Sunday, June 05, 2011

R.I.P. Eagle Tavern

Punker supergroup OFF! features Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks), Dimitri Coates (Burning Brides) on guitar, Steven McDonald (Redd Kross) on bass, and Mario Rubalcaba (Earthless, Hot Snakes, Rocket from the Crypt) on drums. They played the second to last live show at the (unfortunately) historic Eagle Tavern. The Eagle--featured in the very first post of this blog--has been ousted from their spot by a greedy landlord who wants to get rid of a landmark in favor of condos or some silly straight club that will probably tank in three months.

Anyhow, went to the show with my lady, got in a weird argument on the patio with her during the opening band, who's name I can't remember (they didn't sound too compelling from the patio), made up, went in, punked out, took some photos.

Culture Kids came on before OFF! and fucking killed it. They've got a raw-boned early Bad Brains DGF type attitude. It was refreshing to see a new punk band that wasn't formulaic or cutesy pop.OFF! hit the stage with a vengeance. Keith immediately started his celebrated "I'm in a Box" Marcel Marceau mime act. Great fuckin' shirt:
This was followed hard upon by his "Surfin' Tsunami Claw." Anyone who knows Josh from the Buckshot think there's a similarity here?All up in yo grill:
Steven McDonald, lookin' hella sexy. I think dude behind him might be rubbing one out:
Good times were had by all. The Eagle was no stranger to hot man on man action:
OFF! proved themselves to be greater than than the sum of their celebrated pedigrees and brought the noise with fury. Thank you, gentlemen.

In other news, I've zip-tied a piece of tire to the bottom of my cast and am hobbling around crutch free against my better judgment:
The idea was to be able to ride around the neighborhood, but if my girlfriend were to find out I was doing this, she'd go ahead and chop my foot off, so I probably won't. I want to get on this bad boy a.s.a.p:
Traitor Ruben with Hayes Stroker Ryde hydraulic discs, DMR chromo wing bars, Wellgo MG-1 magnesium pedals, 9 speed cassette with single front ring, Ultegra derailleur, and XT shifter. This tits. Got eight days left before I'm in a walking cast and I can't wait.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Deliciously Soft or Rock Hard?

It's a long and winding road. Or, perhaps, a long and winding drainage culvert where they'll find your mangled body. Luck plays a big part.
Just being morose. Been off my feet--at least one of them--for over a month now, and the more I get used to it, the more I realize it sucks. Oh well, things can always be worse:
My friend Gabe watches Big Trouble in Little China every night before bed. Every fucking night. And why not? We all need something to believe in, some soul food for our spiritual gas tank, if you will. Even Jesus needs a burrito now and again.
It was this type of next level nourishment I had in mind when I saddled up with my friends Josh and Sam and headed to the 3rd Annual Old School BMX Reunion (and tractor pull?) at Woodward West. That whole "saddled up with my friends thing" sounds more gay rodeo than I'd intended. What I mean is we drove Josh's car down. Which is a subcompact, with three dudes, so I guess gay is as gay does.

Would you share an inflatable mattress with these guys?
Lucky I didn't have to.

We headed to Fresno first to ride Mosqueda Bike Park. Of course, had to stop at my spot El Cutija in Los Banos on the way down. We had some tacos y burritos and made sure they came with a Dan Quayle style tomatoe or two.
I didn't get any photos, but Sam and Josh interviewed/video'd some cats for the BMX Riders Organization site, one of them was Kink-sponsored local Chad Osburn, who works at the park. In reality, he fucking owns the place:

I said goddamn!

Turns out the Super 8 (or was it a Motel 6?) that Josh booked right next to the freeway was a hotspot for whoo-urrs. Who knew? Found this empty case of over the counter rock hard boner enhancers in the parking lot:
We had to stop by Target. This dude was out front, so we knew that everything was safe. Captain Fuckin' America is gonna break necks and bust balls on all terrorist motherfuckers:
Check this Mongoose shit bike with a thousand spokes:
My first real BMX was built around a Mongoose Motomag frame. How the mighty have fallen. The thing is, they've always made bike shop quality, workingman's priced bikes. Pacific (since bought by Dorel) pissed in the brand's gene pool when they put the name on tin foil bikes in Wal Mart. (Whereas companies like Murray, Huffy, Next, and Hyper have attempted--with varying degrees of success--to take the opposite route from mass marketed shit to fair to middling.)

