Word and Photos by: Jereme Leafe
Let me beginning by giving you a little history as to why this 2 and 1/2 weeks of debauchery and mountainboarding happened.
I have been out of the scene for way too long and my gypsy friend AJ has spoken great words of Russia, so I figured what better excuse to go to Russia then to Mountainboard, and hell, why not bring someone else along. But I am no geographer so I figured Tennessee, North Carolina, France, Belgium, Poland, and Slovakia were all on the way to Russia, but i mean, really, why not?
Well my good friend Ecar asked if i could try to document this journey, so what follows is my best attempt to remember how the trip went.
Part 1! Boston to Nashville To Beech Mtn To Nashville To Boston To Paris To Wanyi To Compiegne To Paris!
Friday, September 4th
Woke up late for my last day of work and realized i could barely fit all my gear into my tiny little miata.
But 3pm rolled around and i was enjoying a tasty Harpoon IPA in the tradition of having a trip kick-off beer!
7:00PM and i landed in Nashville, TN
Friday night was spent out at Vanderbilt University enjoying only the finest of beers at the frat parties! But i was collar popping and riding dirty so that i could keep with the style of this preppy southern university.
I did some vandy van riding all the way through vandy land. (Peep the Youtube video MOV – Vandy Van)
Riding that Vandy Van, all the way through Vandy Land!
Collar Poppin and Riding Dirty at Vandy Frat Parties!
Saturday, September 5th
3:00am time to go to bed!
4:30am time to get up!
So apparently Beech Mtn is about 5 and 1/2hrs and a time zone ahead from Nashville… who would have thought. I told you i was no geographer.
350miles later i showed up at the Beech Mountain Country Club and tried to valet my car, but they didnt like my type so i drove around for another 30mins looking for some fellow dirt lovers.
Noon – the event was suppose to be starting, but in typical fashion i was late and holding everything up so that my good friend Akoni could finish fixing his hair.
I was still nursing two freshly broken ribs so i wasnt sure if i was even going to ride, but i did bring someone all the way from Nashville and i needed to try and show off… Girls (circa MVM 5, anyone remember that interview?)
The park was amazing and had probably more then 25 lines, i kept it mellow and just hit the wall ride, but just that was worth the flight and drive!!! Skinny Kenny was killing it and stealing my red bulls!
There were some young guns killing it! Props to Chris O’Brian for throwing 540s and backflips and to Jeff Wooley for throwing down. Sadly Jeff tripped over his heal side tires and ended up breaking his arm. heal fast bro!
Working on My Ups – Beech Mtn, NC
Kenny Stealing my Red Bull
In true mountainboard fashion there was some after even fun to be had, just this time at the Jackaloupe. Mind you a Jackaloupe is a rabbit with antlers… must have been something in the water up in dem dur hills. Richard and Ted showed everyone what was up by pole dancing, but i think they made enough money to make it back home afterwards.
Well Done Ted – Pole Dancing
Sunday, September 6th
after some much needed sleep and some great breakfast at the jackaloupe it was 5 and 1/2hrs back to Nashville… with a pit stop for wine tasting.
Monday, September 7th
Oh the day of great Labor
Well this would actually be one of the only days i got to relax and just kick it. While my friend had to go to class i enjoyed sleeping in and just kicking around campus.
Riding at Vanderbilt… In style
Alex was inspired by Ted and Richard and she really wanted to learn to ride!
Tuesday, September 8th
Up nice and early in time to set out on 20hrs of traveling. It was 6am Nashville time, 1pm paris time.
Noon, Back in boston and waiting 5 and 1/2hrs for my next flight, what to do? I decided to take a not so quick T ride out to end of the Greenline and drop off some cupcakes and then lug myself back across the Bean just in time to make my flight to Paris.
5:30pm and i was on Air france direct to paris and had confirmed that NIck ‘Trill” Hill was about to leave Newark headed the same way!
8pm, saw some GT Solar employees headed to Photowatt in southern France to do real work… hahaha real work
Dinner came and something about cold salmon wasnt hitting the spot, but free wine did hit the spot…. sleep spot that is.
Wednesday, September 9th
6am Paris time and i couldn’t find my mountainboard bag!!! starting to freak… then i found it in quarantine with the dogs!
I got me some petite cafe and started waiting for Nick, last minute they changed his arrival gate so i had to (with my broken ribs) lug my gear about 3km across paris to the other end of the airport. But sure enough Nick was there and waiting! Salut!
