Saturday I loaded up the pooj’ and headed to Atlanta to check out the BMX Jam at Coan Middle school and Downhill Challenge Soapbox race at Starlight Drive In. The weather was not terribly nice…blustery cold wind and it actually rained most of the drive to town. We weren’t 100% sure we were going to bike to the events given how crappy it was outside.
Once I got to Grahams hut he sorted me out with an appropriate beer
Beer always increases my chances of biking somehwhere if I’m undecided about whether I should ride or not. We made a plan to at LEAST ride to the BMX jam, which was not that far away. Grahams shirt is all kinds of WIN.
We suited up for the trek and you would have thought we were doing the iditarod or something. Graham and I are both from upnorf, but living down here for so long has really had an effect on what we would consider cold. We headed out not really knowing if the BMX jam was actually happenong yet since there was no time listed on the flyer. As we neared the school, we could hear the music so we knew the session was in effect. In fact the turnout was pretty darn good.
It was a pretty loose session, lots of room on a great totally flat cement pad with roof. I had imagined that there would be some street riding going on, utilizing various obstacles around the school, but it seemed to be pretty much just a flatland thing.
Flatland riding is not easy to capture completely with still photos. You really need to see it live or on video to really appreciate it. When you shoot flatland, you are only getting one moment of a series of complicated tricks connections…these guys easily string together moves so fast that if you don’t know the names of tricks you just get lost in it. I’m pretty clueless about most of the trick names so I won’t even try to describe some of the better moves we saw. I’m from the era when a “decade” and a “cherry picker” were the hot tricks lol.
The folks from Atlanta Bench were providing the soundtrack. I’ve ben meaning to check out their store…if you get a chance swing by and show them some love.
The riding just kept getting better and better
We were kind of tripping out on the interesting design of the bikes. Barely anyone was running brakes. The stems were either super short or no extension at all.
You don’t travel on these kinds of bikes, you go to a spot and you session. They seemed to be geared extremely easy…at least one person we saw just opted out of cranks altogether, which didn’t seem to have a negative effect on his riding at all.
We met a kid named Nicholas who had at least two Red Bulls and decided to get in the session with the heavy hitters
Nicholas was lovin it. He pointed out this silly graffiti to us
Bitch Duct Tape help keep our community clean. Indeed!
The riding continued to get better, and more people actually started to arrive…
The one downside of the BMX Jam, was that I kind of hoped to see some of the fixed gear freestyle crew to show up. Not to party crash and try to ride or anything, but to see some really evolved trick riding from another genre of bicycles that they can learn from. I don’t know if anyone ever made it over to No-Brakes with a flyer, but I am betting not, because I’m sure some of the FGF crew would have stopped through. I mean, No-Brakes was only like two blocks away. I’m into the idea of the bmx buys and the FGF guys being aware of and supporting one anothers events. Looking at some BMX sites online, it seems some of them have real issues with the mountain bike guys who do tricks and ride park…it just seems weird to me. It’s all bikes. Fuck it, I like it all.
We were getting kind of cold by now though, so we decided to bail and head to SOPO so Graham could adjust his bottom bracket
I can’t believe people were wearing shorts man, it was pretty cold. Sopo is kind of “the shop that love built”.
After getting Grahams BB adjusted, we either had to ride back to the hut and get in the car togo to the downhill challenge, OR we could just ride there. This is where a confluence of things happened. First I suggested we might as well ride there, since we were probably closer to the Starlight than we were to the hut. Simultaneously I began my “typical epic complaining” about some of the hills I knew were coming up. See, I complain constantly when I ride. The folks I ride with know this, and find it a huge source of amusement. I’m the bitch and whine king. But I usually do the ride anyway, even if I am the slowest in the group, the first to get dropped and the one that really stands a chance to not make it to the end. So…onward to the Starlight Drive In we went…
It wasn’t too bad. Suprisingly, riding on the high speed sections of Moreland wasn’t as scary as I thought. The two big hills did whip my ass pretty good though…but I made them both without getting off or giving up. I just settle in and grind it out….slow as hell but steady pushing.
So we got to the Drive In and saw a zillion cars coming out. You could still hear music though, so we snuck in through the exit and headed towards the people. As soon as we got in there, we could tell the race was over. There was still a pretty good crowd on hand and it looked like it had ben a great event
There were some mummies playing music
There really wasn’t that much of a reason to stick around though since we had missed the race, so we headed back towards EAV..but not before grabbing a mandatory Drive In souvenier pic…
I did most of my complaining about the hills in my head on this phase since Graham had pedaled far enough ahead that he couldn’t hear me anyway. Oh yeah, I had my closest encounter of the day with a vehicle on this section of the ride. It was with a Marta bus, and heres the kicker…I was actually on the sidewalk at the time. The buss swept past me by like 3 inches. Bitch you ride the Marta Bus.
Stopped at the Earl for some grub on the ay back to Grahams hut. It was a much needed pit stop. The final portion of the ride was way cold, since the sun was down, but otherwise uneventful. I did my trademarked “spring up the last hill” which is always a good way to close a ride. We mapped out the route after we got home and it came out to 13.5 miles. I think that is the furthest I have ever ridden my fixed gear. It may not seem like a lot of miles to some of you fit people, but to me, it was pretty big!