662 Mob presents Andre Botha @ Pipeline

Video

Whatever you’ve got to say about the controversy surrounding the 2013 IBA Pipe event, Pipe is an incredible wave. Perhaps I’ve been a bit trigger happy with videos after the last few days, maybe that’s because all I have done for the last week is sit on my ass wishing I was somewhere warm and abundant in waves. Here’s a real nice edit from 662 mob from a beautiful swell at the end of December.

662 Mob presents Andre Botha @ Pipeline from kini on Vimeo.

December 30, 2012 – Sometimes you're in the right place at the right time.

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The Blueprint

With the IBA dropping the pipe event within just a couple of weeks of it kicking off, some serious questions have been raised about the bodyboard industry’s credibility. Here is Mike Mckiernan’s very honest take on Bodyboarding’s less than perfect current position. It’s about time someone broke down the industry and shed a little light on why our sport at times feels like a slapstick. Let’s have a revolution.

The Cheesecake Factory

Another disappointing summer comes to a close and after those long evening rides the prospect of a long, cold and dark winter doesn’t seem so appealing. Kiss good-bye to long evening rides and cruising in shorts. The season of ice, rain and darkness is upon us.
A couple of years ago, a small group of Exeter riders were faced with that same old predicament, without the funds or time to continuously travel over an hour to the nearest indoor park.
“It was the beginning of the winter when we were street riding around Exeter. We had heard about this massive warehouse that was empty so we thought we would try to find it,” says 24-year-old, Radio Bikes team rider, Jamie Skinner. The plan was to transform the wasteland into a private and most importantly sheltered skate park. It was pretty clear that the warehouse hadn’t seen any action for quite some time, so a major clean-up operation was set in place.
18-year-old Harry Mills Wakley was another one of the scallywags that could be found down at the warehouse any given day of the week, “At the start there was nothing in there and gypsies had been stripping all the copper wire and leaving human faeces. We spent ages cleaning it up to make it a more pleasant place to ride,” explains Harry. “From then on the scene down there got stronger and stronger, the whole crew was always tidying, painting and building ramps. We spent loads of cold winter days riding there and sometimes with a crew of 30 riders there.”
Hours in the warehouse stacked up that winter, and the warehouse was occupied nearly every-day; building and building ramps. Nestled away in a forgotten corner of busy industrial estate in Exeter ‘The Cheesecake Factory’ was born.

James Holmes Flipping out at the Factory - Jason Colledge

James Holmes Flipping out at the Factory – Jason Colledge

There were enough left over tables and chairs from the once busy warehouse to set up, but the riders soon out grew their resources, sending them further afield to in search of materials.
“A few of us would meet up late every few weeks to get wood to build more ramps. Sneaking into building sites, stealing crates; we took anything we could get our hands on,” says Jamie. But like any good but unprotected spot, word got out and the warehouse became as busy as the other parks in the area, and the only option for evening riders. “It started to get real good and people were coming down, destroying what we had made, so we decided to make the place secure so only we could ride it, we boarded up all the doors and windows and put our own lock on it!”
Eventually, like everything good in this world, the Cheesecake Factory’s life was a short one. New owners took on the warehouse and the contents of the new indoor park were stripped.
“I really can’t believe we managed to keep that set up for nearly 2 years with no problems,” says Jamie, reminiscent on the golden days. “But all good things come to an end. It definitely helped the scene in Exeter stay strong over the winters.”

Jamie Skinner and James Holmes from CSG UK on Vimeo.

For The Love

Whether you’re a keeno, bashing out a cool 60km 3 or 4 times a week on a 3 grand road bike, or just a weekend warrior scraping a few miles here and there on an old Christmas present; there’s nothing quite like putting your roadie through its paces on an early Sunday morning.

River Thompson is a 20 year old photography student studying at Falmouth University. Since moving from London, River has spent a fair bit of time in the saddle of his ‘Trek Alpha’, exploring the winding Cornish lanes, taking in all the Mother Kernow has on offer.

Although River always enjoyed cycling, it was his older brother that initially hooked River into the world of road riding:

“About three or four years ago my brother who was at Bath university at the time was raving on about how good road riding is, and how I need to take it more seriously. After investing in a Trek road bike and some lycra shorts, that I still sometimes feel uncomfortable in, there was no looking back.”

