Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Number Sixty

39 years ago.  April 1983.  Before going to the car show at the Moncton Coliseum, we dropped into Eastern Sports.  Me and my cousin Armand.  We both bought Haro Flo Panel BMX plates.  I didn’t know what number to choose.  I remembered a picture in one of my BMX Action magazines of a dude riding a white SE PK Ripper like mine.  I didn’t really know who he was but I really liked his style.  And that white PK!  I’m not 100% sure, but if I remember correctly, his name was Bubba Hayes.  And he was rocking #60 as he was slaying his competition on the BMX track.  I felt inspired.  And decided to also go with #60 for my first full year of BMX racing.  I was 14 years old.  Last year, while cleaning my old bed room, my mom found my old Haro Flo Panel plate.  I cleaned it up.  And Luc provided the stickers including my old #60 bringing it back to life.  39 years ago.  1983.  Eat.  Sleep. BMX.  Repeat.  Yeah, that sure was a great summer… 


Friday, April 22, 2022


The pavilion.  It got a face lift.  Actually, it’s more like a foundation lift.  The roof and legs are still the same.  The old rotten wooden deck floor is now gone.  It has been replaced with a concrete slab.  I like it.  Even if I miss the wooden benches.  Maybe they’ll be added again later this year?  It’s still quite cold, windy and rainy here.  But the snow is pretty much all gone.  Spring has arrived.  Just when winter seemed to linger on forever, it’s suddenly over.  Just like that.  Such an abrupt pivotal seasonal shift.  And even on my 54th trip around the sun, it somehow still catches me by surprise.  Even the songs that the birds are singing have changed.  Waking up to these pleasant springtide melodies flooding me with so many carefree childhood memories.  That feeling of excitement that I would get when the bike came out of winter storage.  Elation.  So much promise.  So many adventures just around the corner.  And a whole new level of aliveness.  I’ve ridden out to the pavilion five times in the last few weeks.  Something leading me here.  Mercifully guiding me.  It’s hard to explain.  Buddha calls it shunyata.  Which translates to emptiness or voidness.  No matter how everything keeps changing, this nothingness always remains the same.  This eternal now.  Maybe that’s the whole point.  Maybe that’s what keeps bringing me and my bike here to the pavilion.  Nothing at all.


Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Nothing to prove

35 years.  I sold my 1985 Haro Master Freestyler in the spring of 1988 after my first year of university.  Not because I no longer enjoyed riding it.  Simply because everyone kept telling us that it was time to start adulting.  We sold the ramps.  I bought a car.  And eventually got into mountain bikes.  Then road and cyclocross.  “Adult” bicycles.  I have always and will forever be in love with bikes.  All of them.  But there is certainly a very special spot deep in my heart for 20” BMX.  My roots.  Today, with social media, watching so many old school freestylers riding again has rekindled this lifelong passion.  My childhood heroes.  RL Osborn.  Eddie Fiola.  Martin Aparijo.  This newfound inspiration.  My last chance.  So begins the search for a modern old school 20” BMX bike.  They are so rare right now.  Sold out everywhere.  It takes a while.  But I finally find a 2021 GT Pro Performer Heritage 20.  Old school looks.  Modern geometry.  Present-day technology.  Just what I need to tame this mid-life crisis itch.  Of all the types of bike riding that I have done in the last 35 years, flatland freestyle sure is the form that is going to take the most practice.  Just for fun.  And with absolutely nothing to prove…