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Worst to Better | Focalpoint BMX
Worst to Better

Photos and words by James Fox.

Additional words by Josh Juniper.

2 weeks, 2 vans, 4 washed up dudes, 10 kids bikes plus beers and good times.

“Yeeeeeeoooooooooooooooowwwwww Jimbo, sorry man…. Don’t know how to tell ya this but some one stole your swag and my esky from Snakewoods on the weekend. Jonny may have broken his ankle, and Josh nose cased head first into the dirt and doesn’t remember 48 hours of his life….” – Timmy Weekes

So that’s the phone call I got a week before we started our 2 week BMX trip to get away from work and other life shit. As you can see things were off to a cracking start. I had to try find a swag to borrow. (I live in the middle of nowhere) and Josh and Jon had messed themselves up bad, a week out from the trip.

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“Yeeeeeoowww dude, oi I’m in Tamworth I’ll be at yours in a few hours, oh yeah by the way, I finally heard from Weexy and Josh. They’re stuck in Tenterfield. They broke down at 2:00am…” – Jonny Mackellar

 

This isn’t the phone call I wanted to hear from Jonny, the day the trip was meant to start. Welcome to the worst to better trip… Objective, Jonny Mackellar, Weexy, and Josh Juniper pick me up and we have one week to get from my place in the Hunter Valley to Canberra for D.A.N.E Jam!

But what’s a BMX trip without throwing a big ass spanner in the works. Long story short, Josh and Weexy were stuck in Tenterfield out the front of a mechanics over the weekend, until it finally opened 2 days later. Tow truck driver busted the AC condenser, and the head of the motor was completely cracked. Two days drinking hot beer off the tarmac. Finally, Monday, Jett Man comes to the rescue and brings a car trailer and takes the boys back to his BMX hippie paradise in Cosmic Rumble land.

Meanwhile, Jon and I get to Trail Garden to catch up with Dave C for the first 3 days… I became really ill for the first night and spent literally the whole night throwing my guts up. Didn’t sleep and drunk about 6 litres of water that I couldn’t keep down.

Dehydrated as shit, I got up in the morning after sleeping in some random bush near the trails away from everyone else. Stumbled up and passed out in Jon’s van for the rest for the day. I remember waking up to Dave’s mate walking up the hill asking for help because he had basically almost rolled his car off the edge of the entrance to the trails. The boys towed it out and apparently it was a bee’s dick from rolling. Apparently we went to a swimming hole that day, rode the trails and filmed a bunch of stuff as well – that I don’t really remember. After the 2 days of us apparently being at the trail garden I finally had a beer and slowly started to feel normal. Did a day trip along the coast, cooked up at Kiama blow hole, swam in some -2 degree ocean pool then rode Shoalhaven skate park, which has the sickest little bowl.

 

 

It started raining in the arvo so we got to have a bit of a dig until the beers sunk in and all of a sudden the stars aligned and a musical trio was born. This musical phenomenon consists of me on the pinga box, Jonny on pots and pans and Dave on a couple of guitars with about 5 strings between the two of them, after a night of swapping instruments and fixing the worlds problems, it quickly became morning. So we ended up having a killer morning session at the trails before rolling out too Young to go hang at Will Kerr’s Funny Farm. Dave told us about this dam that was on the way to Will’s that we should check out. We rocked up. And chose the laziest way ever to figure this dam out. I put the drone up, flew it over, sussed out access, and then whammo. It was on… Beers in hand, Jonny’s ankle still pretty much broken. We cruised down the rocky river, peered around the corner to find this loose Dam wall!!

After a hell dam session, we got back on track and rocked up to Will’s playground to find that he wasn’t even home. So Jon and I grabbed some beers, made our self at home and waited till Will rocked up later that night looking like he just came off a 5 day cocaine bender. It’s hay season so, Will had worked like 53 hours in 2 days or some shit, I don’t know, he had about an hours sleep…. alright. So as the good mates as we are, we had some beers until Will had to go back to work at 5:30am in the morning. Few hours later that day Will calls saying that it’s raining and works off for a couple days let go to the trails. HELL YEAH!! Rocked up and we stacked the lander for this fuck off big jump. Perfect amount of rain to finish it off the next day and then it was game on.

“YEEEEEEEEOOOWWWWWWWWWW OI!! We’ve fixed the van, motor started first go. We are going to try get to Young by tomorrow morning!!…” – Weexy 

Bloody oath!! That was the phone call we wanted to hear 5 days after trying to get the convoy together!! That call, combined with a sick session on the new big dog at the Kerr’s residence, finished that evening on a high! That called for schooeys, parma’s and celebratory drunkenness back at Will’s. The next morning came and before the wind kicked in, Jon and Chris Kerr managed a few laps whilst we were waiting for Josh and Weexy.

Finally, we called the boys to see where they were…

“aww man we will be like halfa, we are just at the pub…” – Weexy

“what the fuck do you mean you’re at the pub!” – All of us.

“aww dudes we will be there in about halfa…” Said Weexy…

Turned out the bastard was stalling and the boys ended up rolling through the front gate tooting the horn down the drive!! Weexy and Josh had been putting in 19 hour driving stints and getting by on a couple of hours sleep each night but that didn’t stop us excitedly greeting them with well-deserved breakfast beers. This marked the start of a new chapter in; convoys, drunken escapades and loose behavior.

