Macneil Words – Harrison Boyce.
Photos – Steve Bancroft, Harrison Boyce, Robin Fenlon.
When this trip first came up, I had no idea about this apartment in Brighton. Through Jay Miron I had got in touch with Risto from Simpel Session in Estonia and was starting to put a trip together with some MacNeil guys to head over and ride the contest. When I was looking for flights, I realised that most of them connected through London. That got me thinking about conversations I had with the guys at Seventies last October at Interbike about doing some MacNeil trips to England. After a few conversations with Bas and John Taylor, I had a trip booked with Gary Young, Kym Grosser, Bibi, and myself to hit up England for a little over a week after Simpel Sessions. The trip was in January and we weren’t expecting much for the weather. We figured we could hang out at Seventies, ride their mini, just chill and have a no stress trip. If the weather was going to hold out, we would be psyched, but we didn’t have our hopes up… A few weeks later I send an email to John seeing if he had any ideas for stuff we should ride. He told me I should hit up Bas because there could be something cool happening… I thought it might be like a jam or a new park or something, but when I got Bas’s email, I couldn’t believe it! The Seventies guys had just rented a penthouse apartment in Brighton, England, and our trip somehow ended up hitting right when they got the keys.
I’m sure by now everyone has heard about the apartment; the concept is for Edd Allen and Bas to live in this apartment for six months, bring in as many riders as they can and film for a bunch of web edits and a DVD. The thing that I don’t think everyone knows, is how dope this place is. There have been pictures everywhere and by checking out brightonaintready.com, you can get a pretty good idea about what goes down, but until you go there, it’s hard to understand how amazing it is. This spot is completely opposite of what you would expect from a BMX house. Built in an old renovated industrial building, this place has everything from an amazing modern kitchen to humongous ceilings and we were more than psyched to get to hang out there for a week.
Like I said before, the crew was going to be me, Gary Young, Kym Grosser and Bibi, but due to prior engagements, Bibi wasn’t able to make it, so we booked a last minute ticket and got Nick Halsey to meet us in London. Gary, Kym and I flew in from Estonia on a Monday night and Nick was already at the apartment by the time we got there. The weather was cold as shit in Estonia, so upon arriving in London, we were psyched that it was much warmer. The weather for the week was looking pretty bleak, but we lucked out and only had one rainy day and we took advantage and spent the day in London checking out the sights. A typical day for us started out around 10am. We would always wake up with the intention of getting out of the house early, but I don’t think that happened even once. We would usually make breakfast, play some ping-pong, spend a few hours on the computers, and no matter what, we were always waiting on someone. Like if everyone was ready to go out the door, Nick would still be eating cereal or something like that. We were all in a pretty good mood the whole trip, so we’d just joke whoever we were waiting on and laugh it off.
Most of our riding time was spent on the waterfront. Gary was the only one who had been to Brighton before and he was only there for a few days for a Backyard Jam, so we were all eager to explore the city. Most days we would ride our bikes from the house and just cruise the streets. We would spend hours on the smallest spots, but we would have so much fun! It was so good to be the first crew out there because we were able to roll around to all sorts of spots and not really worry what had been done by other guys. We did spend some time off the waterfront and hit up some campuses, random rails in neighbourhoods and found some dope stuff. Doing a trip in one town rather than trying to hit a new city every day is so nice. You don’t have to worry about getting your tricks right at the minute you come across the spots and you are able to really get to know the city. We would usually stop riding when the sun went down, and our rides back to the apartment were always so long and cold. When the sun’s out you don’t notice the cold as much, but as soon as it sets, you’re screwed!
