These last few weeks since our long fall set in have brought mixed feelings. I feel like:
1. We were robbed; this season was odd and slightly rough because we had such weird weather later winter, wet long spring, short summer and now a long wet, cool fall.
2. A sigh of relief the season is over, I can relax. This season was one hell of a ride. It was very taxing emotionally, physically and mentally.
3. Slightly bummed, wishing I could ride more enjoy what I helped create.
4. Excitement, a group of us has made the 1 hour trip south 3 times to Bluff Valley Camp Ground to ride Over the Top Skate Park and it has been awesome! It is arguably the best skate park for bikes within 2 hours of the metro that is open to the public and reasonably priced. It is only $10 buck to ride all day and the ramps are dialed and big enough to be enjoyed on a bike.
When I was younger we would dabble in the skate park when the BMX track or our secret jumps, tiny now that I look back on them, were too wet. I enjoyed it but didn't find that much interest in the park and street riding scene back then. I am going to put that on the lack of exposure and the lack of a mentor.
There wasn't a huge BMX scene where I grew up in SD and all of those that were involved were mostly BMX racers. Tons of talented riders but not really into the freeride scene, I will also put some of the lack of interest on the environment or lack there off. It was pretty flat where I grew up so there wasn't a lot of great street riding option and the skate park was small and pretty much designed for skateboards, with no consideration for bikes.
Mover forward 12 years I have all the interest in the world to ride all forms of freeride BMX and MTB and the opportunities are more but still limited. Most of the outdoor skate parks are small and antiquated and the indoor riding options are few and far between. If I had the money I would probably join the Fantasy Factory but I can’t afford $100 a month at this time, maybe someday before I’m too old to really enjoy it I will.
So as I mentioned earlier a group of us have been going to Over the Top (OTT) for that last few weeks. The place is great. It makes me feel like a kid again. I forget all my worries as soon as I enter the doors and all I’m focused on is riding, hanging with friends and enjoying myself. I have been there 4 times so far and each time I can see a huge improvement over the last. I become more confident and smoother after each session. The ramps appear less intimidating and I am slowly conquering all the features. I am currently working on airing out quarter pipes and riding the spines smoothly and consistently.
My goal this winter is to be able to flow around the entire park confidently and shred smoothly on all the ramps and features. After I have gotten to the point that I can really ride the park I will begin adding to my bag of tricks. There is a group of us that is planning on making a guys riding trip out to CO next summer to ride concrete parks and some of the dirt parks and I want to be confident when I’m out there so I can make the most of the trip and have fun. Plus I don’t want to look like that guy! You know the one crappy rider that is just hanging out, haha. Needless to say most the guys I will be going with will be on 20 inch bikes and are dead rippers! I will be on a 26 inch bike and I’m a quality rider working on getting my dead ripper status!
Keep it real!