Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Never sure what to say when someone you love passes away. Not sure what to do or how to act. The weight of sadness is immense. Chris Yankee was killed in a car accident last week. The world has lost a true individual. Chris lived on his own terms and saw the world through a unique perspective. He was a ninja on a BMX bike. He was a ninja every day of his life. If you met him, you liked him. Chris was a pretty low-key person, but the impact he made on our lives was huge. I could try to explain how funny he was or how clever, or how he seemed to see the world through eyes that were half 70s cartoon and half Bruce Lee, but I could never do Chris justice in words. There was much more to Chris than BMX, but it was a huge part of his life.

My heart goes out to Chris' family and friends, especially Solan Foster, his friend from beginning to end. Rest In Peace, Chris. You will never be forgotten.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shitty the Clown, about to get shitty. Three wheels are more stable.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

There was a girl I knew
She saw the prison inside
She cursed her keeper
And swore she'd get free

Every time I see
I got my hands wrapped around the bars
I want out right now

She led an angel's life
On angel's wings
Jumped out her apartment
And hit the street below

Every time I see
I got my hands wrapped around the bars
I can't shut off my mind
And now I've waited, my hands
are wrapped around the bars
I'm burning, my soul is pushed against the bars
The bars, the lies, the lies, lies
, lies
Are trapped behind the bars

My mind hates my body
My body hates my soul
I close my eyes and fight
Inside my own black hole

Every time I see
I got my hands wrapped around the bars
I want out right now!

I've lived my life
I'm doing my time
I realize life's lie

Every time I see
I got my hands wrapped
around the bars
I can't shut off my mind
And now I'm waiting, my hands are wrapped around the bars
I'm burning, my soul is pushed
against the bars
The bars, the lies, the lies, lies, lies
They're trapped behind my eyes
I was peeing off the deck today (luxury of country living) and a hummingbird flew up, buzzed around for a minute, checked out the scene, then booked. It was rad.

I got this photo from my friend J-Z. Don't know the story, the origins or who it is. I do know that I like everything about it. The style, the hair, the shoes, the socks and especially the big Cheng Shin knobby. Pure BMX.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I love it when a plan comes together. This set is pretty far along in the "main line" and it dawned on me that it would be easy and awesome to build a hip landing to the right, which is "my way", by the way. I busted it out this weekend with help from my son Dylan. He was rolling down the face wall on his big wheel and getting stoked! Fall is trails season. I'm still cleaning up the weeds but they aren't growing back now. Not much time to ride but I love this time of year!

This ring would compliment my Tuff Wheel tattoo nicely.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Diamond Dave Rino and I hit the streets last week for a super fun old guy session. We rode WMU and the crusty old Super 8 banks. The gap to rack hop was the last thing on the list. This is the only shot I got. The one I missed was of Dave clipping his back wheel and going OTB in a heap. Still feel bad about that one. Sorry bro.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fuel TV's First Hand show is usually pretty well done. The Ruben Alcantara episode from a couple years ago, for example, was a classic. The most recent First Hand, however, features Stephen Murray and tells the tale, first hand, as it is, from Stephen about his horrific crash that left him paralyzed from the neck down and his journey through life in the time since. It's heartbreaking to hear his tale but so very inspirational at the same time.
The above photo is of my friend Brian Miller. He had a freak crash at our local track in 1982 and has been paralyzed ever since. When it's a friend and in this case, team mate as he rode for my Dad's bike shop, you just don't know how to react or what to do. I remember going to see him in the hospital and feeling horrified and scared for him. He had a big smile on his face and talked to us like everything was going to be fine. Brian is still a friend and we stay in touch . He grew up and still lives very near where I do now and I even helped him dial his young son's bike in a bit a couple months back. Though I've been in touch with him for several years at this point (there was a big gap, pre-internet, where I didn't have contact with him), to be honest, it took me a very long time to even mention anything about his injury. We would talk about the pre-accident days or current topics, lots of BMX talk too, but nothing ever related to him being in a wheelchair. I finally got up the nerve to ask him if he knew about Stephen Murray. He didn't but he did the research and got up to speed about Stephen, what happened to him and what has happened since. Brian was impressed by the Athlete Recovery Fund and what it is doing for injured riders like Stephen, especially getting the van for him. Brian tells brutal tales of red tape and loopholes that prevent him from getting aid for such amenities as a new vehicle. I only wish the ARF would have been around 25 years ago. I can't speak for Brian, but he seems to be doing just fine on his own.
I don't know what I'm getting at here, but what these two guys have been through and the way they've handled the circumstances is a true inspiration. I've never met Stephen, but Brian's positivity--not just about his injury, but in general, is absolute motivation to never feel self-pity or think for one second about giving up.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Two days ago I rode Birdland, then worked on some of the jumps a bit. Absolutely sweating balls and an unstoppable army of mosquitoes. Tonight it was the light of a fire and a sweatshirt. If you don't like the weather, stick around for a minute. Coyotes at full howl and me swinging a sickle like a F-in madman, trying to put these goddamn weeds to bed. Miller High Life and desperate low life go great together. What moskitoes? who knows?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

oh, the fucking wheels are turning in my head (all three of them)
Does it make sense to replace an 8 year old van with almost 200,000 miles with a 25 year old van with 179,000 miles? On many levels, yes.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My brother from a Portugese mother, Paulo Martins gets lippy slippy in his homeland. Check out Paulo's blog on DIG.