Our evenings were spent at Tesco getting snacks… Well, not really, but damn, did it feel like we were there a lot. There was one right on the corner from the apartment, so we’d just pick up some food and cook at home. We did venture out a few nights for dinner and didn’t have the best luck. The first night, we had some weird craving for Mexican food, so we went on a hunt and ended up at the worst Mexican place ever! Gary and I seriously felt like we were going to get food poisoning or something… It was soooo bad. We stuck to fish and chips from then on and tried to spend our time in pubs, rather than restaurants. With Brighton being a college town, there were plenty of nightspots to hit up and it with Edd and Bas taking us around, it seemed like we were getting into a new adventure every night. The trip went by pretty fast and we were all bummed to head home. Kym was going crazy and had filmed so many clips. We decided to extend his ticket and he ended up chilling out there for another month, working on a full part for the DVD. Gary, Nick and I all headed home, and as soon as I got back I was trying to figure out a way to get back before Bas and Edd moved out of the apartment. It didn’t take long and I was able to put together a trip around the Fise contest the first week of May, so look out Brighton, ‘cause we’ll be back!
Doing a trip in one town is so nice. You don’t have to worry about getting your tricks right at the minute you come across the spots, and you are able to really get to know the city…
Primo words and photos H Man
My hands are cold, my nose is runny and it’s the end of March and it’s flipping snowing out here? What’s with the weather? Before my trip down to Brighton started, I had been hearing of warm days and late night sessions involving nothing more than a T-shirt and a open zipper hoody. So, as Harrison reported, Macneil have just been over, Primo are here as I write this, next week Hoffman get here and then there is still Lotek, Subrosa, Mutiny, Shadow and Federal to name but a few still to come – and all this will be compiled down onto a DVD and booklet, along with regular updates on their website and in this very magazine.
I think sometimes that the old saying ‘you brought the weather with you’ does actually live up to its title. I set off from Newcastle during a storm, news of 80mph winds blowing through the midlands along precisely the same route I was following. Six and a half hours later and I arrive in Brighton to what I can only describe as an apartment not too different from the penthouse Souter used to have up in Newcastle. Clean white walls, spotlights in the roof, big screen TV, surround system and about a million and one Apple laptops, perfect! After an hour of catching up with old friends and getting to know new faces – Primo’s Dakota Roche and Tony Neyer – it was time to hit the sack, for tomorrow we ride.
First day we’re all up relatively early – well pre-12pm which I think ain’t too bad. Everyone piles in the dodgy looking black van and we head off in search for spots. We drive literally five minutes down the road to some council estate, which seems to be a mecca of little spots to nibble on. I always think that in council places you tend to find really good places to ride and if the locals are completely sketchy with you then sometimes they are the complete opposite cheering you on and telling you that you’re crazy with massive smiles on their faces. We were riding this one rail with Tony, and this old guy with masses of white hair walks up to us; my immediate thought was that he was trying to stop us from riding, but in fact he was more interested in telling Edd and Tony how mad we were and that “you’ll bloody hurt yourselves doing that.” I felt like saying we are trained professionals so don’t you worry, but it was better just letting this man get it off his chest – he had a big stick so I wasn’t going to mess.
The first day was going along pretty well, Tony and Dan Lacey were killing it and Dan sent himself over a handrail from a raised car park to a grass landing. At this point we had lost Dakota and for 15 minutes we tried looking for him in his bumblebee jumper, but with no luck. No one had his phone number and we were in a place which we weren’t sure about. A few minutes later Dak strolls up with a girl by his side. Turns out a friend was in the area at the same time he was over here, madness! I want that hook-up – travel thousands of miles across the ocean and there’s one of your mates staying just along the road. Anyways, back to riding, or so we thought – rain stops play for day one.
Day two we get another pre 12pm get up, but it’s raining cats and dogs and it’s about six degrees – no wait, that’s like 38 degrees F for our American readers. It’s been pretty funny during my time down here with the different accents and the way we say things. People are just picking up phrases everywhere, especially from the mouth of Dan Lacey – that kid has been spending far too long hanging in the ganglands of Rye. Now if you don’t know much about Rye then basically it’s a postcard town, a place you take photos of for its natural beauty and cosy looking thatched cottages.