The good news is, homeboy Martin Wendt, formerly the guy responsible for keeping Solano Cyclery deep in good BMX stuff, is now the BMX brand manager for Mongoose. He's hooked a few Bay guys up with awesome prototype Goose 24 street bikes. Here's some pics of Trent's:
And now, I come to find out that he's largely responsible for the design/spec/inspiration on the limited edition 2011 Kos Kruiser reproduction.
One of the first legit BMX race cruisers, Jeff Kosmala's Kos Kruiser ruled (and so did Jeff) in the years between souped-up Schwinn beach cruisers and the 24 inch wheel. (Not sure if that was a Mongoose innovation...seems like the TwoFour came awfully early in the process.)

The above kit is the limited Oakley trim. It comes with brand new Oakley B1-B grips (Oakley have been doing limited runs), and these sweet Son Lite Turbo inspired hubs in red anno:
There are only a dozen of this bike in the red/gold trim, and they're all going to be either given away at various vintage events or donated to charity raffles. Which is awesome. The production run will be 20 bikes in chrome/silver/black and another 20 in raw/black. Worldwide.

They've got modern features like integrated head tubes, V-brakes, etc. No, I don't work for Mongoose. Yes, I want one. Hella.

Anyway, I'll let that boner subside and get back to the glories of Fresno. They had this giant warehouse supermarket that reminded me of Wal-E or Idiocracy:
Seriously, look at that fucking place. Doesn't it just scream "Welcome to Costco, I love you"?

We were, of course, there at midnight. Miles of freshly waxed floors with sterile, almost holy fluorescent light shining down on them. The horizon line disappearing with the curvature of the earth, inspiring thoughts of pure, MSG-sodden, nitrate-infused defeat: "I'll never make it that far." And everywhere, pasty white fat people pushing carts into the mist rising off their inevitable, ultimate doom at the hands of too many of these:
They don't even look like food. Thank God they're "Deliciously Soft," though: my teeth are starting to fall out from all this fine livin'.
I don't even remember the name of the store, Crazybrains McClusterfuck's or something like that, but it was definitely a circus. They even had an old fashioned claw game in the front:
Wonder how many babies get stuck in that fucker a month? Probably not too many with those deliciously soft sugar cookies on sale. I long for the days of the honestly dishonest snake oil salesman.

Also not to be missed at CBMcC's was the vending machine with SKULLebrities dead famous people stickers. If you have a low attention span and smoke a fair amount of weed, like me, this type of shit is high-larious:
Who's in the line up, eh?

Let's see, we've got John Lennon:
Jimi Hendrix:
Tupac "Thug Life" Shakur:
Well, the guy on the right is The King, but who's that on the left? A premonition of Johnny Depp (seen here as Captain Jack Sparrow) buying the farm?
Heath Ledger:
At first I thought this was Michael Jackson, but since he's the next one down, I'm going to have to say this is the lost member of Josie and the Pussycats. You know, the original drummer that OD'd and they buried in a shallow grave in the Mojave Desert?
MJ was one fucked up individual. The people named Elvis "the King." MJ dubbed himself "The King of Pop," then fucked the real King's daughter. This shit is Shakespearean, y'all. It's like Hamlet with transsexuals:
He shall rise again:
Woodward felt a little different this year. I hadn't been riding BMX much before I went, working 50+ hours a week, and I felt sketchy as hell. Seeing the OG guys ride was definitely still cool, but it wasn't as nifty as it had been. Once I accepted the fact that my riding had, rather predictably, regressed and not, rather magically, progressed, with my time off the bike, I relaxed and had more fun.

Of course, you know how we do at Woodward:
First day vert ramp action. Think this might be Dominguez:
Coco Zurita:
Simon Tabron:
Jay Eggleston:
The next day they opened the fuckin' Megaramp to anyone foolhardy enough to try it. You needed to have a full face helmet and sign a waiver. The roll in on this is equivalent to a nine story drop. It's followed by a 50 foot gap jump and a 27 foot tall quarter pipe.

The view of the roll in from the quarter deck:
Look at the little tiny people for perspective.

As you might guess, I didn't sign the waiver. However, a few of my friends did and were okay. Lots of guys started on the middle, on the plywood covering the gap. Apparently carving the quarter wasn't that hard, in that the transition is huuuuuuge, so it was somewhat forgiving (though knee-breaking in sheer G force). Next year I will definitely get on it.

