Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Five weeks in Europe

My goal is always to stay as long as possible when I travel abroad for BMX adventures and this first international trip of 2016 was no different. Traditionally my European trip consists of the Bike Days contest in Solothurn Switzerland and the ginormous FISE in Montpellier France with some fun BMX riding/pastries eating days in Paris sandwiched in between. However this year I was ambitious and pushed my trip to include my good friend Adam Kun’s wedding making it a five week lose yourself in Europe forget what home feels like kind of adventure. This also provided new territory as Id never been to Hungary and Budapest is nothing short of legendary. After piling up on art world commercial workdays a month prior I packed my shit and headed to Europe.

Arriving in Paris suburb and rendezvous with the Jumelin family is the only way I want to start a trip like this not to mention meeting their new puppy Lola. While I instantly fell in love with this gorgeous female staffordshire I was also reminded that puppy like isn’t easy haha. After a few days of practise and ├ęclair au chocolats I headed to Montpellier with Alexis Desolneux a day early to perform BMX flat demos for French and Chinese politicians associated with the FISE. This contest is the most famous in France and probably all of Europe with people flooding the city thirsty for action sports. The weather was great until the final day and as usual the parties and fans exceeded anyone’s expectations. I love the city of Montpellier and look forward to this event every year. After a rained out final on Sunday we all loaded up in cars and made the seven hour drive back to Paris. Matthias Alex and I went straight to work filming a how-to for youtube without any sleep and I will embed that below. After a few days of riding and dealing with the rain Italy would be the next move.

Alex and I joined Raphael Chiquet aboard a local European airline at the Paris airport and headed to Venice Italy for a weekend of BMX demos at the famous Imola racetrack. Upon arrival in Venice my bike bag that I checked in Paris was lost. This is every BMX riders fear and rarely have I had to deal with this. We boarded an hour train after smashing a slice of welcome to Italy pizza and settled into our cozy hotel near the racetrack as I constantly tried to check on my lost bike. Our hosts for this event were outstanding as I was given access to walk the grid for qualifying and race day, visiting the garages inspecting the finely tuned race machines and seeing the Aryton Senna memorial celebrating one of the greatest ever just a few metres from the corner that took his life. We were fed well and looked after like royalty but at the end of the weekend I still was without my bike. Despite numerous attempts to gain information I didn’t even know where it was. Once we started to make our way back I did locate it at the Venice Airport just in time to recheck it and fly back to Paris. This was easily the worse airline experience of my life. Nevertheless back to Paris for a few days before making the drive to Switzerland for the Bike Days contest.

This was my fourth time to Solothurn Switzerland for Bike Days and every year I’m amazed at how clean this place is. Bike Days brought almost 40 riders being the first round of the world circuit and for me was so good to be reunited with my Japanese cousins. As usual they were the source of many laughs as well as a high level of riding. Alex and Matthias both rode very well but being without my bike for four days the past weekend didn’t help as I missed out on the final. I loaded my stuff with another French friend Jermey Brossett and at the conclusion of this weekend we blasted off to the French Alps. I spent 3 days with Jermey, his wife Caroline and beautiful daughter Alice in the French peaceful countryside before boarding a plane in Geneva and heading to Budapest for Adams wedding.

I was welcomed in Budapest by Adam and Sevisual as they scooped me from the airport and my Hungarian adventures began. Apparently I had some bad food in Geneva as the first morning in Budapest found me sick with food poisoning. After two days of not being able to move or eat we made the one hour drive to Szeged on the southern boarder where the wedding would be held. The day of the wedding I started to feel better despite Sevisual power walking me around Hungary haha. The wedding was beautiful and the after party was full power. I dipped out around 11 as the party went until 6am the next day as European people take partying very serious. We drove back to Budapest and spent the next day cruzin the city and filming for a small video. I cannot thank Adam, Anna, and Sevisual enough for the hospitality as well as the extremely good care when I was sick. I climbed back on board my last domestic flight and jetted back to Paris to spend one last night with my favourite family.