We rolled into the Hyatt and picked up our Peugeot 308 and started bumping the Mickey Avalon!
Rolling in France! Pumping Mickey Avalon
After running some redlights at the arc de triump and illegally parking at the Eiffel tower it was time to get out of Paris before someone threw freedom fries at us!
Next stop…. Champagne Region of France to visit my friends Moet and Chandon, really hoping Dom would be around too.
Nick Showing off the Guns. Check the two old ladies behind him. He got their number!
Some wrong turns… ok, many wrong turns and we stumbled upon the Avenue de champagne! I was lucky enough to stop by and say hi to Dom Perignon and then grabbed a bottle of Frances finest to drink in the car! No time to waste… it was off to Belgium now… and it was only 2pm on day one!
Chilling with my boy, Dom Perignon. Me and him go way back! (Dom and Me)
Only the finest dining for us while we were in France. Day one, first food of the trip… out of the trunk.
Some more wrong turns and a couple trips around the same round abouts and we went flying past a BFC sticker… slapped on a sign stating that we were entering Belgium!!!
Belgium gets down with the BFC!
6pm and we arrived at Wanyi Park to find our beds for the first night, some mattresses of different mattress sizes in an old military tent. But not so bad for free!
We popped some champagne and took a few runs before it got dark.
Nick looking real stoked to do some riding! Wanyi Park, Belgium
8Pm – we headed out to find some Belgium beers which wasn’t to hard to do… however ordering one was not so easy. Both Nick and I took french in like middle school and in the middle of no-where belgium they dont exactly speak much English… or french.
Midnight and it was time for bed on day one of the trip!
Thursday, September 10th
Noon: F! We over slept! We are suppose to be 3hrs away in France to meet Simon in about 2hrs.
However, the owners of Wanyi had shown up and turned on the lift, so some more riding was in order before we left this amazing park!
We threw down a few 3’s, hit some rails, and took a quick cruise down the boardercross which was super fun to double double!
You just cant complain about a free ride back up!
Nick just chilling it out at Wanyi Park
Real stoked to be getting some rail in Belgium
2pm: we should be meeting Simon in Compiegne right now and its 3hrs away, but we were just packing up the car and getting lost trying to leave town. J gave us some new directions and we decided to say F Google Maps France and head out on another driving adventure to Compiegne.
We pinned that car toward France though something fierce… passing people on corners and hitting 175km/hr on two way roads! I love international driving!
On the way we saw a pretty dope castle and had to stop in some random little town in France. We drank from the the town well, snapped a few pictures and were back at it in no time!
Around about Saisson, France a smell came over the car like no other. It smelled as though someone had filled the car with raw sewage. I know what your thinking, but no, the windows were down. That town smells like Sh*t. Nick couldn’t even swallow his Nettalla covered bread, his body physically wouldn’t let him.
Picking up aids in some small town in France!
We got places to be!
5:30pm and we had finally found Simons house near compiegne, France!
We had heard stories of some new and amazing jumps and these jump did not disappoint!!!
It was cool to roll up and see about 5 riders just chilling and sessioning the jumps, i haven’t found any random places to just go ride in the states in a long time!
The jumps were 7meters and 6meters but seemed even bigger. They were followed by a real nice quarter pipe that you sky out of if you so dared.
Both me and Nick were on the injured list, me with my ribs and nick with his horse riding accident right before the trip. But that didn’t stop Nick from throwing a huge backflip over the bigger hit… so it was on!
Few more flips and Heineken’s Later and i was ready to try and flip the first hit and do a rodeo over the second! But it turned into an over-rotated rodeo to knuckle to switch backside 180 off the knuckle. I cleanly rode it away, but it was time to call it a day.
Air to Fakie on the QP
Nick styling out the Backflip over the big jump!
Had to be done, broken ribs and all!
Simon showing how to tweak it!
10pm: Simon and his parents are some of the best hosts anyone could ask for. We finally got to shower (it had been about 3 days for me) and got an amazing dinner! Thanks Simon! Tres Bon!
We should have gone to bed because we had to be up at 4:30am for the only Easy Jet Flight to Krakow for the next 3 days, but Simon talked of a good new dance club!
Disco Tech! With all of Simons College friends!
We did the trance dance right till about 3am and then headed home to try and sleep.
3am after the Dance Club! Real stoked, but we wouldnt look this stoked in about 2 and 1/2hrs.
Part 2 coming soon