 

We drove to Canberra, rolled in to the Bone and caught up with all the legends!! Then headed to catch up with everyone having a sesh at the trails.

 

If you were to pick someone from round the world and ask them about Canberra, they probably wouldn’t know much about it. If you were to ask someone in Australia, they might have their bias on the subject, but would probably still say it’s a pretty quiet place. If you were to ask any BMXer that’s visited there, it’s likely that they’d have a different story to tell.

As always, we were blown away by how strong the BMX community is here, so many sick riders, awesome spots and a super friendly crowd. Maybe it’s because they are inland that there’s not much salt here…

Most days started by a trip to the ‘Bone. The Back Bone shop does exactly what it says, it really is the go-to place for all the BMXers in town, and is definitely the centre of the
If you were to pick someone from round the world and ask them about Canberra, they probably wouldn’t know much about it. If you were to ask someone in Australia, they might have their bias on the subject, but would probably still say it’s a pretty quiet place. If you were to ask any BMXer that’s visited there, it’s likely that they’d have a different story to tell.

As always, we were blown away by how strong the BMX community is there, so many sick riders, awesome spots and a super friendly crowd. Maybe it’s because they are inland that there’s not much salt there…

My memory of the 6 days we were in Canberra is very blurry, but we did plenty of fun stuff and it went way too quickly!! Most days started by a trip to the ‘Bone. The Back Bone shop does exactly what it says, it really is the go-to place for all the BMXers in town, and is definitely the centre of the scene here. Whether it’s planning your escapade for the day, watching a DVD hungover, or trying to locate your mate who you lost from the night before, it’s the place to be.

Most days were spent avoiding the heat in a swimming hole or dam somewhere, then once the heat and wind died, time for laps at the trails. After sick sunset sessions, plenty of people still found the energy to go out as a mob and push the patience of bar staff across Canberra. This was a riding trip but naturally, there’s always plenty of time for drinking, karaoke and bloody good times! We drunk a lot of beers, passed out in a park with our faces painted as day of the dead. Rode some jumps, jumped off some gnarly cliffs, drunk some beers, slept on Rykie’s nature strip for like 3 nights and possibly pissed the neighbors off. Thanks Rykie you ledge!! I think we ate food once or twice. Probably slept for a couple of hours. Rode around the city at 5:00am in the morning looking for a blurned out Timmy. We got Hayden Thomas to quit his job to come hang out with us and sing Karaoke, drink, ride, take us to rad water holes….. And he did! Bloody legend!  We also made Sarah Mitchell almost get fired for taking some days off! Come to think about it, I think we are a bad influence hahaha. Watched Hucker, Raine, Harti, Tys and Weexy absolutely shred Raines jumps a new one!!! There’s to many insane stories, that I can’t actually put them into words! You’ll have to wait for something I’m working on to come out in the next year or so and you’ll see the gnarliness and good times!!

It’s fair to say that the D.A.N.E was non-stop, red hot fun. We got there early and did a bit of patching on the trails, then realized it was 10am and nobody would brave the heat until later. So we decided to fully test the roof top party platforms on Josh and Jonny’s vans with anywhere up to 10 people mounting the van and causing a rain of beer to shower down. ‘Remember kids, there ain’t no party like a rooftop pit party’ Once the wind died, fiery sunset laps were had by a whole heap of people who’d travelled to commemorate such an awesome rider. There seems to be more people each year coming to the jam, and that’s a great thing for his memory and for the Australian BMX scene! So many good vibes, everyone enjoying themselves, smiles on everyone’s faces and sharing memories of Dane!! Can’t thank the Backbone dudes and Hillfire crew enough for putting that on every year!!

 

Some things that always stand out in Canberra;

  • A lot of the little kids at the trails will be wearing BMX shirts, greeting people with ‘fist-bumps’ and rolling around on balance bikes
  • Everyone’s partners seem to fully support BMX, instead of labeling it as a ‘kid’s sport’, they know it was an essential part of life!
  • Full time Dad’s with serious jobs still manage to hold down world-class trail spots aka being a ‘Rad-Dad’

After spending any amount of time with this lot in Canberra, it’s clear to see how much of a family they have here. Even with the duties of parenting, careers, running businesses and relationships, their commitment to the BMX lifestyle is inspiring.

Big ups to our Canberra BMX family for putting up with us Queensland folk!! Thanks for all the good times!! Big shout outs to Brendan Boeck for having such a good dad leg on him and keeping the stoke always at its highest!! Rykie Hill-Wright for letting us stay on his nature strip for ages!! Raine Turnbull for the hell sessions and letting us crash at his!! Dave Cragg for the good times!! Rhys Williams for being an all-round legend and helping me out big time!! And everyone in the Canberra BMX scene, there’s too many rad people to mention!! As time rolls on, dwindling time and long injuries can see a lot of people lose the love for BMX. But seeing the fire behind all these people in Canberra definitely helped us to take a spark of that stoke back home with all of us. The stoke is high and it seems to be growing. Long may it continue…

 

 

HAVE FUN, DIE TRYING!

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