After being postponed a few weeks, the Baco 10 Premier Tour finally went down in the third week of November. The first demo / premiere happened at Rampage Skatepark in Davenport, Iowa on Wednesday, November 19. The crew consisted of myself, Chad Degroot, Brian Kachinski, Axel Jurgens, Mike Ardelean, Jay Miron, Tony Mortenson, Kevin Porter and fellow etnies rider, Brian Vowell. Nate Wessel was MIA due to a ramp-building job for Seventies in England. I'm going to keep the riding play-by-play to a minimum, just check out a future issue of Props for the entire tour report, and Transworld BMX for Budman photos and an Ardelean story, if that's your thing.
After a couple hours of "clockin' footie," as the beast would put it, we played a rough copy of Baco 10 (minus an intro and credits) and, of course, there was the mandatory product toss to cap it all off. An evening of beer, pizza and bubble hockey was all that Davenport had to offer on a Wednesday night. Also on board the tour was Minnesota shredder Josh Nenza, who decided to bellysurf a car from the roof straight to the parking lot. After an unusually low number of management complaints, we settled in for a good night's sleep while dreaming of the Cracker Barrel breakfast awaiting us in the morning.
Thursday brought us back to Scrap Skatepark in suburban Chicago. The Scrap demo was a sort of homecoming for The Beast, who had hardly been back to the park after the three amazing years of BS Comp finals back in the early '90s. As if I hadn't heard the story enough, Chad also told the entire crew about the time he was sessioning Scrap on an old Schwinn tour when a rollerblader that Jay had been giving a hard time decided to call The Beast on all of his shit talk. Jay then put on a pair of rollerblades and proceeded to blast the vert ramp and 360 flip and backflip the box in only a matter of minutes to the disbelief of everyone in the park. Afterward, all Jay could say was, "I knew it would be easier than ice skating."
The crew that runs Scrap these days are always so nice to us. Every time we've been there, Jay, Orlando and crew roll out the red carpet and take such good care of us. Big thanks. Definite highlights of the demo were locals Shawn Arata and Jamie Spritzer. These two couldn't possibly be farther apart in the BMX spectrum, but both are some of the most talented riders I've ever seen. The usual schedule again: shred, shred, shred, video, product toss, props, goodbyes and off we went for a night on the town in good "Old Milwaukee"!
I'd like to say that our Thursday night in Milwaukee was uneventful, but that was hardly the case. Mainly for fear of getting fired from MacNeil, I'm going leave out all of the good parts. But next time you see Jay, ask him why he got kicked out of the diner, how he got back to the hotel and how much it cost him. Better yet, ask Axel, because Jay probably doesn't remember. Also ask Chad how he got us on the roof of the Holiday Inn (heh-heh).
With no demos planned for Friday and Saturday, all we had to do was hang-out in Appleton, check out the new, nearly finished Area 51 skatepark and party like rock stars. Mission accomplished.
Someone had the bright idea of taking a group shot for the Transworld article in front of Lambeau Field on Sunday afternoon during a Packers / 49ers game. Well, actually, it may have been my idea, which was a bad idea to be honest. After spending the following three hours in traffic, we finally arrived in Milwaukee for our last stop at Four Seasons Skatepark.
For some reason, the BMX scene in Milwaukee and the surrounding area is amazing. I can only attribute it to having really good street spots and parks in the area and an incredible BMX-only shop, C4BMX of Milwaukee. As usual, the demo at Four Seasons was packed. Due to technical difficulties and a VCR that was older than me, the video could not be shown. Sorry, kids. But to make it up to you, we're working on having another Milwaukee premier at C4, so be sure to check it out.
I'd love to thank all the sponsors of the tour: etnies, MacNeil, Haro, Snafu, Red Bull, 661, Osiris, UGP, Standard, and Profile for hookin'-up all the gear and parts we gave out at all the demos. Hopefully, no one left empty-handed. Also, thanks to the parks for having us, and, most importantly, thanks to the riders--it's you who make these trips so amazing and worthwhile. Takeitforbaco.