After arriving and making my way via trains to the Jumelin home we walked to a nearby sushi restaurant and filled up on fish and rice. I was very sad to leave as I do feel very much at home in France now and enjoy so much my friends there. However as I finish this with a carne asada burrito in front of me in Redondo Beach it does feel good to be home.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Battle in the Rockies

Denver, Colorado - November 2015



Super fun trip to Colorado at the beginning of winter for the annual James McGraw contest. Had a fun time riding and chillen with everyone. I had the insane pleasure to battle Martti Kuoppa in the final and am proud of my riding against such a powerhouse. Big shout out to Brian Gavagan for hookin me up with that BMX family hospitality. Check out the super sweet video from Anthony Schneidewind below. Colorado always fun!



Battle in the Rockies 2015 from Anthony Schneidewind on Vimeo.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Ninjas in Japan


This was my third trip to the land of the rising sun and each year I extend my stay to absorb more and more of the insane Japanese culture. Pushing my adventures into the three week range isn't easy in most countries but Japan is dailed and the amount of BMX support there is next level.

I started in Tokyo with my little bro Naoto Tamaru riding Aoki Park for a couple days before boarding a domestic flight up to Sapporo to join one of my oldest Japanese friends Naoya Wada. Sapporo as Ive mentioned before is located in Hokkaido, the north island of Japan and this is where mother nature is most strong. Nature spas, or Onsens as they're called to the natives, are throughout the land of Hokkaido and everyone regards this area to have the best food in all of Japan. After spending almost a week in Sapporo riding and partying with the locals, visiting the different bmx shops and scoring a lifelong dream to have a Japanese tattoo artist leave his mark I boarded another plane heading back down to Tokyo. After making my way from train to train to bus to train and then walking around for five hours I arrived straight to the party from the Gshock Real Toughness event happening the weekend before my main event, the FLATARK contest in Kobe. Naoto and I closed the party down and prepared to make the trek down to Kobe for a week of practise before FLATARK. 

An eight hour over night bus ride later I was in Kobe and visiting a few very familiar places including Spaceark, one of the best BMX flatland shops in the world. For the first several days I joined Naoto, Ucchie, Viki, Matthias as we made the short drive to Sanda to ride one of the best spots in the world. TV crews joined us at times at the riding spot, sometimes even at dinner haha. Linking up with photographer and fellow American Aaron Nardi is always added fun and another treat this year was the good friend Akimitsu treating us to several nights of barbecued meat from his local shop.

The FLATARK competition was again stepped up in almost every category and is growing so fast drawing almost 100 pro riders with the top prise being over 40,000USD. The pressure was crazy in qualification and I wasn't able to put the run together I wanted but I walk away from contests like this with an insane amount of motivation. When the smoke cleared Martti Kuoppa was the winner and everyone joined together to celebrate. The party was crazy as always and the next days seven hour drive back to tokyo was long haha. Another nights sleep and I was train to train to bus to train to airport to USA.

I love Japan and each time I visit I take away more life lessons from the experiences and the amazing culture but its the people I value the most. My friends are more like my family and my life is a gift that Im beyond grateful for. Azasu Nippon!

A few photos:















photo: Jason Halayko




photo: Aaron Nardi
photo: Aaron Nardi



photo: Jason Halayko
photo: Jason Halayko





Sunday, 27 September 2015

Au revoir Summer

Hearing about the blood moon eclipse tonight Im reminded that Summer is over for the year 2015. Summer was good to me as I managed to stay insanely busy with my bike and was stoked to have a few good friends visit. Here are a few photographic memories :D



photo: Aaron Nardi

photo: Aaron Nardi

photo: Aaron Nardi

photo: Aaron Nardi


photo: @gabrilicious

photo: Gabe Weed



photo: @gabrilicious

photo: @gabrilicious





photo: @roux_stine

photo: Dom Granger