Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:34 am Post subject: Paris LDP
I made the trip from Coventry to Paris at the weekend to visit my good friend Chris Vallender where we embarked on a 37 ish mile journey around Paris.
This was kind of an anniversary skate from my very first Longboarding trip (which was also the second time/2nd day Iíd ever ridden a skateboard/Longboard) where we skated from La Defense on the very West of Paris back to Chrisís flat on the very East of Paris. This 12 mile skate four years ago was the beginning of it all for me and we had a great time. By the end of it I could barely walk and I still limped for a week afterwards.
Our journey on Saturday was epic and thankfully it was dry. We took the journey on with our LDP setups, me on my Pulse and Chris on his borrowed G|B*mb. Iíve been into LDP for almost a year and Chris has had his setup for a couple months now. Chris is an adept longboarder focusing on fun and pushing distance. I, on the other hand, seem to be focused solely on LDP now. I can no longer even ride my Dervish as it turns in such a different way to my Pulse. (Just a side note, Chris pumped his Insect Mosquito on Friday night setup with carving bushings in his 50DEG Paris trucks, and he pumped as fast as I did on his G|B*mb, if you have the skills, you can pump ANY Longboard and ANY truck).
Our journey began at his flat at around 11:30am and we were headed to the location Chris has found as a suitable Ultra location. We fuelled ourselves on tea and a few French pastries. Whilst we were skating we had a couple chocolate bars and a little water. We stopped off firstly at the Eiffel tower and the Trochadero (famous for the slalom race) and had a chat with the local longboarders. I must say, the Paris crew have better skills than the Coventry crew! I took my one and only tumble of the trip which was caused by over pushing a pump and the rear wheels slid out, only a bruised elbow and a scrape to my backpack. We then continued to the Ultra spot and pumped a lap. The verdict is that itís perfect, smooth enough, pretty flat and cars are not allowed on that section, plus itís flood lit at night! We did another 7/8 of a lap and then continued past La Defense and into the centre for some much needed lunch, at 3pm.
We were then in a pretty busy part of Paris, just past the Arc de Triomphe. It was pretty busy on a Saturday evening and we made our way on the roads through traffic and traffic jams. It was a lot of fun moving along with the cars and scooter on the road, close to being pinched a couple times and almost knocking wing mirrors off. After a couple traffic jams, we were on a main road that was deserted of cars, we had free rein on the roads and made the most of it. Pumping up the hills like we owned the city. We were now at the North of the city and headed to the North East to get onto a greenway that follows the river.
We found our way onto the greenway and headed into the wind as it was much more open than in the city. We were both getting tired and all of a sudden my Bennett started squeaking and not moving freely. We stopped and managed to find some excess grease on the outside of the pivot cup and I strategically placed the tiny amount with the stem of a leaf; the truck rode perfectly for the next 10km! We went a good long way down the greenway and stopped for a little chocolate and water. We then turned around as it was getting dark to head back to the city. The wind was now behind us and we lightly pumped back. The darkness had really drawn in once we got to the city so we put our lights and hi-vis jackets on. Weíd both really got into our pump groove now, from a good few hours on it and the desire to get home to eat dinner and drink beer. The last leg was on a narrow cycle path next to the road, separated by a kerb, so we had a good run. The narrow path meant we had to go single file and our empty bellyís meant we were going at a good pace. The darkness also helped improve our technique I think, not focused on talking or looking around, just straight ahead, watch for cars/people/puddles and just pump. The cycle path broke many times at intersections so we had to run red lights and dodge cars. People were everywhere so a few shouts let people know we were coming through. I was pumping along and went past a car that was oddly parked on the pavement with a puddle beneath it, I pumped right through what was some sort of car fluid and all 4 wheels slid, luckily I held onto it and gripped straight after the puddle.
We get back to the flat and dumped our stuff. A quick shower followed by food and beers. Awesome.
We had a great weekend and the skating was immense. We pushed ourselves pretty hard as we usually do and I have to thank Chris for looking after me in the big French capital. LDP is where I'm at and with Chris now getting there too I'm over the moon! I also have to thank my wife Corinne for being so understanding with me going off skating for the weekend. Another thank has to go out to the PavedWave forum and all its members; Iíve never known a community like it and the amount of resource and helpful people there is overwhelming. I'm finally starting to give something back on the forum, instead of just taking.
Long live LDP.
Pulse V3.0 Light Flex, Bennett 5.0 with polished pivot wedged 17*, Virage LDP rear de-wedged 3*, Lemon ní Lime Big Zigs.
G|B*mb Illuminati Prototype Subsonic deck, Bennett 5.0 flat on bracket, Tracker RTS 129mm in deadest position, 70mm retro 78a zig zags. _________________ Weight: 145pounds † Height: 5' 7"
Man, thanks so much for writing about your trip! Very inspiring stuff. With a lot more practice and patience, I hope to be able to do a journey like that...someday! Plus, to be able to skate in and around Paris...EPIC!!! Take care and have a good one (or three... )!
scottc _________________ skate with soul and create art
Awww, shucks...thanks JP, we where just telling a story!
Yeah, but I felt the site needed to get back to its roots. † I love all this recent racing stuff ... but your guys stories / shots are awesome, and it's really all about the ride!
Totally agree, JP!!! I'm not getting into LDP for the racing, (although I really appreciate and respect that aspect) I'm doing it for the journey and the soul!! It's stories like this that fire the imagination and desire to "explore"!! Just great stuff!
scottc _________________ skate with soul and create art
What's also great is we somehow beat the winter, LDP all year round (I wish)! Back in England itís icey, thereís salt and grit all over the roads and threat of snow. How do us longboarders make it through the winter months? _________________ Weight: 145pounds † Height: 5' 7"
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