY, on Clarence D. Lane Road, just two and a half hours north of New York City.
The race course, which runs alongside of host Windham Mountain’s skiing and riding trails, will be over one mile long with five challenging and technical turns that will have racers going at top speed.
“This is sure to be one of the most fun downhill race courses in America,” says Marc Dean of Dean Events LLC. “There are great vantage points from the bottom of the course so spectators will be able to experience the race without having to hike up the hill.”
Event organizers say that the course will challenge the top skateboard racers while building awareness of the sport, its athletes and the longboard skateboard and street luge community.
Event registration for amateur & pro classes will be announced in January on www.ilovedh.com. There will be up to 170 spots available and entry fees will be required by April 30, 2012 to secure registration.
I haven’t had a chance to update this because of how gnarly things got. Sunday was a 15 hour drive with few stops, cars broke down, cops were nice…things were generally off the wall and now I’m back to making skateboards.
Photo – Olivier Séguin-Leduc
We woke up in Asheville Saturday morning and got some Denny’s before hitting the road to skate Camp Sucky all day. This is another road that we’ll never tell you where it is. Also always remember to check with locals before you go poach runs (unless they’re kooky douchebags then skate those roads for what they’re worth). The road is nearly perfect pavement after the top section. Last year it was the grippiest asphalt ever and was scary but this year you could actually slide without feeling your joints pulling apart making it a million times more fun. There’s a ton of hairpins, each one being it’s own unique shape and countour and it’s steep enough to kill cars. Madison’s (Beastcoast Webmastermind and NC hill library) couldn’t handle the hill and died on it’s first ascent of the day to meet up with us. We took a couple warm up runs then bailed for some lunch to let the hill cool down before busting some cameras out. It was another day of filming until it was too dark and then skating a couple more runs until we couldn’t see. The cops rolled through during the film session but our smiles and waves had warmed the hearts of the Southerners that passed by so they had no beef with us and said if they got a second complaint they’d come back but it would take them a while. We didn’t get enough shots so we had to come back the following day even though we’d been getting little sleep for days and were supposed to have a chill day to start our travels home.
When the sun went down we picked up Madison from the auto shop and went to ball out at Olive Garden. It was our last big meal together so we wanted to do it up a little classier. I know you’re thinking how not classy that is but when you’re on the road for a week shit gets raw. The people there loved us and gave us great service though because we all got drinks at the bar while waiting for the table. If you take a group of skaters to the restaurant bar you’ll probably end up with good service after the money they spend on drinks.
After dinner we rolled down to South Carolina for a night at Pat Schep’s house. His parents speak French, leaning our party to have a majority of French speakers. It’s the only log cabin in a neighborhood of brick colonial style houses. It freaks me out a little but in a good way. On the way to Pat’s house Ludo’s car gave out all the way leaving him potentially stranded in South Carolina with one week left for his engineering degree. The stress level got pretty high at that point.
On Sunday we woke up and started dumping the van out. After throwing everyone’s shit into assorted piles and detrashing the van we took the piles and put them back into the van. The drive back north would only have a hand full of us instead of all 10 so we could leave a little space. Since it was Sunday all the good God fearing southerners didn’t open their auto repair shops leaving Ludo to wait it out until Monday so he hopped in for the final session too. Pat had lost his wallet when changing pants at the end of the day so we spent some time searching. While waiting at the top two cop cars rolled up. A woman cop got out and told us that they weren’t there to bust us but they’d have to if they got complains but they were going to get lunch and they’d be a long while. Then we were warned about a guy staring us down from the parking lot above us and that we should go around the corner before getting our gear out. Oh yeah she had Pat’s wallet too…This was the most densely lived on run we skated all week and it was the least baited some how. We were all mind fucked at that point and took some runs and got the shots and called it a trip. We said our good byes and began the 15 hour haul back to Ithaca. The Cali kids were flying out of Columbia and the CT kids hopped in Keith’s car in PA. Ludo’s car got fixed Monday morning and started his drive back solo to Montreal. Ben and Oli got picked up in Ithaca while Mclovin caught a bus back to Toronto.
So much stuff happened that will never make it onto any blog or website but will remain a legendary story from this adventure. The thing that still kills me is that we got money from people to go skating for a week. Sure we put in work and did a lot of filming and got photos, gave out schwag and stoked some locals but in the end we got a free get out of life card for a week. It’s not about that at all though, it was about the friends and the skating that all came together but it seems like a criminal act to have made this idea into an opportunity and then a reality. It’s not hard to put together a road trip and it’s way more fun to do it outside of a race setting so I suggest you pile your friends into a car and hit up some locals in another region to see what their terrain is all about.
Thanks so much to the sponsors that helped make this possible and to all the wonderful people that kept it real and drama free for the best trip of my life so far. Keep checking back to BCL for updates on media as it comes out as well as our good friends at SkateHouseMedia and Team Quebec.
Finally have some internet time tonight. It’s hard to believe this trip is almost over already. The past couple days have been awesome and everyone is feeling some pain.
