BMX together with travel, I like to think has always been an important part of this blog. BMX is a passport to take you anywhere. So when I see riders from our country at the bottom of the world making moves internationally, using the advantages and privileges of BMX travel, I can say for certain that I get stoked. Joe Simpson has been doing some solid travels over the last few years so I decided to approach him to share some stories & photos, and being the rad dude Joe is of course he was happy to contribute, here are his words:
At the risk of sounding cliché, or repeating articles you’ve probably read before, the seemingly never-ending web of people and places all over the world provides some amazing experiences, just because you choose to be associated with BMX. By riding a kid’s bike, or even wearing a BMX branded t-shirt, doors seem to open up to a world that not many outsiders get to see. Accommodation, local knowledge, secret spots and free drinks are offered, with the unspoken rule that it will be reciprocated to another rider when you arrive home. On top of that, you meet amazing people, and forge friendships that will last a lifetime. I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled internationally each year since 2012, and this time Mike approached me while I was in transit to put a little write up/photo dump from my travels. With my non-existent photography or journalism skills I hope I can give you a little bit of an idea what went down.
With a couple thousand dollars burning a hole in my pocket, and an approved 6 weeks time off that expired before labour weekend, I decided to bite the bullet and return to the promised land. Originally there was going to be a couple others in tow, but injuries and prior engagements meant I was going solo. As fun as it may be travelling with a friend, it’s a different kind of satisfaction going solo that I can’t explain. Maybe it’s the more apparent anticipation of the unknown, or knowing you pretty much just have yourself to rely on, which makes it that more rewarding when it all falls into place.
Following a similar route to what Cam McCall and I took last year, I had a loose plan of landing on the east coast to stay with Eric Hennessey and his girlfriend Andrea, and also see Vic from Circuit BMX in Rhode Island, before trying to sneak in a couple days in the PA woods then head back via Austin before flying home.
Big thanks to Eric, Andrea, Cody, Ian, Cob, Bubba, Vic, Cara and Sophie for the hospitality while in Rhode Island, along with Ed, all the Catty and Posh locals and anyone who showed me a rad time in PA. Shoutout to anyone who rides a bike.
Anyway, here’s a few photos I shot on my phone.
We got to meet Cody last year when Cam and I went to Rhode Island, and it just so happens to be where Eric and Andrea have the bus parked. Cody’s house is super rad, and he was nice enough to let me gatecrash and camp on his lawn for the week. Within a stone’s throw from the house are his jumps, which have gotten way crazier since we rode last year. Super tall, steep, very tech, but super rewarding to ride. Watching Cody ride his own spot was awesome, crazy boosted and nosedived on every set.
I hadn’t been in contact with Ian from the UK since meeting him at the last Roast It (3 years ago?), and my trip to New England just happened to coincide with his. It was awesome to see him again, and pretty crazy that with no communication we happened to end up on the other side of the world to see the same people and ride the same spots, at the same time. He kept the hummus supplies and the english wit well stocked, and ate a number 10 every morning at the diner. Top bloke.
We only got a quick session in here due to rain, but it was awesome to see the jumps again and how they had progressed in a year. Vic, Cara and Sophie (Circuit BMX) hooked it up with a floor, breakfast and exceptional service at the shop, so if you’re ever in the states, pop in and say whaddup. Great people, super friendly and welcoming, was really good to see them again. Cheers guys!
– Diners. Virtually every morning on the east coast, we ate at a diner. They’re super rad, you get to meet all the locals who eat there daily, and for under $10 you can a giant plate of food full of butter and fat to put you into a coma, with bottomless coffee to get you back on the level. Topped off with some sassy attitude from the waitresses, who trip out at any non New England accent, you’re guaranteed to start your day properly. Just don’t ask for a latte, unless you want to be ridiculed for the entire meal.
Camping at the orginal Posh site. Bethlehem, PA.
We met a bunch of French dudes at Catty, who were camping at the original Posh site. We decided to join them, as we hadn’t really planned anywhere to stay that night. As we rock in well past dark, the Frenchies had already set up camp along with a fire. We arrive, sa g’day and proceed to set up camp just down from their tents. We weren’t aware, or told that there just happened to be a well made bed of grass that one of the dudes had set up as his mattress. We proceeded to kick all the grass away so we had level ground to pitch our tents, unknowningly ruining someone’s bed for the night. I felt so bad, and could’ve been the reason I ate shit the next day. I apologised big time, and will continue to do so. Sorry Vince! We’ve got you top to bottom if you’re ever in NZ!