Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Paul Chamberlain update - Part 1!

Paul sent in this great update of where he's been at around the world in the past year...

Shit. I never told Paul Knox that we were going away… Better ring him up!

Anyway, that aside. I’d like to start at the beginning even though it’s so long ago and see if I can make it to the present before the future happens. Luckily Jen kept a travel diary so I’ll just nip off and locate that. . . . . . . . . . . .Hidden!!! Like everything else that I need. . .

I’d like to warn you all that this will probably be relatively uninformative as it’s currently all wrong over here in Blighty. I’m in England. In reverse order it’s been Iceland – New York – Mexico City – Other parts of Mexico – Cuba – More Mexico – east coast USA – west coast USA.

So now we’re at the start. We’re in LA. I’m carrying a lot of shit. Well I’m not actually. I’m just carrying what Jen’s carrying plus a bike and all the trimmings. Let’s hope that I ride it!!!

My first impression of LA was completely aromatic – the pollution is pretty bad compared to anything you could experience in Australia. We’re pretty lucky really in this respect. We stayed in Hollywood right off of the main strip and did some stuff for a few days – AND THEN – I randomly bumped into Bobby Carter at Venice Beach and had a ride. Venice Beach – so many facial tattoos. Everybody here is advertising something. That’s LA. Walking advertisements. It’s all external here. Met the twins – Identical twin flatlanders. Lovely people. Wished that I had my bike. Was very happy to meet Bobby. I tend to like people who don’t change their bike parts very often. They’re always interesting – just like people who change their bike parts often.

Bobby Carter's ride...

Shortly after dark we got the hell out of LA. I was stoked to be driving a hire car on the wrong side of the rode through the night on Highway 1 all the way to San Fran 2 weeks after having passed my driving test in Ballarat in Ben Moran’s dad’s car. Saw a mountain lion!!! Rad! There’s hardly any left in California. Shit! I’m driving through mountains. A sty begins to develop on my eyelid. We spend the night in some highway town in a motel.

Wake up in the morning and resume driving apr├Ęs donuts – that’s all that’s available in Onehorseville, CA. Coffee. Coffee2. The coast here is beautiful. As we get further north everything becomes lush and green. It’s very wet here. Reminds me of Tassy. Wet and beautiful. It’s getting colder. A huge seal colony halfway to San Fran suggests that San Fran will be chuffing freezing compared to LA. That’s ok though – I’m really looking forward to getting to San Fran. LA has absolutely no soul it’s a completely vacuous place. Get over it! Sorry… The beach had needles on it! Shut up! Stop LA bashing!

Where was I.

Seal Colony. Yes. Very beautiful. We saw lots condors in the sky. They’re one of America’s big eco-success stories. They were hunted to the brink of extinction with only one bird remaining in the wild in 1987. That bird was taken into captivity where it joined 26 others. A captive breeding program later and now I’m bored of seeing them – I can’t enough of being bored of seeing condors!

After passing the seal colony the rode began to wind through mountains. It was raining heavily which caused a huge landslide. We were stranded in a log Cabin restaurant where the brews were flowing in a ‘hamlet’ called Big Sur. There are worse places to be stranded on Earth I’m sure. Expensive food but I don’t care at this point. We eat and get invited to a dinner party. A Harvard lecturer needs novelty backpackers to show his country club buds that he’s a man of many shades – he was good company though – In his own novel way – and It was an incredibly beautiful spot – with a petrol station! 12hrs later and we’re going again. Or was it 4. Who cares. Let’s get to San Fran. We’re in San…No were looking at America’s largest coastal waterfall. As I look more closely at the water and draw closer through my minds eye I can see the individual water droplets. I slow the image down to a standstill and now I’m surrounded by mist.

The same mist that envelops San Francisco every morning.

The same mist from which everything emerges each morning and descends into and dusk.

China town’s abustle with people 24/7. You can take the the the out of the but you can’t take the the… That. We’re staying next to the red light district a couple of doors down from that bookstore – City Lights. It’s a beautiful city with lots to do. I go a ride flatland at the clocktower early every morning as it’s a small busy spot frequented daily by fixed, wooden and pegged warriors aplenty. I get up at 7 and do a lot of riding in the days that I’m in San Fran. I met a rider called Sean Parker. We have similar thoughts on riding and seem to want to do similar things. It’s a shame I can’t ride with him more I have good session on that day. I don’t see Pete Brandt.

Enjoying a gourmet meal in San Fran...

Street in San Fran is crazy. The level in Tony Hawk’s or Hoffman’s or whatever is pretty accurate. I hit the hubba hideout spot, China banks, the ledges under the bridge that Justin Burns shredded in Stu’s DVD – best section in the past year. A bunch of other spots too. Went round a curved wallride a couple of times on my elbow just to check that I still couldn’t do them – I think I’m too intelligent for them – I secretly know that they are impossible which holds me back. I thank Gerald for guiding me around San Fran. He was the nicest dude I met in all of my travels and I hope that he’s doing well in Charlotte now.

I’m sure I missed stuff…San Fran…Lots of bikes. I rode down one of those crazy fucking hills without a brake and it was a mistake – I got really lucky with the traffic lights and was going too fast to stop with feet. I could have died. It wasn’t the biggest one either. Nuts. The street riders in San Fran hit those hills daily. Jen was too scared even to drive down them…

We go out and drink micro brews and some other stuff.

A rider and comedy genius called D-Block tells me that I’m not allowed to leave San Fran unless I hit his blunt – of which I’m assured he has means to construct many more of. He says of lot of stuff that doesn’t make much sense but is really funny. His friend Berto tells me that there is a video on the comeup site which is basically just him talking. I’m yet to check it out. San Fran is a blast!

We leave San Fran. The plan is to head towards Yosemite National Park. I killed a couple of extra days in San Fran and from Jen’s look of anxiety the world may end as we frantically pursue the present as it runs away into the future.

We spend the night in Fresno. It’s not a nice place. I make sure everything is out of the car and the hotel door is locked to the highest common denominator.

The END…of the beginning. . .

This is probably a bit of a mess. Next instalment coming tomorrow!!


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