On Wednesday we got Ludo’s car fixed in the morning. The mechanic couldn’t believe that we managed to find the necessary parts to fix it since it was supposed to be over a grand worth of parts and work when it was actually less than half of that. After picking up the car and getting groceries we went and skated one of the smoothest roads you can skate. Pack runs at 60mph going white line to white line with the valley view ahead of you as the road dips behind the mountain is one of the best feelings you can know. After skating that squirrely run we hit up the next pass down the Blue Ridge parkway which none of us had skated but have been given the low down on from some North Carolina locals months ago. Thanks dudes for hooking it up with the sick run. Super banked turns, right and left hairpins, 50mph plus into a pavement change with a nice one inch drop is sick. After skating until it was too dark to skate anymore we turned on the Christmas mood lights in the van and made our way down to Boone, NC.
Thanksgiving was the best day and I am so thankful for good friends, great sponsors and incredible skating. We woke up at 6:30am and owned a hill for the entire day. Secret Surf Spot is the run that we’ll never tell you where it is and never take you there but it’s so easy to find except you can’t. All I can say is that everyone that you know the name of on this trip says it’s a 10 out of 10. The day was rad and we put in work. The video is going to be sick and everyone was ripping. Pat ate shit so hard and got worked. Remember to respect the hills because they don’t give a fuck, they’re asphalt and earth and will collect your debts to skatan one way or another. After getting the shots we ate a nice dinner at the top picnic area around a fire then took runs until dark on a closed road.
Friday was another early morning starting in the dawn hours. We skated Frontflip and Backflip in Boone first which are super steep hairpin filled neighborhoods. The pavement is beautiful but it destroys wheels pretty bad. I flatspotted a zig zag on the second or third run from holding a stand up too long into a turn. After skating the neighborhoods we made our way over to the Bookstore to take pack runs and rage. After the necessary photo of the no longboarding sign we kicked in for our first and final run. Ludo ate it after hitting a small boulder but he was able to catch up. A mile or two later down the run Pat hit a wheel eating divot in the middle of the pack. He saved the camera though and came out with minor road rash. People slalom in the city is fun but people slalom mid pack down a mountain road isn’t that fun. At least it’s a slow enough road that you can’t get too wrecked. To top the run off the dog corner had two dogs chasing and barking at us and the owner doing the same. I’ve only skated that road a few times but that guy is there with dogs out every time, it’s kind of crazy considering this was the second full run I’ve ever taken in my four years of coming to North Carolina to skate downhill. The next stop was the Jungle which has the gnarliest cat tracks you don’t want to actually stop to look at because they don’t look like you can make it over them. Four miles of non stop turns with traffic will work your legs as you scrub around the rights and lefts. Seeing a Suburban 3/4 into your lane into one of the hardest rights on the road is pretty fucked too when your legs are spent and the camera is mounted to a car a few feet behind you.
It’s been a wild trip so far. We’re in Asheville for tonight but aren’t staying long. We’ll be up early and out again for our final full day of filming before it’s all done. I can’t even begin to tell the most memorable stories because they’re pretty messed up but just know that it’s been the best time ever, gnar has been shredded so hard and you’re
The past two days have been plagued with rainy conditions. The humidity has been keeping the roads in the mountains wet, totally screwing our original plans up. We’ve been having fun though and keeping it real taking in the Southern vibe.
Skatesgiving in full effect from SkateHouseMedia.com
Monday we had an awesome trip to Waffle House after finding the Breastworks totally soaked. After that delicious meal we headed south to Roanoke, VA to session a hairpin laden neighborhood run and shit shoot some photos before we ran out of day light. Max stepped in dog shit necessitating a trip to the local skate shop to get new shoes. The shop was cool and we dropped some stickers and knowledge while learning how to get to a skatepark that had lights. It was a modular park with metal ramps and the most awkward rollers ever but you could flow around and hit everything in one line if you wanted. The local kids were stoked and we had a best trick contest to give out a Comet street deck. After skating the park we turned on the christmas lights inside the van and headed down to Blacksburg, VA to stay with our good friend and Beast Coast webmaster Madison. Ludo’s clutch started smelling but we thought it would work out. The next morning it was still making funky smells which meant we had to stay in Blacksburg an extra night to get it fixed.
Tuesday was spent mostly at the Blacksburg skatepark which is a pretty good concrete park. The bowl is 9feet in the deep with two 6 foot pockets. I owe Max a six pack for doing a frontside air over the coping first. It’s always fun skating parks with downhill skaters who don’t do it very often. Mclovin board slid a rail over a small gap with was rad. Some grinds, airs and sketchy rollins were had. All in all it was a good day of skating we just got screwed with the car and wet roads for a third day in a row. This morning though the wind is pushing the clouds away giving some little glimpses of sun and hope for today to go better.
photo: Nino Almazon
Keith is bringing you todays recap:
Shit started early in the morning, with a continental breakfast at the sketchy motel in Harrisonburg, VA. As we were loading the van, Sean Graves climbed out of his car and spooked us because we didn’t know he was there. We stopped real quick at the gas station to get some fuel for the van and some coffee and snacks for the hill. We loaded in, and hopped on the road to skate Moredoor. We got to the top of moredoor, and realized that the ground was wet. We checked out the whole run and decided to skate the bottom 2 miles. We got gnarly taking pack runs at 55 with hill-billies raging up the hill in their 4×4’s, going bear-hunting, and rocking camouflage like it was their job. After a few runs of this we bounced over to Moyers, a super gnarly 2 mile run in West Virginia. There we started taking runs down and making gnarly passes with so many shredders.