From a team managers point of view, this last trip was going to be pretty hard on the driving, I actually made my life harder by driving most evenings and nights to allow more time to ride in the day, so when the first two days it rained in England I wasn’t exactly pleased. The way British people do things though is they hold their chin up and battle on, we rode what we could salvage and before we knew it we were sailing a ferry to France about to embark on its capital.
Paris was a little easier on the weather, bright skies and plenty of spots kept us full up for the weekend.
Monday morning we awoke early, jumped in the van and drove through Belgium and into Germany. We arrived in Koln later that day and the sun was shining like it had been waiting for us since we departed Dover.
Cologne has a vibrant and earnest history in BMX, dating back to the 90’s it’s been the birthplace of so much creative endeavors. Not just brands like WETHEPEOPLE and éclat but also Freedom BMX magazine and whole BMX scene itself. You could sort of say we were home in a way.
On the last day everyone from the peoples store laid on the BBQ and the bossman bought a ‘German sized’ quantity of beer. Over the course of our stay in Cologne and Bonn we hung out, rode hard and took in the culture that had submerged us since we set off. We also agreed that this had been one of the best mixtures of trips together as a team we had all experienced. We felt we hit the right places that contrasted each other and the right places that stimulated our minds and our need to ride different things. We experienced beers on rooftops in Paris, unmatchable hospitality in the slums of Shanghai, perfect spots and computer game schools in California and the gritty grey skies of Northern England. We ended up in the building where the brand was first conceived and the team was put together, it was a perfect way to end a trip and a perfect time to reflect and envision on another.
Mid way through the Shanghai trip I began to visualize the free and sleazy series in it’s entirety, it started making sense to me and I was a little bit more at ease with how it would work out. I knew there was one other place to visit though and I knew then where it was already.
So Cal was certainly the pilot episode that made me want to commission some kind of series, some way of connecting the videos or trips I felt would be a little more exciting and the result could be rewarding. We hung around the sunshine state for nearly two weeks, dodging cops and driving the van up and down the state. Cali did throw its fair share of problems into the mix, like the whole getting dark at 5pm thing, okay it was January and
Riding the streets of San Diego, L.A and Santa Barbara made me want to leap across the World and ride a place that was the complete opposite, I wanted the crew to have a culture shock and an experience they would be able to laugh and joke about for a long time to come.