Tuesday, November 04, 2008

My Grade 10 Gym Class Never Understood Why My Legs Were Always Cut & Bruised

I grew up on GlenGowan road, i always knew that i had a big forest near me, but until i was about thirteen i thought it was just for people to walk their dogs in. Living in Lawrence Park, i never knew that i had some of the best jumps in the city a :40 second coast from my house. It was from there that I realized that i wanted to spend my life in the air.

Mike Pope

I paid $900 for my first bike, because a friend told me if i didn't buy it he'd beat me. Since i've sunk in close to a grand, and became who i am. I owe most of it to my friend Gianrico, I can't thank you enough.

Two years ago i started mountain biking, with a bike that was too good for me, and friends that were even better. Since then I've progressed to the rider i am today, and met some of my closest friends. It seemed so obvious, a community of bikers, jumps close, nothing else to do during summer, so i started to dirt jump. For the first couple months i was terrible, i was embarrassed to ride around people because i made an ass out of myself. Finally, my friend told me to start coming down to "the circuit" every day, and i'd get better. So I did.

Pat & Avi

We called it the circuit because there were two burms on each side, and a tangled mess of dirt jumps guarenteed to kill you in the middle. The guys down there knew it well, and one of them, a guy we all called Tommy T, even though his last name was Kakamousais, was one of the originals. From there i met Gianrico, Pat, Avi (ClownV to most), Chris Marks & Mike Pope. We became a unit. Everytime there was a ride, i had the gang on speeddial, and we'd all show up and kill it.



The thing that parents and most friends cannot and never will understand is that it became more than kids on bikes, but a family. We depended on each other, for everything and anything. Biking became a way to chill out and forget everything else thats going on in life.School, Family occasions, Girlfriends, these were all things that stood in the way of more biking. Biking every day wasn't an option, it was a requirement and to think that you would be doing something else was almost stupid. Biking was first priority.

Clown V


It all seems like a dream now, watching the guys become who they are and progress. Watching
dudes that started off barely being able to ride, and watching them become national ranked athletes, and seeing them at the races. Watching dudes that couldn't turn, to dudes than can d0 720s in the air. Even stranger, seeing dudes that i'd chill with every day on national tv and competing with some of the greats. I owe everything i can do on a bike to four guys.

Gianrico taught me to turn, and generally not to be an idiot when i ride. He taught me to bunnyhop, and was there to take my first bike for a ride. He's tuned my bike countless times and kept her in good condition.

The dudes

Tom Kakamousais is one of the most original and strange kids you'll ever meet. When he speaks, most people dont understand it, but everyone listens anyways. Dude has done some of the strangest things ever done on a bike, so much infact that the terms "tom line,""tom move," and "tom quality" are understood by everyone. Tom is chill, relaxed, funny, and faster than you will ever be. He's faster, smoother and more presice than anyone we've ever met and is one of the guys. Tom taught me that anything can be biked on, everything from garbage cans to large piles of mulch.

Mike Pope taught me every trick I know to date, the kid has been stepping himself up since he's been 13. He is an inspiration to everyone he rides with, and will always be the guy that will try the thing that nobody says can be done. When Pope shows up, everyone stops and lets the kid doing his own thing.

and Pat Mohan taught me everything else i've ever needed to know. The kid is significantly younger than me, and one of the gnarliest dudes anyone will ever meet. Pat doesn't give a fuck about anything really, except biking. He's one of the most driven and devoted kids ive ever met.

god, your a weird fuckin kid.

Simply put, biking has taken me places that I never thought i'd go and heights that normal people wouldn't be comfortable with. You'll notice I havent gotten into many stories, because theres so many its impossible to pick and choose. The countless injuries, accidents, big tricks, arguments, mid-morning rips down Yonge street, night rides, rain rides, snow rides, cummer rides, and everything in between. I still have a tan from where my glove goes.

I've kept in contact with the guys and still see them as much as i can, they've become some of my closest friends, even though I haven't biked in a bit. Biking has lead me to meet some of the coolest people i'll ever meet, see some things (both amazing and grotesque) than no other people will see, and has managed to always keep a smile on my face. If you guys see this i'll get back into it soon I PROMISE!