We hit up the Seventies warehouse for the day and sessioned the mini and even resurrected the old Backyard Jam flat rail. Once secured in the floor it was time to unleash Dakota. He was destroying the rail with long ass icepicks, double pegs to over and he was trying the infamous ice to 180 which Edd caught on camera for the Brighton Ain’t Ready DVD.
The day is coming closer to an end and you know what that means: drinking time. When people aren’t riding down here they are experiencing the nightlife around Brighton. Totally random phone call and Bowlhead is on the blower, I had no idea that he was living down here. 20 minutes later Bowlhead pops round with cider in hand and everyone is fuelling up getting ready to hit the pubs. Tony Neyer loves the party, that guy is mad and a serial killer when it comes to the ladies. He ain’t scared to walk up to someone and sit down and start chatting, next thing you know and the whole table is engrossed in conversation with him laughing and buying him drinks! Well if he can do it why don’t we all join in, so Niki Croft and I take some seats and start chatting on with a range of ages of women from 26 to 56 necking wine, talking shit and getting tips on what women in the UK want! Goodnight…
Day three, what’s that outside? Is that, no wait it can’t be… Clear skies! The troops are rustled by the ever bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Bas Keep, who no matter what time he hits the sack can get up at 8am every morning raring to ride. Hangovers and many cups of tea later and we are all out on the beachfront finding spots to ride. Tony jumps out o the van to warm up and first thing he goes for just a small gap and – bang – his chain snaps, flying over the bars to a dodgy grit landing and its sour buzz. His hand is shredded and he hit his knee pretty bad. We ride around the area trying to find new spots with no luck and no bike shops to fix his chain… We decide that this place sucks, so we head further out of town to ride the roof of some garages outside this old people’s home. Dak and Edd are filming the beginning of a line, 180 bebs to build up for a three off the roof of this garage, and the next thing these two retired gentleman turn up to start questioning what we are doing on their roof. The last thing we all expected was this 70-year-old guy to call us a bunch of c—ts! I couldn’t believe my ears, next thing Dakota says to them that, “if you go around calling people that, you’ll get your ass beaten up”, so the old man and his tag team partner in the form of another 70-year-old turns round and say “you fancy your chances son?” These two war veterans were well up for a round of fisticuffs and I think they psyched Dak out, ‘cause when he went for the three he over- spun and slammed to the ground busting his palms open in the ever-cooling coastal environment.
Later that night after a good slap up dinner we went out to do this line that Dak had seen when he first arrived. With no more than one run-up he 180s this rail down a 13 set and blows up on the landing. Another attempt later and he blows off again; at this point, at the top of his voice, he lets out this blood curdling scream of anger, runs straight back up the stairs and sends it perfectly next go. It was so good when he landed it, people went wild and the footy turned out sick. If you have never had the chance to ride Brighton you have to spend a good week down here because there are loads of spots; it’s like a mecca for riding and it really hasn’t had an awful lot of coverage in recent times. Just riding along the seafront from one end of town to the other you will find about 10-15 really good things to ride, and that’s without even venturing into the town centre and the surrounding area. There is every variant of obstacle within a two-mile radius such as curved walls, rails, an abundance of wheelchair launcher gaps, wallrides over doors, bank to wall set-ups and ledges perfect for grinding, riding along and nose bonking till the sun goes down. Hit this place up for sure, and once the sun goes down get yourself down one of your locals where the ratio of women to men is 3:1 (however the pints ain’t cheap, at £3 a go).
Day four was destroyed by rain and icy winds, however the car parks are always a welcome spot with curbs a plenty and no one cares what you’re doing. With the rain stopping play and the car parks completely shut down by Niki, Dan and Dakota, everyone goes back to the house for a Nintendo Wii Sports round of golf before getting ready to hit up possibly one of the best burger joints I’ve ever experienced, called Gourmet Burger. With over 100 choices of filling, and in vegetarian option as well as pure beef, this place is the jump off.
