WEEKENDER: Dodging Rain in London - Ride UK BMX

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WEEKENDER: Dodging Rain in London

Ryan Dawkins and Ben Towle Up Against the Weather

Words and photos by Adam Lievesley

Doing a riding trip in England is always risky business. The weather is predictably unpredictable and this is a thing us BMXers know all too well. You dedicate your time, plan a trip to go riding and all the way up to that date it might be perfect weather, but as soon as it’s time to shred – it rains. Well, that’s what always happens to me anyway.

It was a real stab in the dark planning a trip like this, especially in the middle of the English winter. The plan was to go and ride a mixture of street and concrete parks, to shoot some pictures and film a video for the CHDBMX YouTube channel. To be fair I don’t think we did too badly, bearing in mind it rained 75% of the time.

Tools of the crew.
Ryan, first spot, tabes for the babes. Nothing else to say.
Ben, tailwhip down a busy stair set at about midnight.
Apartment life.
Rain life.

The crew consisted of Ryan Dawkins and Ben Towle, plus me taking photos and Mike Chudley filming. None of us had ever been riding in London before so we went the wrong way a few times – one time we went 10 tube stops the wrong way before realising what had happened. We had a right laugh.

“It was apparent from the start how different Ryan and Ben’s riding styles are.”

Ryan and I drove down from the midlands and we got there first, so hit up a couple of spots. Then we met up with Mike and Ben at the apartment. We headed out into central London, getting to ride a stair set, Southbank and a few other jibby spots.

It was apparent from the start how different Ryan and Ben’s riding styles are. Ryan with a more classic style and Ben with the “new progressive” style. However, they buzzed off each other because of this difference, which can be quite a rare sight.


The classic hotel barspin.
Meanwhile 2, always a good rainy day spot. Dawkins with the downwhip.
Jimmy Rushmore, rainy table air, Victoria Park deep end.

The following day we rode to Mile End skatepark, which is a bit of a weird one. The bowl is very tight but looks awesome – Ryan and Ben both sent some bangers on the real sketchy setup. Victoria skatepark however was the real focus of the day. For those who don’t know, Victoria skatepark is big. Its transitions range from 5ft to a monstrous 12ft. I could tell the session was going to get rad when Jimmy Rushmore, Zach Shaw and Ian Morris turned up. Everybody was doing their thing when it happened – the skies opened up with heavy rain and we even had hail. Everybody ran for cover. I shot a photo of Jimmy, threw my camera in my bag and that was that.

The rain continued for the remainder of the trip. Mike and Ben had to go home due to their train tickets, leaving me and Ryan to attend the weekly ‘bikes and burgers’ event at House of Vans. What a cool setup that is! To top it off, it’s all free. If anyone’s in London on a Sunday, I recommend you get yourselves down there, 4-6pm.

Surprisingly, the trip worked out alright. We shot some sweet pics and filmed a sick video, even if it did piss it down the majority of the time. Success!

Ryan, turndown by Big Ben.
Ben, hop bar in the tunnel between stations.
Ryan loves a T-bog air – here's one at mile end skatepark. The sun came out for a brief second here.


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