Hoffman will be breaking himself off on Megaramps until he's 90, if he lives that long:
Check the fucking mogambo jumps they're building next to it. Look how small the pick up truck is next them--that was a jacked up 4x4"!
This kid is like 11. No shit:
So's his little hesher buddy:Trent plays Jesus on the deck:
Ben Snowden:
Stylee. Think this could be Blyther:
Let's just say, you hit the gap at speed:
The legendary king of all things gnarly, Hugo Gonzalez, did an ass-plant on the deck and some guy tried to help him up:
Who should be chilling beside the flatbottom but the first guy to successfully land a backflip on a bike, the real Cru Jones, Jose Yanez:
Who immediately took off his shirt to prove that, even in his 50s, he still fuckin' had it. You can't see too well unless you click on the photo to enlarge it, but his tattooed forearm reads "my RAD self":
I happened to be wearing the Vans RAD shirt that day:Blown off the pedals at 35 mph can't be a very "clean underwear" type feeling:
Nyquist topedoes himself down some slick Skatelite:
Only to be redeemed by a huge 360. Yeah, that's the launch you're looking at:
I was a split second too early on this. Fucking Cam Birdwell is a savage. (Soon to be) fully extended Superman seat grab. He also flipped the gap.
Wilkerson was on a custom aluminum Pork with the latest version of his GrooveTech system:
He also had these prototype Lifesaver Lollipop style pedals:
The last day's party is always a fun throwdown. It's a bit of a drag that there are so many kids, because this sausage fest could definitely use a few dozen stripper poles and the talent to use them. More sword fighting here than at a Renaissance Faire. I feel bad for the two girls that work for Woodward--they get hit on non-stop.

Joe with one of his vintage scoots, a candy red Hutch Trick Star:
More of Joe's rides:
Just in case his stunt double weren't real enough for you, Cru Jones alter ego Bill Allen was in effect:
Didn't really talk to him. Seems like a cool enough guy, though. Must be a bit weird to make your living off a cult B-movie that sunk off the radar without a blip and has never been officially released on DVD but is adored by a subculture you aren't a part of. I guess it was either old school BMX reunions or ass sliding conventions.

Large Ray in effect, heckling of course. Not sure who...maybe a photo of Drob's mustache.
Sam, Josh, and Iain in the back of Trent's minivan. Ragin' with Satan:
Hugo on the big screen. Drob wasn't the only one with a mustache:
Shad from Goods, Aaron, and a few other luminaries.
Flatland sesh got underway on the dance floor as usual. Bicycle boogie, bitches!
Nourie turned everything into melted glass:If I invented this move, I'd have called it the "Ice Cream Machine":Jose Yanez with a drunken, grandfatherly--yet eternally rad--megaspin:
Later, he got to breakin':This guy rides the same bike, brakeless, on everything from a 14 foot vert ramp to flatland. And, as you can plainly see, he shreds:
Here's Dennis, taking better pictures than me:
To be honest, flatland progressed way beyond me, well, sometime after the rock walk ceased being cool. That's why I like to make up names for the tricks. I'd call this the Electric Glide or the Slutty Suzie:
This little dude got a bit out of hand:
So someone threw him on the floor and made sweet, orangutan-like gay sex with him. I told you it was a sausage fest. Dan Hubbard has been holding it down for the bicycle source and earning a living doing shows since the day after cherrypickers were invented. (And yeah...that's really the name of this trick.)
Way back:
If this can be a Miami Hopper:Then I think I might call this a fluffernutter:
Matt Hoffman's cane was made out of Skyway T/A ("totally aerodynamic") tubing with an Oakley B1-B as a handle. So rad.
I honestly thought Iain and Dave Nourie were going to make out:
Sam and a fairly lit Ron Wilkerson:
We hit the hangar to say our goodbyes and take a few pics on the last day. Josh Kumli on the vert ramp:
Think this is DMC:

Ron Wilkerson:
Ben Snowden gapping the deck from mini to bowl:
Brian Blyther:
Dennis with a bowl to bowl carve:Trent ragin':
I promise never to ignore you again:
Long live the new blood:
Sam and a mustache-less Drob give a salty salute before the drive home. Until next year, fuckos:
And now for the randumbs. Check this vintage Mountain Goat in front of the Buck, locked up with what appears to be a plastic chain. The ever popular reverse bar end set up. I wish I would've beaten this dude to the garage sale:
47. I don't care you fatuous cunt:This is without a doubt the worst fucking tag I've ever seen. Seriously. And I've lived in a major metropolitan city for the last 20 some odd years. Please, give up and go die:
Gonna have a soul shakedown party, tonight:
Made it to the casting ponds a day too late:
Well, it's late and I've gotta work in the morning. Into the void.