Next day we decide to ride the Universities of Brighton and Hove with more spots than pupils, the footage gets clocked and a war starts between security guards telling us to go ride the other campus. To be honest we had a good couple of hours session before we got kicked out of there. The security were on us, but they kind of understood what we were doing so they were like “get you trick done and then leave, I’m getting shit from the lecturers.” It was so funny that down here it seems that the general public are more into stopping you ride straight away than the security, they can see that you are doing your job and you know they are doing theirs, so you compromise and they let you get what you need done. But the public are all about getting in your way and asking to be hit by the oncoming ‘stunt’ about to go down. Probably the best day we had riding had to be when Owain Clegg came down. Owain, who is well known to lead people for miles to ride a ledge, he loves to get out the house and get his trick on. Everyone was excited that he was going to ride with us today and he really motivated everyone and he must have done something to the weather too as it was sunny outside. We hit up so many new places, including this school that had something to ride around every corner. There were around ten of us out riding the streets, what a crew! The crew included Dan Lacey, Tony Neyer, Dakota Roche, Nate Moroshan, Mad John Taylor, Niki Croft, Owain Clegg and Bas Keep all loving the sunshine in full effect. Tricks were happening, people craicing on with one another it was like a real chilled summer afternoon session with your best mates. The chemistry between the riders was great and everyone got on with everyone, people like Tony Neyer being the funny man coming out with one liners that would crack you up and hollering at every ‘woman’ that walked on by, the thing is those women would love it too!
I’m sitting here on the final day, minutes before I embark on a 300 mile journey back to Newcastle in a car that I’m not 100 percent sure about as it puffs masses of white smoke out of the exhaust. I woke up dead early today to get things ready and had to ride to collect my car from where it has been parked the last two weeks, and today typically the sun is shining in full glory and it’s actually feeling like it’s creeping beyond 10 degrees C. Damn and blast eh, you can’t win them all. However, as I leave this joint Hoffman riders Brad Simms and Seth Kimbrough come to fill in the spaces and claim their Ikea mattresses for the week-long stay ahead. Check back next issue to see if Brighton was ready.
RIDE: Why is it that since you’ve came over here you are eating so many microwave meals?
DAKOTA: Because they’re like eight times better here compared to the States!
What English slang are you taking back to Cali?
‘Eeeeeaaaasssssyyyy bruff’ and ‘allow it’.
You’ve filmed recently for your part on the Insight video where you’ve been working on a section and you kinda planned the stuff you wanted to do and where you were going to go. What’s the difference between that and coming over to a random country where you’ve never been and having to film on stuff you ain’t seen before, can you be just as creative on something brand new in such a short time?
For Insight, I kind of already had a bunch of stuff I wanted to film, or at least ideas of things I wanted to try, but coming to the UK I had to wing it a bit more, which is fine by me! Just kind of looking at new spots and figuring out new lines and whatnot is always a treat.
RIDE: Has being in Brighton over the past few weeks had a positive affect on your work?
NATE MOROSHAN: Yeah man! I feel like I have been more productive riding and working, and less stressed than I ever have at home – it’s a strange feeling, but I like it.
RIDE: Since I arrived here I’ve ridden with you about three times, each time you’ve gotten hurt – do you think I’m bad luck?
NIKI CROFT: No… I don’t believe in luck, good or bad. Probably has more to do with the fact that I’m filming so I’m tryin’ new stuff that I’m not used to doing, ‘cause I’m not that dialled enough to pull stuff first time – either that or I’ve been drinking too much semi-skimmed milk instead of full fat!
RIDE: What has been the best part of living in the house for the past few weeks and how much do you wish I could be there the rest of the time?
