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Returning From the Backyard Jam

Apr 30 2003 / Wednesday

Mike Escamilla has had a couple of busy weeks. He has been going out to Camp Point X quite a bit because of the whole riding situation here in So Cal (or lack thereof). Mike played paintball out there and proceeded to kill Ronny Chalk, regardless of whether Ronny had a gun in his hand or not. Spending a lot of time there riding, Mike learned downside double peg grinds on mini-ramps. Rooftop also trekked down to San Diego and entered a small comp put on by Failure Bikes (Dirt Bros.) this past weekend, Mike said the ramps were super-shady and the building it was in was even shadier. The comp was held in an abandoned warehouse with super-ghetto ramps, which, according to Mike, made it that much more fun. He placed 2nd--welcome back to the competition circuit, Mike. Rooftop has also been working hard on getting the first Samurai trip together that leaves on Thursday, May 1. Mike recommends that everyone go see Rob Zombies new movie, A House of a Thousand Corpses.

Taj Mihelich has been riding way more lately, shredding the 9th Street trails when he can. HeҒs also been figuring out more and more lines on the T1 ramp now that less people have been over to ride there. Taj has been riding street with etnies teammate Sandy Carson. Surprisingly, Taj has been going to the gym a little lately, which will maybe boost his riding even more. Taj donated some sheets of Skatelite to the Austin Skatepark Action Committee to help with fundraising in hopes of the city changing their minds about letting bikes into the public park down there. Who knows? Taj tried to put on a video premiere for Square One's Wide Awake Nightmare and The Toronto Metro Jam video at the T1 ramp, but the proceedings were delayed by rain, so it was moved over to Empire BMX, the hottest BMX store in Austin--literally. With so many people packed in, everyone was sweating like pigs. Taj leaves soon on his own little tour of the East Coast with Roscoe, where he will attend the La Revolution comp, Jamie Bestwick comp and then onto the Props Mega Tour, where he will be cruising with the etnies team.

Joe Rich, Ruben Alcantara, Nate Wessel and Garrett Byrnes attended the etnies Backyard Jam in Bournemouth, England on April 12-13. Ruben made the finals, but didnt ride due to a slightly sprained ankle. Joe had screwed up his shoulder at a demo in Greece and thought that it was really bad, but it turned out to be not so bad. HeҒs just going to have to stay off of his bike for a few weeks, which is pretty much killing him, seeing as how he and the crew are still on the T1 tour and have ridden some awesome places. Right now, they are based out of Rubens house in Spain while touring around Portugal and other European countries. A van that they bought broke a motor mount in Lagos, Portugal so they were stranded on the beach hanging out for a couple of days while it was fixed--not bad way to be stranded according to all the guys. WesselҒs girlfriend is flying into Portugal to see her man. After leaving Portugal, the guys are heading to Transylvania to check out the sights and scene there. They have been doing as much riding as possible--as well as surfing and skating--at every spot they have been to. While the crew was at Ruben's house waiting for Joe to get back from Austin (where he got his shoulder checked out), they built a hip about seven or eight feet tall. The guys played around on that, and, according to all accounts, everyone was blasting the crap out of it. Ruben pulled a trick many would only dream of--a tailwhip to fully inverted table.

Josh Stricker is back in school for another semester, which is consuming a lot of his time, but he has it scheduled so that he can go ride FDR in the mornings before it gets crowded, then its off to school. Besides riding FDR, Josh has been riding the Little Devil warehouse. He also rode some street and got some footage for an upcoming etnies Props commercial with Stew Johnson. Josh has also been shooting pictures for possible etnies ads.

Edwin Delarosa keeps himself busy as much as possible. After coming back from the etnies Backyard Jam (where he also rode Romford and South Bank in London), Edwin went straight to work clocking footage with Rob Dolecki--not for anything in particular but just to have footage on hand in case of any of his sponsors need it. Edwin also took pictures with Rob Dolecki for possible upcoming etnies ads. Edwin is preparing to go on the first Samurai road trip with etnies teammate Mike Escamilla and various other BMX super stars.

It goes without saying that Sandy Carson has been working hard on the next issue of DIG magazine that is now gaining more and more momentum here in the US now that it has a US distributor. Sandy has been riding with Etnies team mate Taj Mihelich quite a bit, either down at the trails or on the T1 ramp or even getting some street sessions in, and, on one occasion, he scared the crap out of some guy who was trying to take a wiz next to a rail. Apparently, our guys didnҒt see him.

Nate Hanson has been sick for the last week or so, putting a real damper on his riding (and working) sessions.

After getting a well deserved second place at etnies Backyard Jam in Bournemouth, England, Brian Terada came back to his usual routine of working at the bike store, sessioning Venturas Skate Street and searching for some new fresh spots to get footage for etnies Props commercials.

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