DAY 1 – FRIDAY:
At what felt like the crack of dawn, with coffees and vegan treats in hand, Dylan and Bec pick me up. We’re all honestly surprised we hadn’t bumped into my neighbor, and fellow mountain boarder, Tom Pianta. Even after repeated attempts at shouting at his window. Rocks were next.
The three of us pile into the ute, packed and blasting The Black Eyed Peas (DJ Dylan’s doing), we head off to Sydney Gundagai. Why Gundagai? Because there’s a dog, and get this, he’s sitting on a tuckerbox. There’s a bloody Dog on a Tuckerbox. What’s not to love? You have to see it to believe it.
That’s pretty much the highlight of the drive from Melbourne to Sydney. There’s not much else really. Road. Bush. Roadkill. Dog on a Tuckerbox. Road. Farm. Roadkill.
We link up with legends Craig Hallihan and Daniel Packer as we get into Sydney and stay in a town called Lidcombe. There’s a few things that we would come to learn about Lidcome during our trip:
1) They have cheap beers ($8 longnecks howyagoing)
2) There’s amazing Korean food
3) They don’t know what vegetarian means
4) Half the town is a practically taken up by a Catholic Club’s carpark
DAY 2 – SATURDAY:
After we all struggle with our bipolar shower, we make tracks for The Big Adventure at Sydney Park. The Big Adventure is a massive family event jam packed with a day of activities to encourage people to go outside and exercise. Activities on the day include rockclimbing, parkour classes, yoga, AFL and NRL clinics, and of course the main attraction, mountain boarding demos and learn to ride workshops. We had a huge day ahead of us with circa 7 demos and 14 learn to ride lessons. Cactus Formo and UK import Sam Penny met us at the park for the big day.
The Big Adventure had placed us on a great hill for beginners to learn how to mountain board; one side with a mellow gradient, the other with a natural bowl/halfpipe perfect for progressing riders. Our demo set up consisted of a small roll in, roller, leading to a super fun kicker.
Everyone on the day rode incredibly well! Sam Penny wowed the crowd with some no comply three sixties off the kickers, whilst Dylan ended each demo with a bang, back and front flipping his way to end the show. Each demo was followed by two learn to ride workshops, and tell you what, the kids nearly stole the show from the pros! We were utterly impressed as kids (and some adults) who have never stepped foot on any kind of board before, let alone a mountain board, picked it up straight away. By the end of each workshop there were riders tearing up the steeper bowl section of the hill, and some where keen enough to shred the mini ramps with heaps of style. We taught over 160 people how to Mountainboard!!
DAY 3 – SUNDAY:
No rest for the wicked; another big day for the crew. Plan for the day: meet up with a Brazilian Mountain boarder Italo Guimaraes Dos Santos some dirt jumps, go watch the X Games finals, hit a street spot, and skate the new Sydenham skatepark. The dirt jumps were small but super fun to session. A massive storm from the day before hindered us from riding the big line. We’ll definitely be back.
The X Games were nothing short of awe inspiring. Our seats gave us front and centre views of skateboardings’ heavy hitters with the likes of Nyjah Houston, Shane O’Neill, Luan Oliveira, Ryan Decenzo, and Tommy Fynn.
We then headed to a street spot where I was able to land a pop over ollie of a car park drop. To wrap up the day we checked out the new Sydenham skate park. The park is really well thought out with skateboarders in mind. Probably the most unique feature of the park is its location; directly under the flightpath of planes landing at Sydney Airport.
DAY 4 – SUNDAY:
I’ll close off this blog with one of the best and most elaborate dad jokes I’ve ever heard, courtesy of an Aussie larrikin we met the tiny country town of Chiltern.
Some back story for you international folk: Australia has been gripped in a crisis where someone has been putting needles into strawberries and other fruit. Anyway:
Old larrikin: “You’ve heard about the crisis involving needles and strawberries, yeah? Well, it’s really effecting our town: farmers are losing income and local stores aren’t busy because the farmers have no money to spend. What’s worse is that all the haybales that have been donated to them have been burnt by authorities in case that’s where the needles are coming from.”
Us: “That’s horrible”
Old Larry: “Yeah, all those haybales burnt. To find the needle in the haystack”
Words by Eddy Kusdiana
Photos by Eddy Kusdiana and Bec Lazarowicz
Video by Dylan Warren
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