DAN LACEY: The best part of being in B-town – get bent John Dye – is probably getting to ride with riders that I don’t get to see that often if at all, meeting new peeps, riding new surroundings, living with Bas and Edd and chilling with my boys is always a good time. I was devastated when Tony said he couldn’t stay longer, this is the second time I’ve had the chance to hang out with T-digs and it’s been eventful. No matter where we were or what we were doing he was always a joker. Boy needs to get back soon, maybe when D-Watts is down then maybes us three can tear Brighton a new arsehole… peace.
Words and photos – Hman
At night he’s a chilled-out water and lemon drinking iChat specialist catching up with friends over the pond and hitting up the BMX Media to see what the latest developments are. Come the day, and Brad focuses on his riding with 100 percent concentration towards task at hand. Brad came over to spend a couple of weeks in the Brighton Ain’t Ready house and, although I only spent a few days with him, when he rides he’s a pure treat to watch. Being a photographer it’s difficult shooting with him – you’ll be framing something up, thinking that you’ve seen him do it once or twice so now it’s time for the photo, and he’ll damn well go twice as high as he did the last three times and you’ll be like “what??? shit…” and the photo will be all over the place. What I learned about Brad in the three or four days I spent riding with him is that you should always be ready to give him that little extra space in the frame for more air, always keep your trigger finger ready because no doubt he’ll go faster on the actual photo attempt, and don’t offer him a press-up comp within a one minute time constraint because as Bruce Crisman found out – you will lose!
RIDE: You’ve been doing quite a bit of travelling recently for comps, jams, projects, where have you been so far this year?
BRAD: I went to Estonia for the Simpel Session and that was amazing. My other travels this year for just vacation, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and I went to Riga, Latvia for the Ride-it winter jam comp, and that was really cool because that was their first time ever having an event in their country.
You’re in England at the moment, at the Brighton Ain’t Ready house – how have you found your stay? What’s been the best and worst things about Brighton?
The worst thing was having to sit on my ass for four days because of my bruised tailbone, the constant rain sucked, but hanging out and riding with everyone was the best.
How have you found the food over here? Have you tried the famous fish and chips from down the seafront?
Fish and chips are good, but greasy as all hell. The portions are smaller than what I’m used to, but it’s all good.
What’s with your random singing of songs in the house? You wanting to break into the music scene?
[laughter] I love just singing random rap or R&B lyrics, it makes me and everyone else laugh…
Bruce Crisman challenged you to a series of press-ups and arm-wrestles this last week, what were the stakes and why the hell did he start doing it?
Bruce was constantly challenging me to all these strong-man comps. [laughter] So he said “You want to have a push-up comp?” and I said “Sure Bruce… you’ll lose, but let’s run it!” I did 79 in a minute and he did 59 so he had to buy me dinner.
Have you experienced the local pubs and clubs while on your visit?
Brighton, it’s pretty sweet! I didn’t go out a lot due to my lack of funds, but I had a good time.
What do you think of Sunday dinners at The Wick [our local]?
Awesome! It’s like one big family.
Three things people don’t know about you?
Turbulence scares the shit out of me. I hate it when people try and snap random mugshots of me. I don’t eat raw vegetables.
Words and Photos – Nathan Beddows
Like most people who work part-time, I never really take sick-days unless it’s actually physically too late notice to book holiday or swap shifts. I’ll go in hungover to hell or hiding a limp from my ever- lasting spaz foot. To my mind you can kind of store sick-days up for those occasions when you do really desperately need to take a day or two off for last- minute legitimate BMX purposes on the pretence of being ill. As long as you don’t take the piss, you can kind of get away with this fairly regularly. I see it as being a kind of cash-back for actually bothering to try and be semi-healthy (which is more than can be said for some other Council workers)… “Yeah, I’m really sorry I’ve got a terrible migraine…” “My car’s broken down in London…” “I’ve just got the worst flu ever…” So when I get a phone call from Ride asking me would I go down to get some snaps of the Kink Team I had already envisioned the scenario of me setting my alarm clock early to do the dreaded ‘ring in sick’ phone call later on that week…
Anyway, the Kink Team… Um, well I gotta admit I’m not particularly ‘industry savvy’ shall we say… For example, I snapped my Standard 250 last year, which had been going second-hand strong since 2001 yo! – I kinda looked into what new and wonderful frames were available out there on the internet, but got put off by all the new fangled wizardry of tubing, weights, lengths, internal headsets, Spanish BBs/ Yorkshire BBs/Euro BBs, blah blah blah. Not that I don’t value the importance of all this revolutionary BMX technology, it just seemed quite a lot to take on board all at once after not paying attention for a few years… So instead, I just got another Standard 250 from a good friend who had a spare one lying about (cheers Joe!).
