11.18.2007

Peel Sessions Recap

About two months ago, I started going to a spot under the BQE in Williamsburg, which is a well-known skate spot, and began to practice 180 skids, wheelies, barspins and other tricks on my track bike. Doing this kind of stuff by yourself can get boring and sometimes frustrating. Especially if you're trying to teach yourself. As a result of this frustration, I started a weekly event called the Peel Sessions. The Peel Sessions focused on getting as many riders out to this spot at once so they could learn from each other and eventually become more skilled cyclists. Sure, "tricks" are arguably a track bike "faux-pax" in some circles, but in NYC, we ride track bikes because they're fast. First and foremost. We have the densest city in the US and we like to be able to cross it in 10 minutes. You can't do this on a 25 lb mountain bike and having a road bike just means eventually your derailer will kick out and you'll be stuck repairing your drive train after a snowy winter. The 5 Boro Generals ended their summer-long race series with the Battle for Brooklyn. The all-day event lasted until 2am. At the end, people were too tired to do the trick series and Chris was left with some extra prizes. He came up to me and asked if I wanted to do a special Peel Sessions, maybe get some sponsors and he could get rid of his extra prizes. I figured, sure, what the hell? We ended up getting some amazing sponsors. Dave's Quality Meat has started sponsoring many track bike events in the city. We got a backpack stuffed with everything from a hoodie to socks! My boys from Boundless NY hooked us up with New Era fitteds, shirts and gear. Mishka NYC dropped hoodies, beanies and shirts on us. Continuum Cycles threw in a crankset, some nice gloves and a riding hat. Laekhouse threw down some shirts and Crumpler hit us with a ton of beer and bags. Of course, GET SUM, threw in the extra 5 Boro Generals prizes. A pair of tickets to see GZA perform Liquid Swords. We had prizes to say the least. We kept it simple and used 3 categories: Tricks, Skids and Sprints. The tricks consisted of a flatland competition. You had a minute to impress the 3 judges. Anything goes. Skids consisted of short-stops and style skids. Each rider had to lock up into a skid at a specific point and land within a box marked on the asphalt. If you went outside the box, you were DQ'd. Each time the box got smaller and smaller. Out of 20 people, 6 were able to nail ANYTHING we threw at them. Even a 2' x 2' box that they had to land their back wheel into! Style skids were just that, leg over the bars, one foot, whatever you had, you got to show off! Since there are a lot of fast riders who've been making it out to the Rat Pack Hustle, I wanted to give them something to do as well, so we made a Sprints category. The Sprints consisted of a two-block drag race. This is through live-intersections and was based around the alleycat model. No rules, just haul ass. We then did a new event which was the Slalom Sprint. Under the BQE there are a series of columns supporting the overpass. Each column is about 50' apart. In between some columns, we struck a line. You had to cross that line locked into a skid and sprint to the next point. Everything was set. Then it rained. It rained all day and the wind hit gusts of over 30mph. I was nervous. That morning, I rode past the spot on my way to work and it was dry, but I knew if it was still raining at 8pm, no one would come. Luckily, it stopped raining at 5 and the spot was perfect. Kids started showing up around 8pm and began practicing. We had a good crowd by 9. Once we began, 20 kids registered and over 100 people were there watching. There were 5 people taking pictures and Luke Stiles was filming. The Cadence crew from Philly rode up just for the competition! Tom, Willis and Tony have started the Bootleg Sessions in Philly and we had all rode together at the banks the week before so I was stoked to see these kids get pitted in front of NYC's track bike scene. Each event went smoothly, except for the Slalom Sprints, when 4 bagel trucks showed up and began to unload in the course. After the break-down, we had a good solid ranking. Issiah from Brooklyn took first. Tom from Philly took second and Willis from Philly / NYC took third. I was most impressed by Tom. He's not only an animal on his bike, but he's fast. He whipped up some of the fastest kids in NYC. Willis' flatland was unbelievable too. He never put a footdown and dropped some OG bmx tricks on the crowd. Even the girls were representin. Julie had some nasty track stands up her sleave, Dagga did some backwards circles as well... All in all, it was a great time. We had a lot of kids turn out and the people that stayed to the end got some gear too. Big ups to all our sponsors and to the people who showed up, stayed the night and had fun! Thanks to Billy Ocean, J. Martinez and Will for the photographs as well!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

LOL! They rode there car like that? with all those bikes?

Jedidiah said...

nice write up mate.

Anonymous said...

This was so much fun. Thanks Prolly!

fashion josh said...

damnn that looks fun!

fashion josh said...

DAMN THAT LOOKS FUKIN FUN!!!!

chase said...

where is the vimeo page from this past peel sessions video? i saw it once and lost the linkage.

it's the one with the ernest gonzalez soundtrack, btw.

Prolly said...

The only two videos I know of are

this one

and

this one

I didn't know there was a vimeo video! Lemme know if you track it down!

chase said...

crap i was referring to this, and i guess i got it mixed up. it's still a sick video, though; you oughta bring some lights and video gear out to your spot.