_MG_2846After a Devon birth, River was soon uprooted to the warmer climates of Southern France, where his mother still lives today. Between his student house in Falmouth, his home in London and his Mother’s house just outside of Toulouse, unlike the rest of us, River has a fantastic pick of neighbourhoods to spend his summer months; and of course the Pyrenees mountains just south of his French option make for a great cycling break.

“There are a couple of timeless routes near where I live”, explains River. “It’s not that hilly so you get big numbers and a good chance to top up the tan. Last year me, my brother and a friend took our bikes down to the Pyrenees, on a beautiful day, and hit up the Col du Tourmalet straight after tackling the col d’Aspin. Hours in the scorching sun, it was the best ride of my life, by far the most painful but there’s no way I’ll ever forget that day.”

With perfect smooth, scenic roads, seemingly tailor-made for cycling, it’s no wonder that River makes the most of his time in France each year. After completing his first year at university, instead of flying to Toulouse, last summer, he decided to cycle.

“I got a ferry to Santander and was hoping to make it back to Toulouse in a week or so. I only bought the map 2 days before leaving England and just chose a route day by day. In the end it took me about 8 days including a rest day or two.” Not bad considering it’s a 540km trip, but it wasn’t just the beautiful scenery that River grew to appreciate. “Spain is such an incredible place, just as you think you’re on your own, struggling up another category climb a car slows down behind you… ‘Shit, here come the insults – I knew I should have worn baggier shorts,’ says my English side. I turn around to give a confident nod and I find people leaning out the car cheering me on for the next 100 meters. Amazing! It was mid-summer so I camped where I could, though because I was on my own it was nice to find hostels or campsites when I could and like whenever you’re traveling you meet some incredible people. I cycled with this Scottish guy for about 3 days and I’m still in touch with him now. It was such a great trip, I really pushed myself mentally and physically, especially on the last few days by which point I was ready for my mum’s cooking to fill my boots!”

River and Scottish companion

River and his Scottish companion

With regularly resurfaced roads roaming over the beautiful countryside alongside France’s strong connection with the sport, not to mention La Tour de France; it comes as no surprise that the cycling community in France has developed into something so solid.

“The weather is a massive help but also the roads are just so good. They seem to just redo roads as soon as there’s a tiny crack which means it has unbelievable riding conditions. Cycling is such a treasured sport and part of France and you definitely feel that on the road. Riding in England you can start your ride with yells and shouts from complete strangers about the “spandex” you’re wearing, then you seek comfort in a fellow rider with a nod of the head but all you get is another dirty look half the time. In France you feel good, you feel cool and part of a community, there’s respect from the cyclists and the cars and the cafés have a coffee waiting for you and your spandex on every Sunday morning. Don’t get me wrong, England is great… but France just does it right, you know?”_MG_2929 _MG_2823

By this point, you’d be forgiven for developing a little jealousy towards the little man. Every year he gets to sample the world’s best cycling roads, but he has paid his share of dues to the cycling Gods. The dreaded big city commute can be a daunting task for even the most experienced cyclist, and after his recent crash, we don’t need to look much further than the current world number 1 Bradley Wiggins to appreciate the dangers of city cycling. A job in the centre of London saw River commuting about 20-25km a day around town last year but he admits he got a buzz out of it.

“It can be terrifying and you need to learn to be aggressive but also not give cyclists a worse name than they have. A lot of drivers hate cyclists in town and sometimes I understand it when I see them creeping across red lights on main junctions, but it’s growing and that’s really exciting. So many people are on bikes in London, in rush hour there’s a peloton at every main set of traffic lights.You got to make the effort to do big road rides when you live in London, there are a few really nice routes as soon as you’re out of the hustle and bustle but I find it much Harder to motivate myself if I’m honest.”

All that cycling under his belt, yet River still favours the Cornish lanes as amongst his favourite for cycling, and after covering  90km last Sunday with his newly joined cycling club ‘The Falmouth Wheelers’ he’s still got it in him to appreciate the British scene.

“I love it here and some of the cyclists you meet in the UK are some of the most epic riders you’ll ever meet. I love how big cycling has got, I guess a lot recently is to do with Wiggins winning the tour and the Olympics.”

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