Mike Escamilla returned from New Zealand about a week ago, where he competed in an event called X-Air. He had a good time down there riding street, and believe it or not, vert. Mike has been hurt a little lately, so he’s been taking it easy. While in New Zealand, Mike chilled with the MacNeil bikes crew, rented motor scooters, cruised around the island, did some TV interviews for a local music station and an Access Hollywood-style show. While back in the U.S., Mike headed out to Ventura’s Skate Street skatepark, where he competed in Ryan Sher’s comp called The Frontyard Jam that was also not-so-coincidently sponsored by etnies. Mike had fun riding practice, but his contest runs didn’t quite go as planned. He broke himself right at the beginning of his run with a flair gone bad and got a peg in the ass, which had previously been hurt from a tailwhip nosepick bail where he fell pretty much on the same spot with the same peg. Needless to say, Mike will be chilling for a while with a grapefruit sized lump on the ass! Be sure to check Mike’s photo in the February issue of Ride from the Vancouver Metro Jam and his etnies signature shoe, the Rooftop, which is in stores now.
Taj Mihelich has moved out of his brand new studio apartment and in with his lady friend and their two dogs. He will be renting the old place out in the near future, which will make him a landlord. Taj has kicked his Coca Cola habit (for now) and has been playing music and riding dirt bikes. T1/etnies teammate Joe Rich roped Taj into his first ever motorcycle experience, but he wasn’t too impressed and will be sticking with pedaling a bike.
This is a weird one, but believe it or not, Taj has taken off his back brake and put a front one on, and as you’d imagine, Taj picked it up pretty quick, but also quickly realized how much he really relies on his back brake. Taj is also running a new Coalition prototype stem that’s going to be all the rage very soon. T1 has been a huge part of Taj’s life, so as expected, he has been working hard over there on his own little project, Taj Media. On Monday, Taj and his girl drove up to snowy Michigan from Austin to visit Taj’s family, hang out, go sledding and even do a little cross-country skiing.
Ruben Alcantara spent the beginning of the week at home in Malaga, Spain with friends and family, riding and just having a chill time. As usual, he’s been surfing and riding his dirt bike a bunch, too. Ruben thought that he and his friends had exhausted all the spots, but new ones keep popping up—so the riding continues. Ruben’s been filming constantly for the new and soon-to-be-released Fly Bikes video, which is due out this summer. His signature Terrible One frames came into T1 this past week, so peep them out. Ruben heads down to New Zealand this week with Fly Bikes owner/rider David Quesada to shoot some more for the Fly video. Ruben, Sergio Layos and Garrett Byrnes are loving Ruben’s etnies Terranea shoe and can’t wait for its release in June. Get your orders in now.
Jamie Bestwick will be in Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom Huck Jam, which airs on Super Bowl Sunday. Jamie has been riding a bunch and nailing down some new tricks that he’s been working on for a while and has been quite pleasantly surprised with how he’s been riding (even though this would not surprise anyone else). Jamie’s in high demand and has been working hard on putting his schedule together for the new year. If you’re a fan of the Lo-Cut II, Jamie recommends the Tech-Cut shoe. When he’s not riding, Jamie has been shooting photos, wrestling with his bulldogs and taking good care of his pregnant wife, Kerry. Watch Jamie in the Tony Hawk Boom Boom Huck Jam special right before the Super Bowl.
Joe Rich has been working hard over at T1, putting in some late nights there. Joe’s brother was in town, so Joe was stoked to get to see him and hang out some. As usual, he’s been riding the T1 ramp when the weather permits, and he also headed down to San Antonio to hit up a pool and session some ditches. Both Joe and Taj have been packing and shipping Ruben Alcantara’s signature frames that came in at the tail end of last week. Joe has also been hanging with his parents quite a bit now that they live in Austin.
Dave Freimuth has been on the go for the last couple of weeks, running himself into the ground and riding more than ever. He just got done with the Props Mega Tour and jumped onboard with the We the People team. Dave pulled the biggest nosepick of his life at the Kona skatepark in Florida on a huge quarter vert wall setup and also pulled a perfect tailwhip to peg grind on a six-foot mini, which he’s been working on for a long time. Stoked! When Dave returned home, he catered to his pregnant wife Pattie’s every beck and call. Check out the Props Mega Tour story.
John Heaton spent the beginning of last week in Vancouver working on the new version of his signature frame at MacNeil bikes. He also got to ride and hang out with Dave Osato and Dustin Guenther. John got home only to turn right around and head back up to Ottawa to ride in a contest, where he tied for first place with Canadian bad-ass Max Vincent. John was stoked that he pulled his first flair ever at the event. While up in Ottawa, Heaton treated himself to a little outdoor hockey, it was cold as hell, but he dealt with it, which eventually resulted in a case of frostbite.
This week, John spent a lot of time chilling at home, then hit the dentist to get a little work done on that ugly-ass grill. He managed to get himself down to X Wheels skatepark for a session on Wednesday night, and played some hockey on Thursday. John got sick, took some medication, went bowling on Friday night with his girl and more hockey on Saturday. John rounded off his weekend with a fun session at the St. Thomas skatepark with some friends.
Josh Stricker’s bike fell off Brian Wizmerski’s car rack and got all busted up. Josh is working hard on becoming a resident of Austin and is apparently fitting in quite well down there by shredding with all the locals and killing every spot he hits. Just wait to see the next issue of Dig with Sandy Carson’s shots of Josh. Also check out Josh’s cover and interview in Ride UK. It rules!
Sergio Layos has been riding a bunch around downtown with his friends at all the local bike-friendly skateparks in Madrid. He’s has also been hanging out with his family, quad bike riding with some friends who came down from Northern Spain to hang out and snowboarding. Sergio has also been shooting photos of anything and everything for an upcoming etnies ad. Check the cover of the new Dig BMX for an awesome shot of Sergio riding in South Africa.
Sandy Carson is always busy. It goes without saying that he’s been working on Dig, both writing and taking photos of everyone down in Austin—especially Josh Stricker. Wait for the shots of Josh to come out in an upcoming issue of Dig and you’ll be stoked. Sandy and the rest of the crew have been sessioning the Banana Farm Ramp with all the skaters. Sandy’s good friend Seth Holton is in town, so those guys have been hanging out a bunch doing their own thing. They went down to San Antonio and rode the pool down there for a day. Check out Sandy’s interview and cover in the new Source BMX magazine from South Africa (not to be confused with the hip-hop mag). Sandy is most likely going to head west with Seth to hit up some spots in Arizona, New Mexico and maybe onto California. This past week, the weather in Austin has been kinda crappy, but the sessions have been pretty decent regardless. Whether it be at the skatepark of Austin, downtown street or at the T1 ramp—things have been going off. Sandy, with a little inspiration from Taj and Garrett, had front brakes on and it took him back to the good old days of endos and nosepicks. The roadtrip may have to be put on the backburner for a while due to Sandy having to get his car worked on. Give it a couple of weeks and they’ll be good to go.
Garrett Byrnes headed out to Southern California for some sunshine and riding. He was on his bike 24-7, hitting all the spots. While there, Garrett rode at the bike-friendly Long Beach park, blasting the hips and airing the crap out of the vert wall. He shot some photos with Ride magazine’s Keith Mulligan while dodging the tweakers sitting over in the corner. Garret also rode at the Chino park, some ditches and plenty of street with the likes of Mike Ardelean and Jim Bauer. Garrett hit the etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest and killed the place for sure, followed by a stop at etnies to stock up on swag. He also just finished a bike feature for an upcoming issue of Ride before heading out to Australia for two months with his girl Crystal and good friend JB.