This analogy kinda summed up my knowledge of Kink 2008 – until about a week ago, my only knowledge of Kink seemed to centre around Freebird frames, a few times I had watched Wasted Days, some good street ads of Rob Tibbs and Cielencki briefly having a signature frame… I checked their website briefly before going down, but to be honest I was more concerned with charging batteries for flashes and changing the oil filter in my Fiesta before setting off than to memorise a load of BMX trivia. I’m sure they would be nice enough guys anyway…
So anyway I arrive at the Brighton Ain’t Ready HQ fairly late on the Thursday and do the basic introductions with some of the crew who hadn’t gone out sampling the UK nightlife. I learned that they had already been here a week or so and definitely long enough for most of them to be nearly all but burned out, as I realised when Sean Sexton waved a finger twice as wide as his others toward my direction (who the f—k does gaps to hang fives though, seriously?).
They were apparently going to be flying home in the wee hours of Sunday morning, which really was only gonna leave two days to get to know them and document some action. The Brighton Ain’t Ready project is an amazing concept really when you think about it. A fantastic opportunity to not only document amazing riding localised to one relatively low-key area, but also an interesting investigation into what happens when you pour a load of pro riders onto the blank canvas of an exclusively plush seaside pad. Surroundings, which for most of its tenants, would be far beyond what they are normally used to in terms of nice-ness, cleanliness and other words ending in ‘ness’… I mean I was definitely expecting mess, that is just inevitable really when you have nearly ten people staying in a two bedroom flat – no matter how high the ceilings are or how open-plan the kitchen is. But there was order to this mess and navigating the apartment was easily manageable. It wasn’t ‘trashed’ either as I had perhaps expected it to be, if anything from this mess and clutter a tangible interior personality was actually formed – born from all the passing human traffic. Both UK and US branded bathroom and kitchen products sitting happily side-by-side, a pile of free-for-all bedding left in one corner, and in particular, the ‘trophies’ of many nights-out, which mainly took shape in the form of hilarious poster-board headlines for the local press, the type you would normally find outside cornershops. The Brighton Ain’t Ready pad was genuinely good fun to be in, and because the weather was so unexpectedly good that mid May weekend there were times when I myself was almost fooled into thinking I was on holiday somewhere. So as I’ve already declared, these riding photos were shot in just two days from an already depleted crew who barely knew the bloke who was taking photos of them, which is never easy for either party concerned. It was good enough insight for me though to see that Kink these days are going places and making good kit with the help of some new direction. I got to see a prototype Revision C (which I’m sure weighed half of a Standard 250) amongst other things and in general I just got this vibe that the ‘Team’ were actually all really good mates who were into travelling and adventure regardless. A possible expansion on the UK flow could be on the cards too… So there you go, my two cents worth (or my tuppence worth, the original idiom) on the whole affair. Now go ride.
WE’VE GOT A STACK OF BRIGHTON AINT READY DELUXE EDITION BOOK AND DOUBLE DVD’S TO GIVE AWAY.
Use your deep and meaningful knowledge of BMX to answer the question below to be in with a chance to win… You can’t go too wrong.