One of the best parts of BMX
is getting out on the open road and finding something new of even just different to ride. So, last Sunday some of The Boardroom's pro team (Derek Johnson, Hubert Jankoski and Reggie Aylward) and some friends (Wolfy, Griff and Shiels) headed up north to ride Belfast and Carrick. The day could not have been better. The sun was out and we were up in Belfast by 11 in the morning, which is pretty miraculous given that Wolfy demanded and ice cream every half an hour given how sunny it was. It felt very strange to be up and riding that early, but it made for a nice change from the usual "Where and when?" then meeting up two hours later than discussed...
We met Northern Ireland's finest videographer and ex-postman, Pete Adam at Bridges skatepark and had a nice little session hitting the bowl, the ledges and hips. One of Hubert's fan-club (Mateuzs) introduced himself to the crew aswell. Another positive of leaving your area even for a day is the possibility of meeting other riders. This is always good, unless the rider you're meeting is Griff, in which case you'll end up in tears, just ask Ryan.
From Belfast we went to the new Carrickfergus park (Hubert's fanclub came too). The park is a lot of fun, when it's empty. It's also rather slippy which made for some interesting results when turning or going fakie. We stayed in the park for an hour or two, the first hour being a lot of fun and full of taking the piss out of each other. The second hour largely consisted of getting cut off by scooter children. A crew member who shall remain nameless had to leave before he tore the rail out of the ground and killed one, if not all of them, for repeated snakings and distractions. "I WILL land on you." It was probably for the best as his reputation for ruining rails may have been furthered had we stayed any longer.
The one good thing to come from the carrick session was that Boardroom co-owner Derek, was re-united with his son, Scooter Johnson. We thought at first it was merely a passing resemblance, but upon closer inspection, there was no denying it, from the skinny black jeans, the floppy hair and stylish riding, father and son were a team once more.
After a fairly frustrating Carrick session, we needed food, so got some really healthy and not at all greasy eats at "The Munchies". Griff was lost in thought for the entirity of his lunch trying to come up with new ways of bullying "Haro's newest pro-rider" Ryan Aylward.
After this, we went street riding with the forte lads. Hubert and Derek dominated the rail. Derek with a sweet grind to hop over and Hubert with his trademark Siberian Cyborg man moves, this time it was a rail to bars. Wolf did a fairly impressive wallride from a bump across about 15 foot into another bump. Shiels and Griff stood around heckling everyone else and popping wheelies.
Derek jumped on to the rail, then jumped over it, Wolfy rated it at 7 out of 10.
After the school Peter Adam told us of these banks he had seen near a power station in the area. With the thoughts of a good flatbank setup in mind, we all set off. What we found however, was a bit of a surprise. MASSIVE flatbanks, with two barbed wire fences securing them from the likes of ourselves. Peter was so annoyed he pushed Shiels down a gravel bank. After this disappointment, we decided to try and find another way in and ended up trekking through some very potholed fields. It reminded a lot of us of Jurassic Park. It ended up with us climbing down a really steep hill only to decide the security risk was too great... we climbed up again to be greeted by a security guard with a dog the size of Wolfy. At this point, it seemed that Bridges was the best option. Our day ended how it began, riding with friends and making sure nothing got too serious. Is
there anything better?
Wolfy and Hubert trading tips on turndowns and smith to 180 bars.
Anyway, all jokes aside, summer's coming in. Get out there, find somewhere new, there's nothing better than all the bizarre experiences you can get from taking a different route for once. BMX in Ireland has never been bigger, make the most of it!
Hubert boshing out some mildly impressive moves.
All photos by Derek and Shiels. (these guys went to art college)